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ARTSurvival Techniques 'ART'

It's very difficult to live with a Mental illness and in particular with Schizophrenia, which is a very debilitating illness, fragmenting the thought process, filling the mind with uncertainty, indecisions and very strange, uninviting voices, which can be very threatening and abusive, affecting the emotions and distorting the perception, leaving the suffer feeling as if they've been possessed or taken over by supernatural forces.

Paranoid Schizophrenia is something I've suffered from for numerous years now and over the years, while I've learnt to live with the condition, I've never been able to quite accept having my Mind taken over by the illness or having my emotions dictated to by the voices. Of course one of the first things I discovered was that taking my medication was a good survival technique, however this can only happened once the condition has been acknowledged and accepted and sometimes this only happens after years of denial, as in my case, but once I realised that all the weird stuff happening to my mind and emotions was due to Schizophrenia, I began to use Survival techniques to help me regain some control over my life.

One of these survival techniques is Art, this is a marvellous medium for the creativity within all of us, it can be used to 'combat the negativity and destructiveness' of Schizophrenia, Art, if applied properly, is one of the most powerful survival techniques there is next to medication and if you use Art, Music and Meditation together, you can regain some control.

The method of using Art as a survival technique is simple, yet effective, all you have to do is sit down with a pencil and paper and draw or paint a picture will do to start with, you don't have to be artistic either, the reason you draw or paint, is to train your mind 'To Focus' on what you want it focused on and not what your illness dictates, this is the method of using Art to wrestle control from Schizophrenia and if you place headphones on and listen to music while you draw or paint, this help to strengthen your minds focusing ability and eventually you'll be able to disregard the distraction of the music and focus only on making the Art, this will help you to cope easier with the symptoms of Schizophrenia.

This is a survival Technique I've applied myself for years… and it helps me when I make Art, it works for me, but it needs to be practiced daily, like a sort of 'mental exercise', to train your Mind to do what you want, to think what you want to think and to focus on what you want it to focus on, this is the point of this techniques. Art and Music can help you to do this. It won't cure any mental illness, but in my experience it definitely does help.

By
Phil Lancaster

Captions

“uninviting voices, which can be very threatening and abusive, affecting the emotions and distorting the perception”

“Art, if applied properly, is one of the most powerful survival techniques there is next to medication”


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