Sunday, May 24, 2009

Anxiety Art — If a cast could heal the broken mind...

People who suffer from mental disorders, like uncontrollable anxiety, wish it was that easy. The pain IS as real as a broken arm to them, but there is no easy fix like a cast.

fine art anxiety OCDA good bit of the concepts that derive my fine art stem from stories of obsessive compulsive disorder sufferers. Fact is, many people don't even know what the acronym OCD stands for though. If they or someone they know experiences obsessive compulsive behavior they just chalk it up as being anxious about something.

There are differences between anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive ones, but they can be subtle. Anxiety and OCD show up as separate ideas in my paintings and artwork.

I actually suggest that OCD is a subset of anxiety disorders:
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
    GAD can manifest itself as persistent worry about events or activities and produce physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, muscle tension and difficulty sleeping.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
    OCD is usually specific obsessions and compulsions. The obsessive thoughts are uncontrollable. And the compulsion is a repetitive behavior to relieve the stress caused by the obsessions.
GAD and OCD could actually mix in the sense that the anxiety can cause heart palpitations and then the OCD would obsess into thought patterns that drive the sufferer to the emergency room several times.

Any way you slice it, anxiety is very real to its sufferers. It is a disability.

Non-suffers can't comprehend the weight of the realness that anxiety can bare. Mostly this non-suffer incomprehension leads to a few facial frowns, with raised eyebrows as they subtly shake their heads in disappointment about the actions of the anxious ones. They see the sufferers as inconveniences in their daily routines... thorns in their sides... speed bumps in their roads to fruition.

This interaction of the sufferers and non-sufferers is unfortunate. In my fine art about anxiety I try to paint this dichotomy. The concept of complexity on one side of the human race and misunderstanding on the other.