My Instagram interventions and other social media practice are explained (defended) in the text under the menu.
Unofficial patient history
Tony (Antony to my mother and psychiatrist). Male. 53. London. So working-class it’s strange. I like art & literature.
I have Schizoaffective Disorder (a combination of Schizophrenia & Bipolar Disorder) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
I have been a rough sleeper and have an impressive homelessness portfolio including Soho streets, hostels, B&Bs, Docklands derelict buildings, squats, road traffic islands (seriously), local authority temporary accommodation etc.
I now live in a council bedsit in #EarlsCourtSchizoland. That may sound grim, but the bedsit is in a beautiful quiet tree-lined street, in what is one more London’s more swanky neighbourhoods.
I have one O level (Geography, Grade C). I fancy myself as a bit of an autodidact. More Ernest Hemingway/Frida Kahlo than Adolf Hitler.
I have been a voluntary sector playboy, writing fundraising applications for small charities and community groups.
Please note I’m going to punch the next person on social media who calls me a hipster: apart from being 53, I have a proud industrial working-class heritage. One of my favourite accounts on Instagram is @blackcountrytype.
Mental state examination, May 2019
My diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder includes ultra-ultra-ultra rapid mood cycling. I can go through elations, dysphoria and extreme despondency within a matter of hours. Sometimes my moods can switch dramatically within minutes. This has always given me a fragmented picture of reality, lately, I feel that my days are smashed into tiny pieces.
I have started zoning out a lot again. I can be in a conversation with someone, and suddenly my mind is completely elsewhere. Everybody goes through this, but my current dysphoric mania is taking it beyond the next level.
I continue to experience ongoing, chronic psychotic symptoms. These include visual hallucinations throughout the day, and thought broadcast – the belief that people are listening to my thoughts.
I currently don’t feel like leaving my room much, and only really do so when it’s connected to one of the creative projects I am working on.
There’s more detail about my illnesses/experiences and how they have affected work, education and such like in my Notes on Being Psychotic & Proud.
I’m undertaking various therapeutic writing/visual art projects. I’m experimenting with sound art (actually “the piece” is podcasting, but I might see if I can hustle some sort of grant).
The aim is to start putting things on this website from May 2020.
Through my creativity I see myself as taking people on a journey – or for a ride, depending on how you look at it.
Influences and inspirations include Maya Angelou (especially Gather Together in My Name), Kathy Acker, A A Gill, Amineh Abou Kerech, William Burroughs, what life was like before Poppy, Milly and Orlando moved to Neasden, the Barbican, William Morris (socialist, social activist if you like, but not a designer of scarves for drunk women called Miranda), Katherine Mansfield’s Bliss, anthing symmetrical, working-class masculinities, William Burroughs on the subject of regret (22 second Youtube video), Laura Pidcock MP (though one of my closest friends is a Telegraph reading Brexit bonkers member of the Conservative Party), Lemmy, Robert Mapplethorpe & Patti Smith, Leicester Square (a bit of earth located between heaven and hell), Kings Cross St Pancras (a bit of earth), BBC Radio 3 Jazz Archive, HIGNFY, trust fund girls putting tomato ketchup on their salad in the world’s oldest museum restaurant, BEING REMINDED ABOUT THE WAR IN YEMEN, the Seagram Murals, the Junior Anti-sex League, reverse engineering, that Youtube video of some teenage girls recreating Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights with farting sounds, Katherine Mansfield’s Bliss, #WildFlowerHour, always defending peoples right to speak out, especially when confronting posh boy, (regardless of whether you agree with them or not, obviously), Amineh Abou Kerech, Gather Together in My Name, and Lance Arthur’s seminal work, glassdog.com (especially 1998 to 1999).
I think I would have made a very good solitary confinement prisoner. I prefer my own company and spend most of my time alone in my room. Though I’m supposed to be doing various therapeutic creative things, I often arrange the posters and tote bags on my walls for hour-after-hour. I have a thing for tote bags.
The photo was taken with my trusty iPhone 5s in May 2019, during what was an especially heavy session of tote bag rearrangement.