Quote of The Day

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Paint Party Friday Silent Victims



Digital Color Edits

Frida  Kahlo
Loads of online  discussion this week about Mental illness.  A conversation long overdue. However, I'd hoped for a  more balanced discussion, instead it's been confession overload. Not included are the silent victims! Friends, family and co-workers contending with an affected person. The ramification and dark side of the illness has been evaded!

Wip...quite suitable for this post though
When a   high profile tragedy occurs, or a Movie star is exposed, the illness is headlined!  Yet we rarely hear from parents, spouses or siblings about  preceding behavior.  They're silent with fear of reprisal. No one wants to be on the "naughty list" of a mentally unstable person! 
" Is this what normal feels like?" a friend once said after a stint of medication during a short bout of depression. I was oblivious to the severity of my friends depression.  Not everyone goes off the rails with mental illness, some manage very well without affecting others!

 
  Whether it's a mood, Psychotic disorder, impulse control, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, eating or personality disorder at times it can be so debilitating with a trickle down affect on families!  Not all disorders make people unstable, but when they do it can have devastating affects on  friends and family! As we all saw last week when a revered man sadly decided to exit the world without warning.


We often hear about the derelict with mental illness, not the functioning family member or quiet coworker with off beat behavior humour. Many amazing fun people draw you into their world with no indication they suffer any disorders. They shine with wonderful creative gifts, able to accomplish the extraordinary. However the downside  can equal the upside. Those dips can be so scary and unpredictable to the observer.  Much like addiction there can be multiple facets of mood. Be wary if you tick them off, I assure you there WILL be consequences! Not  the " Let me buy you an ice-cream and we'll  talk calmly about this!" either. It's more likely to be, "Get in my car and watch me drive really fast and scary as I persuade you to see things my way!"
  Many people function unaware they're ill. A family member can go years without  suspecting  their partner has a mental illness, even though  something feels strangely off!!  I've seen families constantly appease a member who terrorizes the family if they don't get their own way. Much like addiction you can't predict when bad behavior will arise or who will be affected.
Original done in Acrylic!
The  Manic side of a bipolar person can be so incredibly attractive and alluring. You can't help but adore them, their grandiose ideas, sense of adventure and bravado! How does a child, a parent, or a sibling deal with the ugly down side of a loved ones disorder? I have been wondering this for years.
Years ago a highly medicated schizophrenic coworker fell in love with me. He was on  the maximum  medication you could take and still function!! We  worked intimately  during  late shifts. He'd say and do bazaar things that totally scared me. His wife left, but said he was  a  phenomenal man before his illness. One can only imagine how difficult it was for that family living with an almost complete stranger. It's not just about someone who's unwell, it's about loved ones living with them too!
Credit goes to Cupcake for this amazing flower. Taken at Coal Harbour in Vancouver B.C.
  How do we have a fair conversation about mental illness without offending anyone?  How do people cope with the one person who tends to wreak havoc in a family. Do they hold them accountable for their actions,  do they avoid them,  stand up to them, do they set strict boundaries or do they  continue to appease them?  How does one endure a loved one when they can't divorce them? Do you have special coping skills  for someone you love? What's a safe solution?

38 comments:

Helen Campbell said...

Mental Illness is a very personal topic for many, and few people have been untouched by it whether they know it or not. It is so sad to lose someone to the disease.
On a happier note, your Frida and dancers are wonderful!
Thanks for sharing a tough topic.

Valerie-Jael said...

Great post! Love the Frida pictures. Mental illness and depressions are much more widely spread than most people believe, and is unfortunately often not taken seriously. Valerie

sharon said...

Wow what an awesome post! So relevant and you have as they say hit the nail on the head, mental illness affects all those that surround them. It can DESTROY FAMILIES. Your Frida portrait is amazing, and I love the evil bunny!
I have gone back to my old blog Art Inspires today hoping that the troll (who does have a mental illness)is well enough to leave me alone. Fingers crossed.
Sharon

Christine said...

lovely Frida and wonderful art this week! Mental illness is very sad. My 19 year old son lost a dear friend to suicide this March.

