I would love to see this documentary about three Santa Barbara artists, all dealing with schizophrenia, and their takes on identity.
You can read an interview with J.T. Turner, the filmmaker and executive director of Phoenix of Santa Barbara at the above link.Here's a quote from Turner that particularly resonates with me, "Trinaty, in the movie, one of the things she says is, 'If I paint too much I go crazy. If I don’t paint at all I go crazy. I’ve got to find some kind of place in the middle there.'
"None of them says art cures them. None of them says art is the ultimate remedy. It’s not a magic wand. They are all on medication. The medication gets rid of maybe 80 percent of the psychiatric symptoms, and then you’ve got the remaining 20 percent that are still pretty horrific. Each of them complains about hearing voices that are really critical, and they have paranoid thoughts and suicidal thoughts and are really depressed. The art is working to diminish those symptoms.
"I think one of the primary findings of the movie is that art functions like meditation. They get into the zone, they do the art, and as they are doing it there is simply no space for the voices. … There are various things that you can do to kind of get into the zone, where you are no longer worrying about your everyday issues — for the normal person — but for the psychiatric issues, it’s interesting that as they paint and do sculpture, those symptoms are sort of driven out. It’s almost like deep space for the psychiatric symptoms, because what’s there is this intense focus on the art. They are channeling some muse, and there’s no room for depression, no room for paranoia in that place. It’s really impressive."
And so it goes...