Schizophrenia, A Hero’s Journey
Schizophrenia, A Hero’s Journey is my photographic study of one of the most courageous individuals I have ever known, a man who was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 13. A man who spent the next several years in and out of various psychiatric facilities as the medical, educational and social service communities struggled to assist the family in adapting to the path this boy, and eventually, man, would walk.
Hero’s Journey seeks to confound prevailing cultural interpretations of schizophrenia as a “split personality.” The expressions in the photographs are of a self-aware, intelligent and creative individual experiencing confusing, frightening and conflicting voices from within and societal ignorance, indifference and denigration from without. And yet, he is also someone who attempts to live each day giving expression to his creative energies, finding meaning in his life even though the rest of our culture believes him to be either incapable of these experiences, or worse, undeserving of them.
Hero’s Journey attempts to document that, like most of us, the beginning of his life gave no indication to how he (and we) would be tested. His journey continues. Hero’s Journey asks viewers whether our culture can achieve the wisdom to see our Hero’s courage and value and offer hope that he can be loved, protected and nurtured for his insight and bravery.