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Bēhance

  • Modern society is still very ignorant about mental illness, partly due to the stereotypes created by the movie industry and mass media.

    We have been led to believe that an individual with a mental illness has a weak character or is inevitably more violent or unpredictable than people without such problems. None of these beliefs have any basis in fact.

    Throughout history people with mental health problems have been treated differently, excluded and even brutalized. Nowadays many of them are able to live a “normal life” out of hospitals and institutions. Still they face stigma and discrimination across all aspects of life; including work, healthcare settings, even coming from friends and family.

    Despite the fact that almost every one of us knows someone who has mental problems, the issue is still a huge taboo.
    The stigmatization of mental illness prevents people from seeking treatment and is cause of suicide for many individuals. Others end up living their lives alone in the artificial world they create for themselves, setting them apart from society.

    Although mental illness is a part of every day life, we are still not willing to accept this as part of our lives.
     
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    Guido is suffering from schizophrenia. He lives at home while treated with antipsychotic drugs.
    This treatment, while far from ideal, has allowed him to live a “normal life”.
    He used to be a famous sculptor. Since he started taking these medicines he can´t do it anymore. The price he has to pay is high, but the only possible one in order to be tolerated by society.
    Even though he is one of the sweetest persons i have ever met, very often he is discriminated in bars by not being allowed to come in or ridiculed in the streets.
  • His hands are covered in writing; the dropping ideas of his endlessly busy mind. I´m god, it says.
  • Receiving my visit in his elegant Audrey Hepburn pose.
  • Sometimes ,while talking with me, Guido falls asleep for 10 minutes while still holding his cigarette.
  • Guido drinks huge quantities of coffee. This is his way to counteract the effects of his medicines. Otherwise he would be sedated 24 hours a day.
  • Sometimes i´m with an scared man suffering with severe schizophrenia, other times with a dreaming artist.
  • Guido and his cat "Madonna". His only company. 
  • Guido believes the longer your tongue is, the smarter you are.
  • Guido places his hand on a postcard that says “I am free”.
  • Guido dances for me. At his place you can find many female dresses he used to wear in the past.
  • He asked me if i wanted to marry him. The next day we met, he didn´t remember asking me.
  • Torn apart picture of young Guido (left) and his brother.
  • Guido saying goodbye for today.