Art/Film and mental illness

I could walk up to someone and say "The giant mechanical envelope folding trilobite from the fourth dimension refuses the call of the illuminatus trilogy because dolphin's have more folds than Jim" I could say that because I was being "creative"  and "quirky" er some shit....or I could just be "mentally ill" Where is that line? What part does art play to keep mental illness at bay?

Some of us like to have our own little in jokes that we use with our groups of friends... some people have "in jokes" that only they understand and then they get upset or frustrated because no one knows WTF they are talking about...and then they become aggressive and accusatory... I think that's when you become mentally ill... you get lost in your own convolutions figuratively AND literally...

This past week since I was waiting on renders and didn't have any intense work to do... I felt like my mind was being torn apart 0_o I felt.... well.... kind of crazy... and I've had that happen a few times in my life BUT art was always there to save me... I have little hints of OCD, ADHD, and even autistic traits but since I channel all my madness, anger, obsession, frustration, angst and confusion into the things I create I've remained relatively healthy... just don't ask a psychologist to analyze me through this blog ^ ^

I mean if you look at some of the traits of OCD, ADHD and perhaps Asperger's... you could see how if applied to solo animated feature film production they could be viewed as strengths right? So if you have been diagnosed with those thangs... MAYBE you were just a born artist or filmmaker ^ ^ HYPER FOCUS, OBSESSIVE attention to detail etc...

NOW I have never been tested or diagnosed for anything this is just conjecture about lacking social abilities... When I was 12 I had one friend but I interacted with other people some time... one day my friend took me aside and said "Mike everyone hates you, all you do is talk about yourself and your opinions... you totally ignore everyone else's thoughts and feelings" etc... It really shocked me at the time because I didn't even know 0_o Was I unable to read people's feelings? Or was I just a huge jerk? After that I made a huge effort to try and read and understand what other people were thinking and feeling so that I could act accordingly, I was awkward for a long while... now again this is just conjecture but I was thinking about it... if you had to WORK to try to read people's moods and feelings and if you got really good at it.... IT would make perfect sense that you would able to take an inanimate object and inject thoughts and feelings into it... like become an animator... since you learned all the little things people do and the way they move and the way they look at things and what that means.... then it would give you an advantage when trying to re-create it eh? So your perceived "weaknesses" might even be STRENGTHS when applied to the right thing....

The "passions"... when they flow through you are like electricity or FIRE... if you don't have a way to get all alchemical and trans-mutate them and allow them to pass through you... then your mind will be burned to a crisp and you will probably be...well.... NUTS... lots of people take med's to numb or block these waves of energy as they are a little scary... I mean there is real mental illness out there that has nothing to do with the passions I know...its kind of always been known that those who have a great affinity for the arts also have a lot of potential to go NUTS

Its like your a lighting rod without a ground... YOU GONNA GET FRIED.... So what is your ground? When the fire and electricity of passion strikes you what will you do? Go nuts? Puff some Dro? OR CREATE SOMETHING? I say create something... its the healthiest form of therapy I've found... so then you create something with your therapy... a film... a song... THEN you can look at it... reflect on it...have it reflect on you... you understand the nature... the meaning... the message behind that bit of PASSION and you become better because of it... ALSO you can share it with other people... which can bring you joy sometimes..maybe even make you friends?... AND maybe somewhere down the road you can make a living off of it?! Sounds pretty great eh?

The thing is that you've got to sit with your thoughts and feelings... you've got to listen to your inner voice whether its whispering or SCREAMING... you've got to be attentive to YOU... your HIGHER self and your LOWER self... most of the thoughts and feelings are TERRIFYING to most people and they can feel that way sometimes but the more you acknowledge them the less terrifying they seem...unless eventually your totally comfortable when them all... even the ones that call you a worthless loser... I get that inner voice a lot...but I tell it..."eh whatever I'm making this DOPE film so fawk you!"

