By- Saesha Sharda, 9th Grade
“Life doesn’t make any sense without interdependence. We need each other, and the sooner we learn that the better for us all.” — Erik Erikson
In the present artwork, I have chosen to write focuses on the struggles of having bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by extreme swings of high and low moods. The high mood is known as the manic phase, and the low mood is known as the depressive phase(“Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment.”).
In my painting, I have shown two human-resembling figures balancing on each others’ backs, connected by the brain and heart. One figure is blue and has a heart painted on its chest. This figure represents the depressive phase, as blues and purples usually represent sad, somber moods. The other figure, which is yellow and has a brain painted in its head, represents the manic phase, as we normally pair the color yellow with high energy. The reason the heart and brain are shown is to represent their connection: Rational thinking (the brain) and Emotions (the heart). The figures are part of the same person, symbolizing how the two phases occur to the same person, affecting the same person, making it especially hard to get through daily life.
The reason I wanted to create this painting was that I am passionate about raising awareness about not only bipolar disorder, but mental health issues in general. It is so important that we spread the word about mental illnesses and coping with them so that we can break the stigma that surrounds them. Stigma is a word to describe the social disapproval or discrimination against a person based on their characteristics, physical or mental. It is the fear of the stigma that keeps people suffering from mental health issues from coming forward about their struggles. In the Indian community especially, stigma against mental health issues is very apparent. The more we talk about it, the closer we are to helping someone cope with their mental illness and even saving lives. Submitting my painting to Vosap’s International Competition about disabilities was the perfect opportunity to share my art, and spread awareness about mental health issues.
“Bipolar Disorder: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/bipolar-disorder/mental-health-bipolar-disorder#:~:text=Bipolar%20disorder%2C%20also%20known%20as,sad%2C%20hopeless%2C%20and%20sluggish.