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STIGMA  1
STIGMA Through the eyes  of a bipolar artist    2017 David A. Feingold  2
g  Rising above our challenges.   Written Word Design Artwork David A. Feingold, Ed.D Editorial Design  Production  Becca ...
     Acknowledgments  I      wish to acknowledge all those that helped prepare me for      writing this book  To the Insti...
Preface  V             ery early on in my dissertation research, I was thinking          how it would be extremely valuabl...
Contents         4     Acknowledgments     5     Preface     7     Chapter 1         Introduction                         ...
Chapter 1              Introduction                                   Self Discovery                              Making P...
A shadowy story I once had a shadowy story within me, a vague narrative lying dormant beneath the trap door of my consciou...
Who am I   I used my personal and impassioned artwork to bring me closer to finding out about my sense of self, my emotion...
But how   If this is true, how do I compensate for the dead space between my  desire to accurately understand my story   a...
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My pictures My pictures serve not to illustrate, but to elucidate,  not to represent, but to present, not to suggest, but ...
My dark and moody art When engaged in my dissertation, something stood out in my mind about my dark and moody bipolar artw...
Aristotle so wisely said         The aim of art is to represent not the       outward appearance of things, but...  ...the...
Inner significance of my art What is the inner significance of my art   That over and above our personal struggles with ou...
impairments. My artwork depicts our loyal Impaired Self in its attempt to successfully protect and defend our self on it s...
Chapter 2              Bipolar         Beginnings                                                Bad Karma                ...
Feeling run down A hit-and-run accident at sixteen years of age, led to my head slamming against the street, which led to ...
Hitting Rock Bottom One of the worst things about having bipolar disorder is hitting rock bottom in a major depressed stat...
Mania Ah, mania, sweet mania.  It s a  natural  high that can t be measured by ordinary means.  Why not   Because it is th...
What the Experts Have to Say So now that you have a smattering of what it is like to experience both ends of bipolar disor...
Felt Need to Share In 2008, while still a doctoral student, active in self-discovery, I had this impulse to share my image...
Dr. Paul Grobstein 1946- 2011      I came upon a website... Serendip Serendip is a neurobiological website, founded by the...
. I took a chance My quest for recognition and validation continued when I sent in some samples of my artwork along with t...
Discovery of the Impaired Self Please follow along with my    serendipitous    discovery of the Impaired Self, via student...
 If you knew me personally, you probably wouldn   t see me as impaired as I sometimes feel.  I don   t appear crazy, but s...
   At their worst, neurological and mental disorders can make you feel like you   ve been stripped of your authentic self ...
 My life is a room in which I dwell.  It   s been beaten down, battered and tattered.  I do leave the premises and enjoy t...
   My    inner eye    sees the world differently than does my outer eye.  It   s a different kind of observation and visio...
   Not all disabilities are obvious.  Which is more problematic  when your disabilities are hidden from those around you o...
Patterns emerged To my amazement, I saw patterns of negative and positive concepts emerging in my narratives and in the st...
Exposed to the world In the midst of negotiating meanings and significance from what immediately appeared to be data--as i...
Lighting the way A quote by Margaret Fuller, the 19th century journalist and advocate for women   s rights and equal educa...
Birth of the Impaired Self Not only was I impressed with the students    insights, but their interpretations helped    giv...
Chapter 3     Impairing of              the Self                         The Self             The Impairment              ...
Welcome to my self When I was a kid, I was a Little League catcher.  I didn   t like it very much, however.  I had the imp...
Clear window The ever present self is hidden from attention. The Impaired Self is what makes the self apparent.  Imagine a...
Cracked window Now picture giant cracks in the window. The Impaired Self is now like that cracked window.  Not only do you...
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Shattered The bigger and more pervasive the cracks in the window, the more the Impaired Self blots out what life has to of...
Stigma, etc If anything cracked my window to the world, it was three characteristics associated with mental illness, inclu...
Stigmata It is noteworthy that the word stigma comes from the term, stigmata, which are the marks of martyrdom on Jesus   ...
Living mentally ill Regarding stigma, Lazowski, et al.  2012  report that,  many people want to distance themselves from s...
Cast into the sea They have a smaller income, a lack of a sense of self, and fewer social supports  Markowitz, 1998 .  To ...
Self stigma Not only must someone who is mentally ill exist within the boundaries of stigma created by society, the mental...
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Half baked, half alive I couldn   t hear what the doctor was saying after he gave me my diagnosis, since I was surrounded ...
Dr. Greendale   A true mentor I was fortunate to have connected with Dr. Greendale.  Aside from being extremely insightful...
Dr. Robert Greendale         1942-2014 51
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Stigma is Destructive How does this dissolution of spirit and positive thinking happen   Have you ever noticed that when y...
