Art and Poetry – Alien Woman by Charlotte Farhan

By Charlotte Farhan


Alien Woman by Charlotte Farhan

She was thought to be different from an early age,
no one understood her language or seclusion.
Being made to witness their madness on a rampage,
their sadness transparent – was she the intrusion?

When looking up at the stars she could see her home,
the planet she was created on – was so far from here.
Abandoned, dropped in a deep-sea of monochrome,
swimming to the ragged shore – a reluctant sightseer.

A heart larger than most – with beats like a bass drum,
She fights the worlds battles – a leader with forlorn hope.
Her voice soothes you – allowing you to overcome,
Eyes so open they see like the Hubble Telescope,

As an alien she lives amongst us in vibrant blues,
she disguises herself as she waits in purgatory.
Her hope is to free this earth of beliefs disabused,
Your life is fragile – never forget; memento mori.


If you have any questions on my work, if you wish for me to exhibit in your gallery or would like to purchase a piece , please contact me via the form below, thank you.

Art Spotlight – Bad Child Crazy Girl – By Charlotte Farhan

Bad Child - Crazy Girl By Charlotte Farhan
Bad Child Crazy Girl – By Charlotte Farhan

Acrylic paint, oil pastels, pen, nail varnish and charcoal.                                       Size: A4, Canvas Paper.

 

To find out more about this painting and the motivations behind it, please follow this link:

Being “bad child – crazy girl” in neurotypical education structures – the struggle for equal rights!

For information on prints, original artwork or any questions please fill out the contact form:

Why is Severe Mental Illness left untreated in the NHS Mental Health Services

Art By Charlotte Farhan
Art By Charlotte Farhan

The mental health system in the UK which is provided by the NHS is failing people like me everyday; so lets see why?

Here is what the NHS have to say about accessing mental health services in the UK:

Mental health, emotional wellbeing and resilience is all about how we cope with what life throws at us. It concerns the way we feel about ourselves, conduct relationships, handle stress or deal with loss.

Good mental health and resilience are fundamental to good physical health, relationships, education and work, as well as being key to achieving our potential.

This is just an opening statement on the NHS website and already there are many issues:

  • The first sentence implies that mental illness is only from environmental factors around us such as “what life throws at us” and completely negates to say that mental illness can also be a neurological condition which is visible to us on MRI scans. So for people like myself who have C-PTSD, BPD and suffer from periods of psychosis or someone who has schizophrenia, bipolar-disorder, dissociative disorders and many more are left already feeling like this does not include us.
I Am Still Bleeding - By Charlotte Farhan
I Am Still Bleeding – By Charlotte Farhan
  • It goes on to say, that in order to maintain a good life: mental health, emotional wellbeing and resilience are paramount. When someone like me sees this, the complete lack of effort to include severe mental illness appears as if the NHS caters to an exclusive group which myself and others are not welcome in. Some mental illness is not “fixable” in that there is no cure and the assumption and misinformation is irresponsible and suggests that those with mental illness can be healed with a one size fits all solution.

 

 

  • For us with severe mental illness the world is very different , we do not have the privilege of those who suffer from situational depression and anxiety solely. The world expects and allows us as people to feel depressed after death, or anxious after a car crash and what ever else “life throws at you”.  This was not always the way, society has come leaps and bounds in the last 30 years to accept depression and anxiety in a mainstream way. This help is now widely available to the general public and society is more and more open to those who suffer from depression and anxiety as most people have had it or know someone who has. With celebrity faces, depictions in modern film, TV and literature as well as many charities and campaigns continuously running to educate the world about depression and anxiety, the world is still silent about those like myself still viewed as “crazy” or “psychotic”. Due to complex sever mental illness which are still only referenced in horror films, crime dramas, documentaries about “the criminally insane” murderers, news reports where “someone with a personality disorder has killed someone” or referenced as the go to insults for people displaying “weird” behaviours.
Art By Charlotte Farhan
Art By Charlotte Farhan

The NHS go on to say:

Less common conditions, such as psychosis, can make you experience changes in thinking and perception severe enough to significantly alter your experience of reality. These conditions include schizophrenia and affective psychosis, such as bipolar disorder, and can have the same lifelong impact as any long-term physical condition.

 

 

The issue here is that even within the severe mental illnesses there are some which will be focused on above so many others. With an over emphasis on  Bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and a general reference to psychosis. There is no mention of the most common of these disorders; C-PTSD or PTSD, there is no mention of personality disorders, dissociative disorders or to the disorders which have psychosis as a symptom. It is as if the world is not prepared to let go of the label “crazy” and still needs some of us to be under this stigmatising label so that we can be scapegoated as the deranged creatures of nightmares so that fingers can be pointed and there is a face to the monster.

