As a young girl I was diagnosed with Major Depressive disorder. While going through this diagnosis I visited many doctors and psychologists, many of whom contradicted each other, themselves, and even outright denied me. Through this process I not only lost a large sense of who I was, but lost the connection I had with my parents. Starting at the age of 8 I even started to get told that I could have a personality disorder when it is widely recognized in the medical world that it is impossible to diagnose a personality disorder until at least early 20’s. To have these labels and definitions weighing on me during a significant time in finding out who I am, I felt that these became who I was. These definitions overtook my actual personality when in fact many of them may not have even been accurate. This painting is a self-reflection of my struggle through realizing these influences on me and how today I am struggling to separate my true self from these definitions.
This piece serves to represent the struggles one faces when labeled with a mental diagnosis. To confine an entire persona to the confines of a personality disorder definition can cause questioning of decisions that may conflict with this definition. It is impossible to label one person as a ‘type’ of personality and in doing so, it can affect one’s ego and persona irrevocably. Mental health diagnosis is meant to health, not serve as a catalyst to such anxieties. The block paintings all serve to represent moments or scenes in my life, leading up to the spire as my present. As the texts interweave with these moments they have affected and interlaced irrevocably with who I am. The cut outs represent not only the negative influences of medical persons in my life, but also there are small weird interlaced high up the spire indicating the helpful mechanisms I was introduced to that eventually became a part of my everyday life in a positive way. The evolution of the piece is mean to be in progress. The piece as a self-portrait will never truly be finished because I am not finished. The pane represents the viewer being able to catch a glimpse of me through a window but never being able to travel through as the canvas is sunken behind.