Masking the truth I   ve never been a good liar.  I   m too naive to see the benefit of twisting the truth, too transparen...
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Deceptive   t o   o n e s e l f It is easy to understand how even this aspect of bipolar disorder can contribute to an imp...
Open wounds   I have found that despite the personal growth and adaptations I have made since first displaying the feature...
External scars Just as visible, external scars reflect the presence of a physical injury or illness, such as in the illust...
Internal scars So too are my art images    external scars    that reflect  the inner psycho-emotional injury or    illness...
Silent desperation All too familiar is the feeling of isolation and abandonment in our darkest moments of depression.  As ...
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Society drives people with mental illness crazy So the Impaired Self is an aspect of our self that takes the emotional hit...
...destructive self-stigma leading to anger, self-loathing,  rejection, humiliation, shame, negative self-image, fear,  co...
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What a heavy burden it has been to carry this psychological baggage of societal and self condemnation, which contribute to...
Chapter 4                   Devastation of the                  Impaired Self                             Despair         ...
The pain emanating from within the Impaired Self can be more than excruciating.  It was that pain that took the life of my...
She went to sleep forever in the back seat of her car with  the motor running, inside their closed garage      68
leaving behind a grieving husband,   69
     two devastated teenaged daughters   70
and a goodbye letter.   71
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Bipolar pain is relentless.   It   s like a baby bunny, clamped in the muscle bound jaws of a Rottweiler, being swung from...
My thoughts lead me to a place I visited 47 years ago.  It was a hiding place, to be exact, in the attic of our family   s...
The only way up was to use our massive, 10 ft wooden ladder, that to me, looked like a giant Redwood with steps.   75
It   s a ladder that had years of paint splatters and spills marked on its uprights and steps like so many rings in a tree...
favorite cartoon family the Jetsons, more than it did the modest post WWII home in which I was raised.    Besides its size...
It was so small that he had to use a makeshift magnifying glass, which was the lens off an old slide projector.  My father...
Although this was hell for me, I always had the feeling digging out slivers from my hand were what my dad considered spend...
So, the only way to truly hide up in the garage attic was to pull the ladder up with me.  You know, to cover my tracks.   ...
So what was I doing there and what does it have to do with the Impaired Self       Please follow along with this brief sid...
You can try to hide the truth, to keep the world from officially knowing you have bipolar disorder.  You can maintain a vo...
You can t run and escape from it permanently.  It s constantly following you, creeping up on you from behind until it leap...
This reminds me of a story my daughter told me recently about a neighbor that used to live across the street from us.  She...
The story goes that his wife went off her bipolar medication and got heavily into drugs.  She spun out of control and cras...
So take this pain and picture it as part of my Impaired Self as a young boy, hiding in the garage attic.  It all started w...
a form to fill out or an information packet.  So I did what any self-respecting kid would do    I opened it.   My blood dr...
I panicked   My heart was pumping as if in the final yards of a 26-mile marathon. I anticipated being yelled at by my fath...
I was the subject of much chastisement and ridicule for my academic difficulties from a man who was a whiz with math and n...
So I escaped...to nowhere. The way to nowhere was straight up to the garage attic   -a place where no one would want to in...
...so it was the perfect place for me to just ...go away.   It was how my Impaired Self saw myself.  I was made up of skin...
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...where no self-respecting person would want to be, as opposed to inside a  house that was shared by people who held down...
I left a note that I was going to run away and that I would return someday.  I even heard people looking for me in the gar...
I felt like a Greek god amongst the clouds while the lowly humans were on the ground seeking answers to complicated life q...
I finally had to go to the bathroom and had just enough time and self-respect  left in me to prevent me from going in my p...
I gazed into the bathroom mirror.  I was completely covered in dirt and grime, ready to blend in with any dumpster or garb...
For the life of me, I can   t remember what happened once he and I made eye contact.  To tell you the truth, I   m not dig...
and other impairments and disabilities, such as my own math learning disability.  To this day, I occasionally need to have...
Just as my bipolar neighbor hid behind drugs and my friend hid behind suicide, I hid in a garage attic.   100
Do you or someone you know hide from the pain of an...   Impaired Self    101
Gambling  102
Smoking  Recreational Drugs  Alcohol Dependency  103
It makes you wonder where many of our hurting children hide from the pain of their Impaired Selves.   Self-Victimization I...
Eating Disorder  Cutting  Bullying  105
External causation These feelings and behaviors are generally seen as the problems of troubled children and weak adults.  ...
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Chapter 5       Coming Out                   My Other Side                        Uncovered                           Expo...
My stigma, exposed Previously, I thought the curse of my diagnosis was its inappropriate, out of character behaviors, nega...
The air was thick There was a rather intense discussion going on among the ten or so students sitting around a rectangle o...
Pressure building Actually, pressure was building up in me as well.  I was perturbed at the professor for trying to lasso ...