This next paragraph from the NHS is misleading:

Mental illness is treatable and, with appropriate support and treatment, people do recover. Many move on with their lives and are able to care for their family, contribute to the local community, and get back into employment or training.

Vulnerability - By Charlotte Farhan
Vulnerability – By Charlotte Farhan

The sweeping statement that “mental illness is treatable” is an insult to many, it should instead read ” some mental illness can be treatable and severe mental illness is manageable with continued support and treatment”. This goes back to the generalised view that depression and anxiety are the only illnesses affecting the masses and that people can only have mental illness which is subject to your own psychological resilience.

Also some with severe mental illness like myself have symptoms from our illnesses which are depression and anxiety, so you will be offered in the NHS to have these treated rather than the severe illness which caused the symptoms of depression and anxiety. for example, I have C-PTSD, BPD and psychotic depression and due to these severe illnesses I have other illnesses which are symptoms of these, such as: GAD, agoraphobia, OCD, Adult ADHD and BDD.

And then lastly the NHS tell you what is needed but only provide one option in reality:

But this may not always be a straightforward journey. Many people only need a short course of psychological therapy or six months of medication, while others will need much more support and intensive treatment, be it medication or extended therapy.

The issue with this paragraph is again how the less complex and severe your illness is the more you are taken care of. Most people will only need a short course of medication and some focused counselling like 6 weeks of CBT if they suffer from anxiety and depression if caused by general life’s ups and downs, they may then need this again and it will be available to them throughout their lives.

Neurosis and Psychosis - By Charlotte Farhan
Neurosis and Psychosis – By Charlotte Farhan

However when it brushes us “the complex cases” under the carpet with the statement “while others will need much more support and treatment” this makes me very angry. As they imply they “the NHS” will provide this for us, but in fact this is NOT the case as all. You will be offered drug treatment of archaic psychotropic drugs, you will be offered short term therapy (6 weeks) and then once you have had this treatment you can not re-apply for treatment until after 6 months. So if you are not “cured” after 6 weeks, tough luck! Which as you have read is impossible for complex and severe mental illnesses.

There is no after care, the emergency lines (crisis support) they allow you to have whilst in treatment are then closed to you, (not that they answered when you were allowed to call them). Finally the pièce de résistance is that you will be told (like I have been told 3 times over the last 21 years) with no uncertain terms that “there is nothing we (the NHS) can do for you now, sorry”.

Agoraphobia - By Charlotte Farhan
Agoraphobia – By Charlotte Farhan

The devastation that is felt by people like me, who are unable to be part of society due to our mental illnesses due the stigma attached to us, is so overwhelming that in most cases it leads to a relapse and more often than not self-injury, suicide attempts or death. When this last happened to me last year, I suffered a further breakdown and relapse, this meant I did not take care of myself for over 6 months resulting in more ill health. If I did not have a husband who takes care of me when ill, I would have died. So what about all of those alone? What about my husband who has to deal with this on his own?

Now I ask you, is the mental health system working effectively?

Source: http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/AboutNHSservices/mental-health-services-explained/Pages/accessing%20services.aspx#

Next time I shall be sharing my timeline of treatment within the NHS from age eleven to now. So follow my blog to keep up to date on my future posts.

 

My colleague from ART SAVES LIVES INTERNATIONAL and dear friend Jade Bryant is also exploring the NHS and its failings within the Mental Health System, please follow this link to read more and get involved by sharing your stories.

Attitudes Of The Mental Health System – By Jade Bryant 

 

Find more art from Jade; HERE

This is the beginning stages of a campaign which ASLI (our non -profit) will be running in the near future. We hope to elevate our voices and others and then we hope to take this to the government; to bring about change as well as running workshops and programs which will aim to engage better understanding within communities, so that people like myself and Jade and so many others can be included properly in society which will inturn help us with our mental health.

Thank you for your time.

Pain and Detachment - By Charlotte Farhan
Pain and Detachment – By Charlotte Farhan

If you have anything to say on this subject, or your own story please get in touch via this contact form:

 

Announcing the Winners! Competition to win original art by Charlotte Farhan

Are you a winner? Charlotte Farhan

I am very excited to announce the winners of my competition…

The winners were put into an app which picks at random called – Randomness powered by Random.org so that a winner was chosen fairly.

So here are the winners:

  1. Charlotte Cullen from the UK, has won – Amman CityscapeAmman Cityscape - By Charlotte Farhan
  2. Allaert Euser from the Netherlands, has won – MindfulnessMindfulness - By Charlotte Farhan

    3. L, Farhan from the Middle East, has won – Wake Up

    Wake Up - By Charlotte Farhan

    4. DjaaDjaa Fouad from Algeria, has won Memories

Memories - By Charlotte Farhan

5. Aliaa ali from Egypt has won, A Gift For You

A Gift For You - By Charlotte Farhan

All winners will be contacted via email to confirm and obtain mailing addresses.

