Posts Tagged ‘digital art’

The Chemical Lobotomy

April 23, 2017

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When I was first hospitalized as a teenager, I was, or so I was told, very ill. I was experiencing delusions I would rather not discuss in any detail here. Suffice to say I was only ever a danger to myself, never to others. As a result of this, I was forced to spend six months in the local psychiatric hospital. I was heavily medicated with the most primitive antipsychotic known to man: Chlorpromazine (aka Largactil in the UK, Thorazine in the US and the Chemical Kosh/lobotomy in both countries).

Chlorpromazine was the first of a new type of medication known as ‘neuroleptics’. They were introduced in the 1950s and were the only class of medication capable of combatting the positive symptoms of schizophrenia such as delusions and hallucinations. They did not, as far as I am aware, do much for the negative symptoms.

I was reminded of this recently when I saw a documentary entitled ‘Inside Strangeways’ on Channel Five, a terrestrial tv station I rarely watch. In 1985 an infamous riot broke out in the prison. One of its triggering factors was the use of Chlorpromazine to subdue its more troublesome prisoners. They would be forcibly medicated; held down and injected. It is a horrific experience; something I have never really got over. Even though I now see that it was a tragic necessity, I still find it hard to dwell upon. The sense of violation never really goes away.

Throughout my first stay in the hospital, I was on such a high dose of Chlorpromazine that my vision was permanently clouded over. I needed Procyclidine (an anti-Parkinsonian drug) to combat the side effects of the drug I was already taking. Those were the days when the hospital staff would wake you up to give you a sleeping pill then wake you up periodically throughout the night by shining a torch into your bed space. But they were doing the best they could with minimal resources. I know that now but for a long time I resented it. Time does heal some things.

All of this happened in the early ‘90s and thankfully, over the years, much has changed. Atypical antipsychotics such as Quetiapine and Abilify have been introduced. Therapy is no longer contraindicated. People are prepared to actually talk to you nowadays. Medication is no longer the only avenue of treatment.

At the moment I am taking Quetiapine and Abilify. I am told I should be reconciled to the fact that I may have to take this combination of medications for the rest of my life. This does not sit well with me. I worry about the impact these drugs may be having on my physical health. Quetiapine has been known to indirectly lead to diabetes or liver damage. And. if you google it, you will find a list of side effects a mile long. The less serious side effects include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, constipation. The most serious side effects include high fever, confusion and permanent cognitive impairment (something I am terrified of.)

So I stand at a crossroads. I am tempted to simply stop taking the medication altogether so that I can be me again. But those around me say it is beneficial and I should continue taking it. I shall probably compromise and aim for the best possible results on the lowest dose of medication. This, I think, is the most sensible approach.

Volcano

April 15, 2017

volcano

Pale Morning

April 7, 2017

ontheparapet

She stands
On the parapet
Of the bridge
Staring down
At the sparkling blue
Of the water below

Her body slices
Through the stillness
Of the pale morning
At one with the air
Shimmering
And translucent

She descends,
Greeting the dawn
She is ethereal
She is a ghost
Who slips through the cracks
In your consciousness

She bids you farewell
She no longer needs you
She exists now
Only in dreams
And in fragments
Of memory

And in the stories
You whisper to your children
On long, dark winter nights

Twisted Sisters

April 5, 2017

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Sunset

April 4, 2017

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Evening and the sunset’s compress
Soothes our inflamed flesh
And I am stunned
By its sudden incandescent flare
The mud, the silt stretches for miles
Encompassing everything.
We watch the ocean rebound
Its sounds, its historic hiss
Slaughter all other sounds around
Injuring the air and to verify your existence
I grasp your hand. And above the elements
Bicker with one another and the sky
Is turning into a shade of sluttish red
Our cheeks are pinked by the wind.
And the watery colours
Bleed into one another. Diffusion –
A catalyst for confusion, for fear.
And the wind, once a gentle exhalation,
Huffs and puffs with all its might,
Grabbing hold of our hair, hauling us in.
And visions emerge from beneath the waves
Where a ship ran aground,
Where demented sailors drowned
It rises up. It bellows. A black cat shrieking,
Competing with our own blood pumping.
The gulls flee from it and fly, fly, fly into nothingness.

Borderland

March 29, 2017

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No feud is enough to keep me from you
I brave the barricades and the border guards
And you appear so near now. I journey
Through memories in dark and restless sleep
A bleak borderland, a stark, dry terrain
Where suicidal strangers meet.

We dwell within the ancient walls
Of a forgotten country, scorched and frozen,
By turns; haunted by a history of hatred
A decimated island on which matchstick
Children stand, tormented by the sun
And praying for death.

This is a vulnerable state, on the edge of hell
Sandwiched between two superpowers
Clinging to an impossible peace
And all around there are pillars of salt,
Crumbling statues of fleeing citizens
Who dared to look back.

The father says, ‘Son, take this gun’
And sends his progeny off to war
And he carves curses upon stone
Primitive and inglorious
Hit by one calamity after another
We are all crazy here.

Antidote to Winter

November 18, 2016

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Dreams

October 27, 2016

 

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Original

September 28, 2016

nagnahhh

na

Place Holder

September 21, 2016

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