Just imagine: you can’t distinguish what is real and what is delusion anymore. People, who surround you, become shadows. Instead, you see eyes and insects, and hear voices and noises, that don’t exist. You can’t even understand, who you are and how you look. Sounds creepy, right? What if I told you it’s not a screenplay for a next Hollywood movie, but the world of a 19-year-old girl, Kate Fenner, who suffers from schizophrenia.

Kate Fenner. Artist With Schizophrenia

 

Between illusions and reality

Kate has always been in artist, but she realized it only when her mental disease appeared. It has happened when Kate was 17. “I’ve been ‘diagnosed’ with multiple labels over the years,” – she shares. “At the age of 17 I finally was diagnosed with schizophrenia after my parents realized my mental health was getting worse.”

It’s not easy to live in the world of hallucinations and illusions. They’re the reason for Kate’s “anxiety and a sense of malice.” Ravings became a daily occurrence. Additionally, Kate suffers from a constant stream of noise. “I can’t sit in silence, so I always have music playing,”– Kate explains. “Tactile hallucinations are sometimes accompanied by visual, like spiders and bugs.” However, she has found a way to turn the mental illness into a positive channel. Kate’s illusions became an art.

Kate Fenner. Hallucination Art

 

Turning hallucinations into art

To feel where hallucinations end and real life starts, Kate decided to depict her ghosts. In this way she hopes more people could see the benefit of art for people who suffers from mental illnesses.

Moreover, painting can be a therapeutic and bring relief. “I started drawing my hallucinations when I felt trapped and suffocated by them,” – Kate says. “It often feels like everything is fake, and the world around me is a big conspiracy. So drawing started to become comforting.”

Kate Fenner. Hallucination Art

 

Sharing art and pain

To bring this idea to more people, Kate shares her drawings on Instagram. Her page there became a library of Kate’s emotions and experiences. Every picture depicts the artist’s illusions. “In my hallucinations I hear voices, sound effects, random noises, and I often see bugs, faces, and disembodied eyes.”  So, they’re the main heroes of her Instagram.

Another reason for launching ghosts’ art page is that people start taking Kate only as schizophrenic, not like personality. “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.”

Kate Fenner. Artist With Schizophrenia

 

This conception has turned out successful. More than 47,000 subscribers serve as evidence. However, this popularity has a reverse side. Kate says it is particularly ‘daunting’, to share the drawings with such a large amount of people, who sometimes are “cruel” and can “pick her apart”.

This negative aspect doesn’t bother Kate. “If I can live through schizophrenia I can handle someone’s harsh opinion, – she shares. “Overall, people have been very kind to me and tell me I inspire them, which is my goal. I want people to pursue the things they love despite any challenges they face.”

Kate Fenner. Artist With Schizophrenia

 

Social awareness

Apart from relief, Kate’s Instagram page brings people awareness. Showing she can live with schizophrenia, the artist wants to proof that others with similar mental illness can live normally and not to feel lonely.

“I wasn’t too nervous to share anything, just because I didn’t feel like it was something I should have to hide,” – Kate shares. “Mental illness is common, in many forms. I’m being open about this in the hopes that someone will come across it and not feel alone in their pain and struggle, and they get a sense of hope.”

Kate Fenner. Hallucination Art

Kate Fenner. Hallucination Art

Kate Fenner. Hallucination Art

Kate Fenner. Hallucination Art

Kate Fenner. Hallucination Art

 

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