Paintings will be sent via recorded delivery in January 2016 and may take up to a month to be delivered depending on the country.

Please sign up to this website and blog to receive updates on my art, writings, non-profit work and activism as well as more giveaways like this.

Thank you to all who entered I wish I could send you all a painting.

Charlotte Farhan
Charlotte Farhan

 

Your support means the world to me xxx

 

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and have a wonderful festive season from Charlotte Farhan Art xxx

 

A Chance to Win a FREE Original Painting by Charlotte Farhan

Art by Charlotte Farhan

To thank you all for the amazing support this year I am offering you all a chance to win an original painting by me!

These paintings are from some of my most popular collections and have been exhibited in galleries many times. Now you can own one for FREE if you take part in the special CHRISTMAS GIVEAWAY!

5 Winners
5 Paintings

For a chance to win one of these 5 paintings all you have to do is take a look at the paintings below, choose your favourite, fill in the contact form below and share this post with your friends via Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

The winners will be picked at random and will receive the painting they chose as their favourite when filling out the form and will be contacted via email  within 24hrs of the winners being announced on Monday the 21st of December 2015.

THE GIVEAWAY IS OPEN WORLDWIDE!

You can also enter the competition and find terms and conditions for this giveaway by following this link ——> http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f29248811/?

Dont forget to share this with your friends and family.

Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for the New Year!

Artist Charlotte Farhan
Artist Charlotte Farhan
Makeup and photography by Lisa Reeve

 

Art Spotlight – Vulnerability

Vulnerability – By Charlotte Farhan

Vulnerability - By Charlotte Farhan
Vulnerability – By Charlotte Farhan

This piece of art represents the cognitive vulnerability of abandonment in early childhood.

The figure is genderless and ageless, almost fetus like, with an adult sized body; however retaining a childlike energy conveyed by the rough scribbles and marks made around the figure.

The colours remain playful, yet remind me of a false sense of safety and the forced love which was present in my visual world as a child.

The coarse oranges, cold blues and gender repressing pinks all mixed in with the greyness of the 1980s.

Reminding me of my plastic toys which were my main source of comfort as well as the adult world I was fully submerged in where I was a plaything, a doll or an inconvenience.

The cold as stone faces became distorted shapes and the words which hurt my childlike naivety (which should not have been heard) felt like tiny knives piercing my thin emotional skin.

Vulnerability - By Charlotte Farhan
Vulnerability – By Charlotte Farhan

This piece of art was created on emotional impulse.

A way to express myself through this period of time where I am exploring my childhood in hope of aiding my recovery and management of my mental illnesses.

A way to raise awareness, to allow for a visual representation to be seen by others.

I know I am not alone in this experience.

I would like to invite you as a reader of this to share any kind of creativity you choose to express yourself through. Contact me or visit my nonprofit Art Saves Lives International and send us a submission and we will share your expressions with others, with the hope of us all using creative outlets to communicate difficult and important subjects.

ART CREATES CHANGE!

ART CAN HEAL!

If you are interested in this artwork for your collection, for an exhibition, charity event or would like to buy a print, please use the form below:

 

 

 

PTSD AWARENESS ART – Pain and Detachment – By Charlotte Farhan​

Pain and Detachment – By Charlotte Farhan​

Pain and Detachment - By Charlotte Farhan

The pain from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) infects the mind like poisonous thorns and then to alleviate the suffering the mind detaches into a dissociative state. Leaving reality and separating me from the real world.

The PTSD I suffer with is due to childhood abuse from a family member and is also due to being raped at 15 violently.

PTSD is often only associated with war veterans, but many other traumatic events can cause this. Rape, sexual violence and domestic violence victims are a very high percentage of sufferers.

ptsd-for-primary-care-providers-under-the-new-dsm-8-638

Some Facts on Rape

 “Globally, about one in three women will be beaten or raped during their lifetime. About 44 per cent of all UK women have experienced either physical or sexual violence since they were 15-years-old. Britain ranks among the worst countries in Europe when it comes to women being violently abused.”

“1 out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed rape; 2.8% attempted rape).

“The most recent UK government statistics estimated about 78,000 people in the UK have become rape or attempted rape victims, and about 9,000 are men. Research suggests that the notoriously low report rate is particularly true among male victims. About 1,250 incidents of male-victim rape were reported to the police in 2011-2012.”

“The year in a male’s life when he is most likely to be the victim of a sexual assault is age 4. A female’s year of greatest risk is age 14.”

“Approximately 4/5 of rapes were committed by someone known to the victim.”

For more info visit RAINN and Rape Crisis England and Wales

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If you have PTSD or suspect you have find out more here and how to get help.