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Gorgeous ARTWORk! I am so happy that you join Art Journal Journey with Frida and in so many color variations in addition...GREAT!
This "CRAZY" abstract is gorgeous and yes ... the other piece shows perfect how predominantly mental health issues are!
All this is not easy to manage either for the families nor for the exposed person him or herself.

HOWEVER

Happy PPF and happy weekend to you!

kat said...

Your art and Frida is great! Always full of colour and energy! Mental illness is a hard one and is so hard on families and close ones. Keep well and happy,
have a great week-end,
hugs
Kat

denthe said...

What amazes me is how well some people can keep it hidden. How often it happens that people commit suicide "out of the blue". I think it's hard to understand for those people who don't have those demons inside their head. There is not one solution, everyone copes in his/her own way. I think it's very important to remember it's an illness. It's not their "fault", it's a sickness that needs to be dealt with in the best way possible.

Netty said...

Great post as there are so many variations of depression and affects people in different ways. Loving your fab Frida and those great dancers. Happy PPF, Annette x

http://nettysartadventures.blogspot.co.uk/

Fuzzie Fingers said...

Very interesting post. Wonderful Frida painting.

Nic McLean said...

Great painting of frida. I don't know a lot about mental illness or serious depression thankfully other than what I've read but it is something that is much more widespread than we think I've no doubt. It's such a shame that Robin Williams thought there was no way to go on. One of the nicest things I read was when someone described how, when asked what he died of, their wife said he died of depression rather than suicide as ultimately it was the depression that caused his death.

Sirkka said...

Lovely painting of Frida, Giggles. And wise worda of mental illness. Happy PPF!

~*~Patty S said...

Your Frida is very original and super too!
Mental Illness touches more lives than we can imagine.
It certainly is a multi layered and very complicated disease.
Thank you for sharing your views.

Carolyn Dube said...

Such bright colors (as always!) on your beautiful paintings! You bring up some very powerful points about mental illness. I hope the discussions continue even after the media coverage slows of Robin William's tragic death. Happy PPF!

My name is Erika. said...

Nice conversation about mental illness. Do we ever really know someone? And often those people we deal so closely with become part of scenery and we miss little details. Or want to miss those details. Love the art this week too!

SLScheibe said...

A very thoughtful post. Mental illness does touch everyone in some way, sadly.

I love your Frida art! Colorful and fun as always. She's gorgeous.

Linda Kunsman said...

You truly have a gift for expressing any discussions in words. This has to be the best, most thoughtful and well written post regarding mental illnesses. I don't know that there is one person who has not experienced it whether a family member, friend, neighbor,etc. etc. and it certainly can be challenging to deal with.On another note, your Frida and couple art is just fantastic!!

Nicole Beadwright Campanella said...

I always enjoy your posts. Asking the hard questions and bringing another side of the story out. Depression effects more people than realized. In any dis-ease the caregiver or family members are left out of the picture. It can devastate the whole not just the one that is ill.
I really like your Frida. Wonderful.
Nicole/Beadwright

Janet said...

I love your Frida!!

Thankfully I haven't had much experience dealing with mental illness or depression in my family or with friends. I'm sure it must be heartbreaking to watch a loved one suffer and try to cope.

GlorV1 said...

Love your paintings, lots of movement going on and in some there appears to be frenzy as if the topic. I too don't know much about it. It's very sad. Enjoyed your post.:)

Faye said...

You have said some things that many of us have thought but never put into words. Thank you for expressing this. I like your Frida very much. That is a timely image for the post that you have written since she must have had to deal with some of the situations you described.

sheila 77 said...

