It’s been hard-going, but enjoyable bringing Knitting Time into being. Ultimately, it feels like the right thing to do – to finally face the demons. I’ve been blessed in the way the project has opened up discussions within my family – having written a short memoir about my formative years and expressing something of the grief that has been locked up inside driving me into madness all these years.
I’m happy with a cover drawing I’ve done for the book. I’ve got 24 drawings so far that I think are fit for the publication which is in the process of coming together over the coming week or so. I’ve uploaded the drawings into a gallery at http://www.outsidein.org.uk/colin-Hambrook
My project Knitting Time is my attempt to tell something of my life story through artwork and poetry. I want to use the project to open up a wider discussion about grief and loss and the way it impacts on mental health. Societies taboos on talking about the difficult or impossible situations that life presents ends up with the victimization of individuals by the mental health system with coercion into taking dangerous medication, which bring on a whole host of other health problems in the name of ‘helping’.
The statistics on what constitutes a mental illness are getting alarmingly wider. In the USA the number of people officially diagnosed with a mental illness – as recorded by journalist Robert Whitaker – has gone from 1 in 300 of the population to 1 in 72 over a period of 20 years. It won’t be long before every thought process will have a clinical diagnosis, based on the Bible of Psychiatry – the DSM-5. In the latest version that’s been released this month, bereavement is now officially a mental illness as the previous Bereavement Exclusion clause has now been removed.
I would welcome any comments and feedback as the project develops.