Schizophrenia is difficult, to put it mildly. It affects how one feels, thinks and behaves. It’s believed that people who have this condition have lost touch with reality, and even though it may not be as noticeable and as common as other mental disorders, its symptoms can still be very damaging.
Kate, better known to her Instagram followers under the username @awkwardapostrophe is a sufferer of this terrible mental condition, and she uses her amazing drawing skills to illustrate her hallucinations and open the eyes of almost 30k people who follow her to understand what having schizophrenia really is like.
“I have always been an ‘artist’, I just didn’t realize what that meant until my mental illness appeared. I despise the term ‘mentally ill’; it implies that who I am as a person is fundamentally corrupted and broken.” she said, in a tell-all story for BoredPanda.
“Unfortunately, as soon as I tell people what I struggle with, I feel like that’s all they see me as. They see the stigma perpetuated by the media, and the inaccurate stereotypes portrayed in Hollywood. That is precisely why I am so open about what I live with.” she stated.
“I’ve been ‘diagnosed’ with multiple labels over the years. At the age of 17 I finally was diagnosed with schizophrenia after my parents realized my mental health was getting worse. I draw a lot of my hallucinations as drawing helps me deal with it,” Kate explains.
“In my hallucinations I hear voices, sound effects, random noises, and I often see bugs, faces, and disembodied eyes.”
“Inanimate objects will look like a Van Gogh painting: warped and swirly.” she explains regarding her art style.
“I hallucinate bugs quite often, and my depression makes me feel worthless like a fly. These bug illustrations represent my illness.”
Can you imagine hallucinating on bugs?
“This is a quote by an artist named Jory, and it was something that spoke to me.”
“This one crawls out of the vent in my ceiling and makes clicking noises, or I’ll see it crawl out from underneath things” explains Kate.
Like, can you imagine a creepy as heck three-eyed spider creeping his way out of the crack in the ceiling? I would run away and not return. Ever. But Kate is strong.
“This is a self-portrait. I looked in the mirror and my eyes did this thing. I painted it”
“I have a lot of intense emotions, and hear voices telling me to light things on fire” explains Kate.
That’s just horrifying.
“Here is an example of the disembodied eyes I see. They surface in a mounds or masses on my walls or floors. They warp and move.” says Kate.
And yet the fact that she’s turning this into art is such an amazing way of acknowledging and recognizing them as what they are – hallucinations, and therefore diminishing their power over her.
“This is Birdie, she sings to me” Kate explains about one of the nicer parts of the condition.
“My self-esteem is at its lowest, and I feel insignificant. I always wish I could shapeshift into a “prettier” person” Kate explains.
“What eyes sometimes look like, with more of those odd colors and circles”
“Organization, communication, paranoia, depression, anxiety, and managing my emotions are the biggest struggles for me.”
“What I live with isn’t easy and it can be debilitating, but I’m not living out on the streets screaming about alien abductions. That’s not to say there aren’t people out there who are that severe – there are. However, there are also people like me who just stay at home most of the time cooped up in their room. It is a spectrum of symptoms with varying severity levels. Each person’s experience is unique.” Katie finishes her statement.
Kate, you’re amazing. You go, girl.