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The Beautiful Creative Mind

By Joshua Hill —— Bio and Archives--October 14, 2007

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The 2001 movie starring Russell Crowe, A Beautiful Mind, portrayed the life of renowned scientist John Nash. The movie focused primarily on his battle with schizophrenia, and how it affected his life. Without a doubt, the movie once again brought to the fore the struggles facing sufferers of this mental impairment.

A BBC article recently published allowed Stuart Baker-Brown, a 43-year-old photographer and writer, the chance to share his story about his battle with schizophrenia and how it has helped him, rather than hindered him.

Schizophrenia is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes a mental illness characterized by impairments in the perception or expression of reality. Baker-Brown lists some of the symptoms that he has faced, including delusion and hallucinations, depression, paranoia and fear of persecution, among others as “very disabling and destructive” and have made his life “very difficult to cope with”.

However from Stuart Baker-Brown’s story come rays of inspiration for those of us not battled down by this illness and rays of hope for those who are.

He has used his illness as a means to enhance and propel his creative spirit. His writing and artwork are sometimes fueled by hallucinations. And, for many sufferers of this illness, their creative minds are always on.

Baker-Brown has turned his creative streak towards writing short stories, as well as a biographical entitled The Man Who Can, a story based upon his own life and journey through schizophrenia.

Sketches that he doodles down are images from within his hallucinations, and his photography—such as his shooting of Mount Everest—acquire added meaning, such as Everest becoming Mount Schizophrenia.

He starts off the article by saying that “In the past, schizophrenia has broken my life and taken away many of life’s opportunities, such as work and the ability to interact with society and family or even myself.”

However you can tell that Stuart Baker-Brown has already come to terms with an illness that would indeed set many of us back indefinitely.

That institutions such as East Carolina University, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and the National Institutes of Health in Britain are beginning to delve in to the links between schizophrenia and creativity only means further hope.

Joshua Hill, a Geek’s-Geek from Melbourne, Australia, Josh is an aspiring author with dreams of publishing his epic fantasy, currently in the works, sometime in the next 5 years. A techie, nerd, sci-fi nut and bookworm.

Guest Column Joshua Hill -- Bio and Archives | Comments

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