A History of Madness Creative Final Assignment
DST500 – A History of Madness
The identification of an individual by a mental health diagnosis leads to negative outcomes which are associated with the concept of a self-fulfilling prophecy and stereotyping. The labelling theory focuses on how self-identity and the behaviour of an individual are influenced by the terms used to describe or classify them. This art piece, called, “Self Reflection,” portrays the turmoil that a person who is diagnosed with a mental illness sees and experiences when looking at themselves in a mirror. One day, a person could feel absolutely “normal” and fit in with cultural norms and the next day, they could be diagnosed with a mental illness and feel ostracized by society. When a person is identified by a single term, they cannot help but act in ways in which they are expected to act. There is an expectation from society for the labelled person to act abnormal and deviate from socially acceptable behaviour. The mirror represents the person’s self image, which was once whole, has now shattered and the chaos that they are feeling is seeping through the cracks for the world to see. The different colours represent different emotions that the mentally ill person is feeling, such as confusion, depression, anger, anxiety or euphoria, or a combination of everything. “The mirror always tells the truth,” is a saying that is known to many people, and in this piece, it is appropriate to apply it to how a “mad” person feels when they look into a mirror. They can pretend like everything is okay, and hide their problems from their family and friends, but they cannot hide it from themselves. The person knows that mentally ill people have a stigma on them in which they too, who is now diagnosed will also be subject to the stigma. The “mad” person will try to find characteristics about themselves that match with the characteristics of the term used to label them and they will slowly become the...
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