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The Impenetrable Bubble by MentalIllnessArt101
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CE: Imagination is the light/ 006*Break Away by Sartisian

Recent Journal Entries










STOP trivializing mental illness!!

Sat Oct 28, 2017, 2:25 PM

Halloween-related exploitation has got to stop.

I am almost never on DA anymore; I sign in to support a few friends, and that's it. But with all the Halloween festivities going around, I keep seeing something that's really bothering me, so, fuck it, I'm going to tell you about it. (And please note this blog is targeted at NO ONE in particular.)

We, as a DA community, must stop using mental illness as a way to entertain ourselves on Halloween (and at any time, for that matter).

Let's differentiate between TALKING about mental illness and EXPLOITING mental illness.

I understand that many of us, myself included, have addressed suicidality or some mood disorder at some point in our work. Exploring the darker nature of ourselves and the fragility of humanity is one thing. But, when you glorify mental illness, reveling in the "insane" for how "scary" and "murderous" they are, you are propagating a stereotype that is actually HARMFUL to people who live with mental illness.

Why is it harmful to promote stigma?

"Stigma" refers to a stereotype, reputation, or label people get just because they live with mental illness and happens independently of their own actions. It is very difficult to live in a world where most people (1) are afraid you are going to "snap" and possibly hurt them, (2) think of you as less capable than they are, (3) don't trust you, (4) don't make any attempt to understand you because you are "weird" and "different," and (5) say horrible things about you, using words like "crazy," "unhinged," "unstable," and "insane" loosely to refer to people who live with your condition. 

These are the people I advocate for on a daily basis, the people I dedicate my life and career to helping-- and they are the people you are hurting with your cheap jokes and Halloween gimmicks.

How does YOUR contributing to stigma hurt people living with mental illness? Here's how:

1. Stigma is often internalized. That means, when you treat them with ridicule, fear, disdain, or some other harmful vibe (even if you never interact with them directly), people will internalize that and feel the same shame, fear, and disdain toward themselves. If society tells us we're bad, we assume we're bad. Can you imagine going through life thinking you are meaningless because that's what your brain disease tells you, only to have that negative thought validated by society?

2. Stigma makes it difficult to seek care because you are afraid you'll be judged or get a "label." If everyone thinks people who hear voices are maniacal killers, for example, I am NOT about to go get a label that says I'm a maniacal killer! And so I may go without treatment, which makes me even sicker. I may lose my job, my health, my family, my friends, etc. because of untreated mental illness. Painting people with psychosis as maniacal killers in our little Halloween haunted houses, art groups, etc., creates a stigma that can prevent care-seeking.

3. Stigma isolates people. What's ironic about that is that AT LEAST 1 out of every 4 of us (25% or more) will have mental illness at some point during our lives. 

4. Hey, does any of this sound like harassment or even bullying? Except it's not necessarily done to the person, but rather ABOUT the person or even about the environment itself.

Oh no, she didn't!

DA is supposed to be a relatively safe space, and yet these groups and actions are allowed. I mean, why not, if extreme sexual content is allowed, right? But porn extreme sexual content doesn't SYSTEMATICALLY harm a single, VULNERABLE group of DA SUBSCRIBERS (actually, it harms young users, but at least they have the mature content filter). By targeting, either on purpose or coincidence, a specific group of vulnerable people--those who live with mental illnesses--these "communities" and "artists" are marginalizing us. Would you marginalize racial minorities? Religious minorities? Sexual minorities? No-- that's against DA policy. So why is it OK to do so to people living with mental illness?

So, dark art? Fine. I LOVE dark art. Art that challenges the psyche? Love it. BRING IT! And I get that we have a right to freedom of expression. For some people, creating art and imagery, or writing content, that depicts what it's like to be in the hell we call mental illness is freeing and cathartic. I am totally down with this, and this expression is welcome at mental-health

My problem arises when people glorify "insanity" or paint people with mental illness as creatures to be feared and loathed. I wouldn't paint a Black man as fearful and murderous. I would never paint a Muslim as fearful and murderous. And would you ever paint something derogatory about someone who uses a wheelchair?? Why would you do that to someone with mental health challenges? It's a biological fucking condition, like cancer or diabetes.

EDIT: Also, research from and The National Institute of Mental Health shows that people with mental health conditions are more likely to hurt themselves than they are to hurt you. Moreover, even when people are psychotic, by a vast majority, people with mental illness are more likely to be violent toward themselves than to be violent toward others. They are more likely to be VICTIMS of violence than to commit acts of violence. (thank you, neurotype!)

I'm not being super sensitive. I'm no snowflake. I'm not saying that I "can't be made uncomfortable." It's not about being made uncomfortable. It's not even about being politically correct. It's about people having basic human rights.

So, just stop. Dark art, fine. Sharing experiences, fine. Raising awareness, fine. Using mental illness for entertainment value? SO NOT OKAY. 

Have a fun and RESPONSIBLE Halloween. Remember that Halloween-HQ has a game going on, and it doesn't involve "crazy" or "insane" people. :P :pumpkin:

Mental Health Blogs

Tue Feb 14, 2017, 5:18 PM
Hey everyone,

Hope you are all doing well out there. I'm wondering:

How many of you visit mental health-related blogs? 
Are there any you visit regularly?

What makes a blog good? What makes you want to come back?

Would a book be better than a blog?

I'm considering a new format for connecting with others off of DA, and I want to explore how useful blogs would be. The idea would be to present new information (in this case, specific to bipolar disorder), share my own experiences with the illness, and network with others to find strength in numbers. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts. And of course I will let you know when this project launches.


Jade :heart:

More Journal Entries


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jhaspar Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2017
Wow, what a wonderful group on dA!
mhairigood Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2017
I'm so happy to see an active group that focuses on mental health.
All the other ones seem dead. Tis rather sad.. :saddummy:
Aeirmid Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2017   Digital Artist
We're trying to be active. A couple of the most vocal members have kind-of moved on (myself included) but we are trying to keep the group alive. :)  Glad you're here.... feel free to jump in and participate!
CookieSharkArts Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks for accepting me. I was hoping it would be OK to contribute a project to the group. I have been working on. Positive Pals are some cute drawings I have done to promote self care and positive towards those that have mental health issues. I would like to share them as I make more. Let me know if thats OK and if so which folder should I out them in.…
Aeirmid Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2016   Digital Artist
Sorry for the slow reply. We would love for you to contribute! The Happiness and Positivity folder would be perfect! Thank you. Please just don't send more than maybe 3-4 at a time.
neurotype Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
You can submit to this folder :)…

We try not to flood watchers with posts so a few at a time would be best.
CookieSharkArts Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Ok Cool thank you!
jessimariephotograph Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2016  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for accepting my request!
KirstenAndHerCamera Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2016  Hobbyist Photographer
thankyou for accepting me :D
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