Quote by Artist Charlotte Farhan

If you are interested in this artwork for your collection, for an exhibition, charity event or would like to buy a print, please use the form below:

 

I Ripped out my Heart – By Charlotte Farhan – Art and Poetry

I Ripped out my Heart – By Charlotte Farhan

 

I Ripped out my Heart - By Charlotte Farhan
I Ripped out my Heart – By Charlotte Farhan

I couldn’t feel anything today,

not one feeling was felt,

shadows of the world like ghosts,

haunted memories locked in,

set to continuously replay.

Desolation in my mind created an echoing sound,

my thoughts rattled in my head like pennies in a box,

my emotions running like deer on a hunting ground.

I slowly began to itch the itch,

the one burrowing into my thorax,

the one which seemed neverending like a bottomless ditch.

Ripping into my torso,

hacking at my ribs as if they were a rotten enclosure.

I started to pick away at my flesh,

trying to get to the prickling feeling deep inside,

pulling up my lungs as if they were a bloody mesh.

My chest felt tight and the constrictions of my rib cage felt like a prison,

All my thoughts turned to the release I would feel if I just reached inside,

my blood is beautifully glistening the purest crimson.

Soon I heard it,

the deep thumping of my heart,

burrowing deeper my hand suddenly felt it,

pulsating in my grip.

The feeling is like none experienced before,

the more I squeezed the better it felt,

as if I were the captor and it my prisoner of war.

Wanting to never lose this awareness of self,

never wanting to abandon my own heart,

like so many had done before,

debasing me and tearing me apart.

I started to slowly haul it out of my cavity,

the ripping was glorious,

the pain was euphoric,

lost in depravity.

Eventually I was left with my heart in my hand,

as it beat its last beat,

the emptiness returned and the emotions stopped,

holding my heart closer,

I began to deplete.

Just me and my heart,

together at last,

no longer spare parts.

Never letting it go,

never losing my grip,

seeing myself lying below,

the nothingness began again,

the waves of time smashed me into unconsciousness,

I became an abandoned ship.

Agoraphobia - By Charlotte Farhan
From the painting Agoraphobia – By Charlotte Farhan

If you are interested in these artworks for your collection, for an exhibition or would like to buy a print, please use the form below:

 

Art Spotlight – As long as I am breathing – By Charlotte Farhan

As long as I am breathing – By Charlotte Farhan

As long as I am breathing - by Charlotte Farhan
As long as I am breathing – by Charlotte Farhan

Pastel, paint and pen on canvas paper 8.27″ x 11.69″ inches

When you experience feelings of great sadness and emotional pain it is hard to continue, however everyday you breath you are surviving, making a brave choice to carry on regardless.

Breathing itself is a great healer, taking a deep breath, feeling the air in your lungs, this can bring you back into the present and remind you you are real and alive.

This is dedicated to all of us surviving trauma and mental illness.

“As long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning.”
― Criss Jami, Killosophy

Artist Charlotte Farhan
Artist Charlotte Farhan

If you are interested in this painting for your collection, for an exhibition or would like to buy a print, please use the form below:

Art Spotlight – Agoraphobia – by Charlotte Farhan

Agoraphobia – By Charlotte Farhan

 

Agoraphobia - By Charlotte Farhan
Agoraphobia – By Charlotte Farhan 24″ x 30″ x 1″

 

Living with agoraphobia is like being a caged animal who fears its capture and environment. My mind passes back and forth and my panic increases with everyday that passes. Daily events round the world confirm the need to be locked away, for my own safety and sometimes others. On occasion certain parts of my mind wish to escape the confinement the agoraphobia has created, parts of my other illnesses such as my borderline personality disorder and psychotic depression bash their metaphorical heads against the bars of my prison. This illness is the child of my post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), from trauma comes anxiety and this ultimately changed my entire behaviour and personality.

 

Agoraphobia - By Charlotte Farhan
Agoraphobia – By Charlotte Farhan 24″ x 30″ x 1″
Agoraphobia - By Charlotte Farhan
Agoraphobia – By Charlotte Farhan 24″ x 30″ x 1″
Agoraphobia - By Charlotte Farhan
Agoraphobia – By Charlotte Farhan 24″ x 30″ x 1″
Agoraphobia - By Charlotte Farhan
Agoraphobia – By Charlotte Farhan 24″ x 30″ x 1″

 

We have long observed that every neurosis has the result, and therefore probably the purpose, of forcing the patient out of real life, of alienating him from actuality.

(Sigmund Freud)

 

If you are interested in this painting for your collection, for an exhibition or would like to buy a print, please use the form below:

Read about my struggles with agoraphobia and share them with a friend, help me raise awareness and end stigma toward mental illness.

The Agoraphobic Artist – My Story

The Agoraphobic Artist – How I live in the captivity of my mind