Comments by Emily Hochman

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  • it took me a while to process this comment because it’s such a conundrum. In one of the facilities I was in, there were some long-term/permanent inpatients. I didn’t get to know them very well, but they seemed like they had accepted their diagnoses and considered the place their home and the staff their friends, but they were also clearly very unwell. Overweight, lethargic, they could not think or communicate clearly. This was a very prestigious institution and was supposed to be the highest standard of care.
    If there is truly informed consent and there ARE real alternatives, I cannot imagine anyone signing up for lifelong toxins. And people would be much likelier to seek help if they weren’t terrified of the consequences.

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  • oh my god, this is funny. my dad told me someone had asked about the things coming out of my head. I thought you were talking about my art in general and dark metaphorically. I KNOW!!! I meant to go back into the painting and make them clearer! I should have at least done it in photoshop before publishing it. DUDE those are feathers!!! Somebody else thought one was a knife when I posted the painting years ago and I thought hm I should probably make it clearer. Feathers. I was picking feathers up and putting them in my hair. I’ve always had an affinity for native americans since I was a child, but a white girl in germany with feathers in her hair looks crazy.

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  • aw thanks sam, happy you enjoyed the art.
    i know it sounds cliche but anyone can draw and paint. actually people who aren’t trained at drawing can maybe have an advantage if they forget the fact that they can’t draw and enjoy it. Pottery is also incredibly therapeutic and fun, and you can draw on the clay. but i don’t do art for money which is good because I very rarely sell anything anyway.

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  • It’s nice you express an interest in the spiritual experiences. If you want, you can take a look at my website. I’ve done a fair amount of art on it. But I think the nervous system and kundalini are 100% intertwined, and that when kundalini either goes akimbo or is suppressed you get various symptoms. My first mania was a kundalini awakening. It actually brought me to a voodoo temple in New Orleans (there is a portrait of the priestess on my site) and, well, it’s a very long story. I will write more about it. It’s involved a totally transforming relationship to my voices. I still have a hard time using the word spirit guides because of stigma and my atheist upbringing, but I do believe it.
    the slimy evil overlords will not win! They won’t! and it is because of smugness and arrogance and just stupidity. I see stuff every day that gives me real hope. i don’t think you missed your chance for anything.

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  • Hey Diaphanous Weeping,¬†
    from everything you’ve written I’m not really sure where you stand on your diagnosis or the validity of your experiences. You say you aren’t on meds yet you do identify as schizophrenic and you claim it as an illness. I’m not saying you don’t have a mental spectrum that can cause major distress and confusion, but also sounds like some real miraculous transcendence too, but I don’t necessarily think you have a mental illness, or, if that’s what we’re calling it, I don’t think it needs to be permanent.¬†¬†
    Maybe you didn’t have a traumatic childhood. But it also sounds like you are haunted by the trauma of others. This is not insignificant. I will point out that all the other traumatized people you mentioned who don’t end up psychotic, the girl¬†in Senegal, etc…they are not in Western countries with psychiatry empires. Extreme emotions and behaviors are handled differently in the families and communities in¬†other¬†cultures. But I am really no expert on that. I would like to learn more.
    There isn’t really an answer to why people process trauma differently and how it can turn into symptoms for one and not another. But even if people have happy childhoods, there is also just a lot of traumatic, toxic, twisted, violent content in our culture. And the KKK does exist, the mafia does exist, the Manson Family did exist, the CIA, Nazis etc etc, so to be scared and even obsessed with them is actually legitimate I think. People have different levels of sensitivity.¬† ¬†
    I feel like a diagnosis can help people because it takes the blame off.¬†Like, it’s not my fault I am in or was in this state or my life is in the condition it’s in because I have an illness. But it’s not their fault because it’s not! Because life is fucking hard and confusing and sometimes you need help. There shouldn’t be shame in that.¬†
    So…I don’t know, am I schizoaffective? Am I in danger of thinking I’m being monitored (which we all are now) or that the CIA is after me (they may very well have a file on me) or that the KKK is (that one is an evil I was obsessed with although I am not personally at risk).¬†Am I going to want to kill myself again? Maybe this is not the case for all suicides but I tried to kill myself because I hated myself. I like myself now and I think I’ll stay solid on that, I hope, because I put a¬†fuckload of work into turning myself into someone I like.¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†
    I said somewhere here, I learned a lot from my meds. Maybe they have a place in treatment. There is a psychiatrist, Joanna Moncrieff, who advocates for very limited psychiatry. She said they can be helpful to bring someone back to the planet (maybe not her words) but that is very different from long-term, permanent dependence. Some of the psychiatrists I’ve crossed paths with seemed like truly nice people who I’m sure got into the career because they wanted to help people. But a lot of them have other motivations, and some are downright nazis. Anyway, thanks for looking at my art and I’m glad you like it!¬†

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  • what a lovely comment, thank you.¬†I mean….$350…hm. Like, it acknowledges accountability but then doesn’t actually compensate you. Symbolic money is supposed to be for positive things. This is a multi-billion dollar issue. How you¬†can compensate all¬†these people and for how much damage has been done is unfathomable. Just akathisia¬†alone (the most torturous of all side effects)….I see more people talking about suicide and some who actually do it on my akathisia group than all my other mental health groups combined. Obviously the executives are aware of this. It’s unconscionable.
    And yes, praying is not allowed. Of course they would never say that, they would tell you that you can and maybe even should believe in God, but not that God is at work in the world in any kind of perceivable way. Definitely not miracles. Not angels. And dark nights of the soul are chemical imbalances.

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  • i don’t like talking to walls either! You never really know who’s going to be one or have one blocking their ears or their brain and that’s really what it feels like.
    the fact that you are talking about taking responsibility for whatever mistakes you may have made is so huge and loving and it’s not something my mother would ever own up to. you will be able to help your daughter. if you know mad in america you may already know about the withdrawal project. I found them very helpful in figuring out titration. I also found personally that getting to sleep was the biggest problem with Clozapine withdrawal and valerian (drops) worked wonders for me. best of luck.

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  • I know about the risk of psychosis in withdrawal. I’m making my reductions very very slowly. And I have informed everyone that if I do end up in an extreme state that I do not want meds.
    Artists certainly end up in the system in droves. I once had a psychiatrist find one of my paintings online. He printed it out and brought it to the hospital and asked me if I’d done it. I said yes and he was impressed but that’s as far as it went.
    The dark images came from the darkness. It was my independent art therapy and I was going through a lot when I made them.
    Thanks for the links and your support.

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  • thank you for your comment. yes, very true, maybe I wouldn’t have to eat them. I just think that if I end up slipping into a delusional world and hospitalized I would have to reconsider that maybe I have an illness. But even if I do there should be better ways of treating it. But I don’t think that’s going to happen anyway!
    I am searching for a community and also submitting my work elsewhere.

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  • thank you for writing. I definitely think people who agree with their diagnosis and meds treatment also need support, especially since I was one for so many years. I am trying not to be too preachy with the people I know who feel that way. I also did learn a lot from my time on meds. How to keep one foot in consensus reality and one wherever else I may end up. I think there are plant and diet medicines and other interpersonal interventions that can help people with this and I am happy to be seeing so much research into this.
    And omg, I feel like Paris Hilton insofar as I never needed to worry about a roof over my head and I could devote my time to making art to get through everything. People who don’t have that are at such a disadvantage. I would have definitely ended up homeless if it weren’t for parental support.
    Congratulations on your new home and your recovery!

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