Hello Sherrie, I'm sure if we met we'd get on so well as your posts always strike a loud chord with me.
I know depression is a serious illness for the person concerned, but you are so right, it is an illness that can affect those around in a very negative way. Depressed people can and do suck all the happiness out of you.
I don't think your bear is supposed to be a pleasant bear, he is seriously strange, look at the eyes, the mouth, the trousers. Can you have depressed trousers? And the poor lady in front of him, what an expression of - resignation (?) - and the pattern on his trousers are coming on to her skirt. It's a quite amazing painting, it's very disturbing. Is that what you meant to show when you painted it?
Thanks for such a thought provoking blogpost with great art.

Tam Hess said...

Can I come spend the weekend with you? I just want to sit and talk and talk :) LOVE this post. I could go on and on...I'll say this: the scariest of all the disorders, for me, is narcissism which can also be sociopaths and psychopaths. These people don't have feelings of empathy/love like we do. They only want to get what they can for themselves. That's it. Sometimes you don't know you have one in the family for years. Then you do know. Maybe the other family members don't see it yet. The only thing to to while the narcissist terrorizes people is wait until the veil is lifted and everyone will see it. The narcissist can be so charming it will take forever, it seems, for people to get their boundaries on!!

I love your colorful paintings. The bear gave me the giggles! Thanks for sharing such great discussions!

Happy Paint Party Friday!

xo Tam Hess
http://cardmakingartists.com

Arnoldo L. Romero, MLA said...

Mental illness is definitely an issue that needs to be out of the closet, if people are going to be able to be treated properly. God willing something good can flourish out of Robin William's unfortunate death. May he rest in peace.

PS - I love your Frida!

Lynn Richards said...

Well said. So many, many sides to mental illness and no one talks about the family members. Great artwork to go along with the subject.

Jo said...

Once again, heavy subject matter. Heavy post. You said so much truth. Wonderful, wonderful paintings.

Beth Niquette said...

Your artwork is amazing. Your words are eye-opening, and are the truth.

Carol said...

Love your Frida and the rest of the art too. The post is so pertinent to life and living with mental illness. Wise words shared freely ..thank you !

Sabina said...

Love your Frida. I especially like that it evokes her signature thoughtful mood but still isn't too literal of an image. And you make a good point about mental illness. Suddenly everyone's an expert!

Irene Rafael said...

There is a continuum from mental illness to health. It is a sad disease that we encounter almost daily, in one form or another. This topic is timely and provocative. Your Frieda painting is lovely, so colorful as was she.

Karla B said...

I guess there is no safe solution for such a delicate problem. A friend of mine was dignosed as a bipolar. We only found that after she had attacked her own mother but before that she lost her fiancé, job and so many other awful things happened. She spent some months in an asylum and nowadays she is not half the woman she used to be.It is a hidden disease and everybody can be a victim.

Zafaran Art Gallery said...

Interesting discussion about mental illness. It is a complicated thing and very subjective how people deal with it. What is "normal" except codes decreed by the majority? In this world, sometimes, to be different, is to be isolated.
Was lovely seeing your paintings and Frida!

JKW said...

Lovely art. Blessings, Janet PPF

VonnyK said...

Great post, I'm lucky to have not had any experience with this. You pictures are gorgeous.
Von.

Tammie Dickerson said...

Wonderful post! I know two people who suffer from depression - and the families are definitely the "hidden victims". No one is allowed to feel or complain about the verbal abuse they are exposed to, and the "walking on eggshells" never ends. Even the support groups say to keep those feelings away from the depressed person and not to confront them. It truly is unfair, and so hard to keep quiet about. One of those people does very well on the meds, and the other has refused them for years - and is very much the tyrant in that family. Very sad.

peggy gatto said...

Love the art and your words!!!

Lisa Isabella Russo said...

Wonderful artworks and beautiful photo by cupcake! So many things to think about...

ULKAU said...

Beautyful paintings, I love your colorful art!
Ulrike

Deepa Gopal Sunil said...

Wonderfully and thoughtfully written! I have had friends with their sibling affected and I have seen them always support the other. Particularly one of my brothers friend who always made sure that he brought his brother to his friends' home so that he can mingle and that would enable them to be much more social and perhaps stronger when they connect.
Loving your art :)

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