So that's been my secret to remaining sane, happy and productive... Since my only escape or relief from mental/emotional turmoil is to create something... all through my life the worse I felt the more I would create... and the more I created the better I felt... so it kind of balances things out...


  1. When you are sick you can not work when you take pills you are no longer able to create something new because they activate the consciousness and create of you an animal with an animal life
    until the amines will be destroyed
    when noradrenaline activated in huge% you are able just only 0_0
    I drink alcohol to break definitively amines
    but then it gets worse

    there's something that you can't control

  2. if you can deal with that yourself it's great you know

  3. @Nikki

    I used to drink alcohol to try to help deal with it but it ended it making it worse so now art+exercise everyday seems to work well... but I still feel a little crazy now and then ^ ^

    It's never easy but if you are given the gift of creation I believe you must do your best and become your best to realize it...and if you do create you will be rewarded..thats what I believe at least ^ ^

  4. i def know what you're talking about. not sure if i've ever shared this but i originally got into art in the first place because of this girl allison i had become friends with. she was a lot "cooler" than me in high school (i had moved to bel air and had no friends) and took me under her wing cuz she could tell i was different. long story short her and i had this like secret friendship and she'd prefer hanging out with me over her boyfriend. we'd take long drives, get taco bell, and she'd write or show her writings to me.

    she had all of these mental illnesses i never knew about (she was molested when she was younger by her step-dad) and she ended up killing herself. it was the perceived worst day of my life. that's when i started creating music in dedication to her. i had always been a musician but never truly expressed myself. i just played drums for jazz bands and did all county/all state dealies cuz i was much better than other drums at my age in MD.

    i was depressed on and off for like 2 years after her death. i was on anti-depressants (paxil) and i started this band "In Her Name" and i did a small tour spreading the music after creating for 6 months. it ended up being more successful than i expected but i wasn't ready for the attention just yet (and i was always so nervous at gigs). it got the best of me and i developed more anxiety. there are pics from my lil mini tour in that vid i posted on my youtube awhile ago "Hold On Tight" and the very first song i ever wrote dedicated to her life/death.

    i retired the band at this big gig i did in PA, and it upset a lot of ppl but i knew inside i had to bury the hatchet. it was eating me alive. once i got some space from it i ended up getting some relief from my problems by dealing with them directly and learning to move on, to enjoy life, to have fun, do what i love, and let go..

    that's when hot rolla started. he was my outlet to keep writing music. i kinda allowed her spirit to merge with mine and move on.

    i totally agree with you with the therapeutic qualities of art in general. it def keeps me sane. i always say that. i don't care where i live, as long as i have a studio to work in and a tv to play video games on lol

    thx for this post mdot. very thought-provoking. :)

  5. @ M. I'm studying at the Academy ,yeah, here I could finish my speech.
    it's liek someone died
    I can not do anything if I want diploma, if I don't want diploma there's an alternative future
    dark future
    I mean dark where there is no light
    there is no light at the end of the tunnel xD
    there is no magical taxi that will take you to the strawberry rainbow-lemon field
    I tried to push *I'd like to avoid the word creativity* better to say *this thing* to the Academy but there is a censorship on the arts

    and yeah I should try to keep running yeah I lack this

    you know writting this and re-read
    I felt like *they* taught me to think this way 0_0
    they just want me to think this way 0_0

  6. Myself i`ve had a few mental diagnosis
    Manic Depressive

    whatever those words mean
    i don`t really care

    from what i`ve found through creating stuff even if your not sharing it does make you feel a lot better
    I do go mad crazy insane if i don`t create stuff
    That`s why i picked up Minecraft
    It's like building sand castles
    you build up something awesome
    but you know it's not going to last forever due to the jerks that destroy everything
    while allowing you to also share it with people

    There are lots of different ways you can create...
    it's not just art! if anyone has read Linchpin they know what I'm saying
    It's a shame that so many people with the gift of creation go nuts
    And some decide to leave the world behind
    It's sad