Bull in a china shop   I had about as much as I could take, so I gathered up my belongings, blurted out something about no...
Perfect storm What drove me to react in that fashion   I believe it was the stress of work, taking two night classes a ter...
Messed up brain chemistry To say I was impetuous was an understatement.  I was impulsive to the nth degree, acting on shee...
What to do  What to do   Drop out   Pretend like nothing happened   Tell them it was my evil twin   No, I would do what an...
Unprepared  Huh   I beg your pardon,  I thought to myself. Instead I asked in a matter of fact way how they knew.  Their a...
Scarlet B The cat was out of the bag, the genie was out of the bottle, Pandora   s box was opened and no matter how franti...
Beyond the walls Something far more strange happened, however.  As if possessed, a voice emanated from a seeming alter ide...
Processing Once faced with the reality of exposing my bipolar behavior in class, I struggled to make sense of the experien...
Chapter 6        Acceptance                 is Key              Integrated Self                        Resist Resistance  ...
On the way to the integrated self Now that I have presented the concept of the Impaired Self along with its attendant nega...
Interventions Psychoeducational interventions have been one of the more powerful resources for my continued growth and emo...
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Social support Another intervention I have found to be extremely valuable was attending a several week time-limited psycho...
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Acceptance With a literal understanding of the Impaired Selforiginating from my artwork and fashioned through public disco...
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Chapter 7 Sparkling Clear            Window                A Universal Concept                      Favorable Feedback   U...
I had a vision... Something far more strange happened, however.  It was at that point I could look beyond past doubts, fai...
Pretty ugly  To my surprise, I was gathering some rather favorable feedback from fellow students, family and friends on my...
A universal Impaired Self  As if peering through a translucent gauze of thought, I noticed that although my images have a ...
Compassion and empathy Moreover, could the Impaired Self be a universal concept that connects all of us in ways that can y...
 Inside Out  a visual narrative   of the bipolar impaired self  My Impaired Self, exposed Answers to these questions began...
Inside Out The Inside Out video was an inadvertent bellwether in its ability to connect my Impaired Self and related art i...
Music plays a role After completing about 80 or so images  I currently have over 400  relating to my overall experience wi...
Depression Quite simply, the video is divided into four parts.  The first part represents depression by showing my images ...
Mania The second part takes the previous images and places them with a faster, more visceral music track along with much f...
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Byepolar statistics The third part consists of some sobering quotes and demographic statistics relating to bipolar disorde...
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The music then fades out to silence as the screen fades to black.  141
Palpable silence When I finished putting my video together, I had shown it to some family and friends who all felt it was ...
 An epiphany In another group of students, one student said watching the video changed her life.  She explained that she c...
Someone else coming out A woman in another group, upon seeing the video came out of the closet on her own, stating in publ...
Understanding pain There were additional instances of people who were affected, most notably a mother, who in tears stated...
Chapter 8                In Conclusion                  Why Poetry                 In Summation                     You di...
Now you know how society   drives people with mental                     illness crazy.  147
   Dream large and make your   dreams defy the laws of gravity.   Soar high and show your inner strength        Lee Pryke ...
and consideration to the information and personal stories which I have so earnestly presented.  This was provided so that ...
I did not know about the car  I did not know about the car I was knocked unconscious--out cold I woke up in the hospital I...
I always had trouble in school  I always had trouble in school It was difficult to keep up I tried real hard to compensate...
Welcome to being bipolar   Welcome to being bipolar Mania hit me like lightning Like a live lobster in a pot I didn   t kn...
Erratic behavior ruled me    Erratic behavior ruled me  I was no longer in control I wondered what happened to me An alien...
I was a good husband and dad I was a good husband and dad And then bipolar disorder I became very short tempered I  distan...
It happened in a class of mine It happened in a class of mine We were talking racial issues The prof tried to end our grou...
I was left with such raw feelings   I was left with such raw feelings I   ve never felt like that before Humiliation, conf...
I sensed my artwork was profound  I sensed my artwork was profound It showed what was inside of me Like scars from stigma,...
Art depicts all my true feelings  Art depicts all my true feelings Art reveals society   s gaze  Art reflects my spoiled i...
You can make my burden lighter    You can make my burden lighter Know you contribute to my mood Take a moment to understan...
The end is the beginning Congratulations     You have reached the end of this book, which also happens to be the beginning...
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                                                           References Beals, K., Peplau, L.,   Gable, S.  2009 . Stigma ma...
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Bio  D            avid Feingold was born in Chicago,           Illinois in 1951.  Feingold works in the          medium of...
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 Stigma kills the spirit.      Telling our story             nourishes it.  - David Feingold  166
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From the book...   As if peering through a translucent gauze of thought, I noticed    that although my art images have a s...