Maybe I am crazy, but isn't it weird that there are antidepressants that may cause suicidal thoughts and antipsychotics that can induce hallucinations? I'm hoping to address this irony in a book of doodles called SIDE DEFECTS.
Back when I was twenty, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I was immediately given a lot of warnings, but the most powerful ones were You will need to take medicine indefinitely, and You should NOT tell anyone about this.
Since then, I largely kept my diagnosis a secret, but felt indignant with how unfair this seemed. Because of the stigma surrounding mental illness, I didn't speak up when coworkers joked about someone being “crazy” or “off her meds." In the margins of my notebooks, I protested by drawing cartoons making fun of my worst doctors and the outrageous side effects of my medicines.
Then, a few years ago, while studying Narrative Medicine, I was introduced to the genre of illustrated memoirs known as Graphic Medicine - illness narratives in a comics form. I knew that I had discovered the perfect way to share part of my bipolar experience.
Last summer, I decided to draw (and share to Instagram) all of the weird side effects of the medicines that I've taken over the years. So far, I've collected 140 illustrations, and there are still more to go.
My book, SIDE DEFECTS, is a compilation of my favorite doodles. Through this book, I hope to inject a little bit of fun into the experience of having a mental illness – or any chronic illness, for that matter. Regardless of the diagnosis, we all know someone who takes at least one medicine for a chronic condition. If these doodles can put a smile on their face, it was all worth it.
Thanks for checking out my project, and I hope you'll help me spread the word!
Risks and challenges
My biggest anticipated challenge is due to repetitive stress injuries of my hands that mean I cannot work for too long without having to stop and stretch. I plan to pace myself and work with a timer so I don't do too much damage! I'm also finishing grad school now, so I need to make sure I have enough time to finish everything!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)