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Schizophrenics and people with disabilities can be successful


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I have been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and autism, as everyone already knows. Lately I have been extremely successful, I am becoming a professional speaker and I am also a business owner with my art. My second speech is on February 4th (my first can be seen on my website and YouTube, my website is www.crittersonthings.com and it can be seen in the "about the artist" section at the bottom of the page) at the Capitol building in Olympia, WA and it is about my autism. Soon I will do mental health conferences as well but they are harder to get into because it is mainly doctors doing the speeches but I hope one day that I can change the way the world views people with disabilities such as autism and schizophrenia and many more. My next speech after that is on February 10th in a parent's meeting at the local autism center which is also in Olympia. I live near Olympia but in the middle of nowhere instead where all the cows are. Then on April 2nd, has the potential, I repeat its just a potential at this moment, I might speak at the UN on World Autism Awareness Day in New York. My contact in New York is also trying to get me into other autism and mental health conferences in the New York area. May is a big month as well. I have 2 speaking dates in May. One on the 29th and one on the 30th. One day apart. The one on the 29th is in Shoreline WA and the one on the 30th is in Yakima, WA. I also have contacts that can get me into more conferences, possibly all over the country by the end of this year or early next year. People with disabilities can do anything if they put their mind to it. They have dreams just like anyone else, don't give up and pursue your dreams no matter what. Don't let the doctors stop you. When I was first diagnosed with autism, a panel of doctors told my parents that I will never make anything of myself, that I will never have friends, never get a job, and I would have to be put away someplace. I proved them all wrong! I have tons of friends, my job is now (well, its in the beginning stages) a professional speaker and artist, I am not locked away in some institution, and I am a success. I'm going to be in several more magazines (at least 5 {2 local ones and 3 national/ online ones} more this year, possibly more by the end of the year), one day I might even be on TV on a talk show. Even though I have many psychotic episodes (I am having one now if you've seen my other posts about the bomb in my neck, etc.) I am still an amazing person and beat the odds stacked up against me. You can beat the odds, too if you believe in yourself. My art business is taking off and a lot of people are going to order in February. (at first I thought it was January because they all said "after the first of the year" but apparently most people order in the middle of the first quarter). I am going to be published in a book called Artism Anew (artism is a combination of the words autism and art) and you can see some of my artwork at www.artismtoday.com and in the gallery I am on the second page with the bird in the sunset. The book will be published in February. On my website under "about the artist" there are many links to the different articles I have been in. If you google my name, I have around 4 pages that is all about me. I am also going to try to get in Schizophrenia Digest magazine as well. In 2010 when my speaking career is really taking off and the same with the business, I am planning on writing a book on my experiences with my autism and schizoaffective disorder and how to become a success. So, anyone with schizophrenia, autism, or even Down's Syndrome can be a success. (I know someone with Down's and he is an amazing success, he's been on TV and also speaks at conferences around the country). My art is currently selling in 20 stores (will be in the hundreds by the end of the year because every month we are contacting 200 places) in galleries, pet stores, casinos, zoos, flower shops, and more. At the holiday bazaars last year (in November and December) we made several thousand dollars and at one alone we made around $800 in a day and a half and everyone said business is down 40-60% so we would have made a couple of thousand dollars selling cheap items such as my fine art cards ($4) and prints ($26). So, if I can be a success, you can be too! Just remember that!

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A good portion of most successful artists and musicians have a serious mental illness. Public speaking while having autism is an awesome achievement. Ever read that book by Temple Granden? I haven't yet but I hear it is awesome. I believe she is a psychologist with autism. I am very proud of my education and my career, amongst other things. So anyhow, right on fire bird.

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Ever read that book by Temple Granden? I haven't yet but I hear it is awesome. I believe she is a psychologist with autism.

Hey CBL---The woman's name is Temple Grandin. With the correct spelling you can google her and you will find out that she is a much bigger deal than you have given her credit for. Check that out!

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This is less fact and more urban legend. I would venture that there might be more mental illness in creative fields than, say, accounting, but the vast majority of successful creatives are not mentally ill.

I hate the whole creative/mentally ill thing, especially the trend in film and literature for people with bipolar to be these genius artists who's manic spells are these whirlwind of creativity rather than the serious and potentially life threatening issue they can be

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A good portion of most successful artists and musicians have a serious mental illness.

This is less fact and more urban legend. I would venture that there might be more mental illness in creative fields than, say, accounting, but the vast majority of successful creatives are not mentally ill. "A good portion of most" is not only grammatically nonsensical, it is also not based in anything but conjecture as far as I can tell.

Unless, of course, you can provide valid statistics. I work in the arts and haven't really seen a significant difference between them and other people I know in terms of rates of mental illness. Definitely not "A good portion of most."

Do you ever research things before you post them?

I think it is just that you hear more about the mentally tortured creative mind than the "normal" one because, well, it is more interesting, I guess. I mean, who wants to hear about normal people? heh.

For example, I have acted "professionally" since I was 9 or 10 years old (well, I did regional theatre at that age, so, damn, I will call it professional). Now, I can really only speak for groups as I got older. You tend to get close with some if not all of the people you work closely with in theatre and most of the people were not mentally ill. In fact, a lot of people seemed fascinated with me and my mental illness, even in college as a theatre major.

So, that is my experience.

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Well done :) ! :)

Yes, people with severe mental illness can be highly successful. My favorite example to throw out is John Nash ;) .

I also know I'm going to be a very successful doctor (just not sure what kind yet!). Looking at emergency medicine (I LOVE fast paced environments) or psychiatry.

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