  7. who is Ambidextrous people?
    do you see the girl spinning left or right?
    bending your head left or right
    and now? in the opposite direction?
    Aspergers are drawing maps

    the most marvelous with that girl
    ^ ^

    and please don't take medicine if you don't need that, they divide your brain on 10 - 10

  8. @David,

    that´s a horrible experience, Im glad you were ale to bury the hatchet, even if i don´t know you personally...i see how losing a friend like that could wreck your life, but like it did with mdot in regards ti art, your music got you through it...even if at one moment it seemed like it was destroying you, you were healthy enough to realize you had to move other words, maybe the need to break up the band meant you were cured! So you wouldn´t od on the medicine...So cheers to you and the best!

  9. When you have too long listening to higher self you lower self says ok now you will listen to me

  10. In a strange sort of way, art is really a necessary outlet for extreme introspection. When we explore ourselves -- our tendencies,
    imaginations, even perspectives and personalities -- we eventually reach a state that requires expression. It reinforces our
    individual sense of purpose. I know personally when I experience another's intimate work of art, I feel as though I am temporarily
    adopting all of those mental quirks of the artist. This is the aim of art in every form, to share a little piece of your world
    for others to explore.

    Also, that act of expression is like a time-capsule. Listening to a piece of music I made from my past instantly teleports me back to those days. I experience the sensation of the sound when it was created. So, in a way, art is a reminder of who we used to be
    and where we are going. Mental Illness (and there are many forms) is not a requirement of the artist. But it may be a factor if one is unable to differentiate a created world from reality,or obsesses to the extreme over the creative process in a way that is unusual
    and detrimental.

  11. While not enough can be said about SSRIs and talk therapy, I think it's also essential to channel your energy (or lack thereof) into something you're passionate about. While it can be difficult for people who suffer from mental illness, and impossibly for those who suffer from serious mental illness, art therapy can be extremely useful when they're able to participate in such a program. Of course, those who are naturally creative (or wish to be so) can express themselves in any way they desire without direction.

    Anyway, this was an interesting post. As a psych grad student, I had to comment. :) Good for you for putting your candid thoughts out there.

  12. I just remembered something relevant to this post
    Dan Bull - My Catharsis

    He creates music to deal with life too
    and his music good too

  13. @Reece Churilla

    Yeh I found if your sincere with your art its like creating a thousand different fun house mirrors for you to see the different part of yourself to accept or smash ^ ^


    Sank you for your informed response ^ ^ Yeh I think to stave off the everyday to mildly traumatizing stuff art therapy works great... its a sort of psycho-spiritual catharsis for me... freestyling for 45 minutes makes me word salad free! ^ ^ PSYCHO NOTE: A few years ago I was interviewed by a woman who happened to be a well known Psychologist specializing in Jungian analysis..but the interview was unrelated to that it was for some media company...I sent her a copy of my last film after the interview... and from JUST viewing it she knew about all this personal stuff about me it was like... right 0_0

    I was already interested in the work of Wilhelm Reich but I think my new film is majorly influenced by Jungian ideas... and WHOA he was a great artist eh! His red book is amazing!


    Yeh d00d it keeps us sane and its so much fun! ^ ^


    Yeh for awhile I was all "I'm so higher self" then my lower self was like GET OVER HERE and then I kept waking up in my own vomit feeling horrible after doing stupid things...So its best to acknowledge them both I've found lest they hit you over the head 0_o

  14. @ yes M. I understand you here very good aahs forgot to say that one person that is fire that one should drink water

  15. :O - i'm stoked that you mentioned 'the red book' it's amazing.

    'Static' (the film i'm working on)is my 'dark night of the soul/chapel perilous' experience. It's something that's very hard to put into words & my attitiude to it is humble - like i'm a vessel and i'm channeling it - it owns me, I don't own it ;)

    Have you read any Stanislav Grof? you'd dig him. He's right in there with Jung & Reich.



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