Abnormal Psychology Artists and Identity

Max Ernst and Cindy Sherman as Examples of Artists Working With the Theme of Identity

Ernst early interests were psychiatry and philosophy. He abandoned his studies at the University of Bonn for painting. Here the rational world of science and industry have gone awry: the prints display a diagrammatic drawing technique, nonsensical equations, ineffectual measuring instruments, and a dysfunctional system of plumbs and weights. The portfolio also marks the first appearance of the artist’s assumed Dada identity, “Dadamax ERNST” Ernst was frustrated at the gallery and museum system who stereotyped him into frottage and oil painting. Frottage is the technique or process of taking a rubbing from an uneven surface to form the basis of a work of art. His creative ability to rebrand himself by assigning himself a new name, identity gave him the emotional and stylistic freedom he was seeking.

Max ErnstPlate I from Let There Be Fashion, Down With Art (Fiat modes pereat ars)1920

Cindy Sherman

Cindy Sherman is one of the best known and most important artists working today. Her style is a performative practice of photographing herself under different guises. The popularity of her work produced many of contemporary art’s most iconic and influential images. An artist whose subject is often herself as somebody else caught in a moment of masquerade. This highlights the illusory nature of not only photography, but identity itself. Sherman’s underlying goal is to present a novel critique of female representation in photography. It has remained unchanged since she began her career in the 1970s.

Cindy Sherman, Untitled 584, 2017-2018 Courtesy of the Artist and Metro Pictures, New York © 2020 Cindy Sherman

Therapist with an Identity Disturbance? Is it possible for them to still be good at their job and help the client?

A therapist with BPD would be more into recovery than out of it and whatever issues are unresolved kept in the background so that they don’t harm the client. Most therapists are aware of their personal issues long before graduation from an accredited school of psychotherapy.

One may be well into recovery and any hidden symptoms undetected and therefore, harmless to a patient. Supervisory therapists can pick up pathology before a novice therapist ever gets near an actual patient, either before or during the internship.

Some students or interns are recommended for therapy before graduation. Some schools require actual participation by all students in personal therapy before entry or sometimes before completion of the program.

Provided someone with an identity disturbance survived all the challenges posed by programs that graduate psychotherapists, It’s highly possible they would do more than an adequate job helping their clients work through their issues. I knew a therapist with treated BPD that accomplished just that.

An identity disturbance in young adulthood predicts a host of negative outcomes across the life span, including mood, anxiety, eating and substance use disorders, increased risk for physical illnesses, STD’s, low self esteem, name changes, cosmetic surgery and medical care, reduced quality of life, and reduced life expectancy

Take Care of Yourself, Too

Sometimes friendships with people who have an identity disturbance become unbalanced, and you may find yourself giving more than you receive. I’ve been on the receiving end of BPD outbursts it can be hurtful and difficult. These are my tips for dealing with these types. If this happens only occasionally, it is usually fine. Most relationships ebb and flow; they can’t always be an even 50-50 split. But if you find yourself in a perpetually unbalanced and difficult situation, it will create a strain in the relationship.

Research has shown that friends and family that care for people with an identity disturbance have high rates of hostility, anxiety, depression, and distrust. Financial strain, marital problems, and social embarrassment are also common family responses.  As a result, friendships with people with BPD can be rocky. Sometimes, people with BPD engage in behaviors that can seem manipulative, mean-spirited, divisional, and or destructive.

If you give too much, you may start to feel resentful or burned out. After a while, you may get to the point that you feel the need to end the relationship for your own health and happiness. one technique that you may to try when dealing with manipulative person is called Grey Rocking. This may Help. Picture a grey rock: Unremarkable, forgettable, and similar to countless others scattered nearby. Even the most enthusiastic collector probably wouldn’t have a lot to say about this rock. So, if you wanted to escape notice, becoming a grey rock might seem like a good way to go about it. Of course, people can’t actually turn into rocks, but that’s where the idea of grey rocking comes from.

Techniques for dealing with those who have mental health challenges

Another technique would be Restorative Justice a technique used in teaching. Dialogue in the restorative justice context refers to the use of a neutral mediator to prepare, structure, and guide face-to-face interactions between victims and offenders in ways that avoid revictimization of those harmed, promote reparation of the harms caused, strengthen pro-social human relationships and provide an opportunity for offenders to earn redemption and return to the community as constructive citizens.

In the long term, however, it is more helpful for a person with an identity disturbance to have a consistent, reliable friend than to have a friend who was 100% there for them for a few months before disappearing forever. For this reason, it is important for you to take care of yourself, take breaks from your friend when needed, and create healthy boundaries so that you get your needs fulfilled, too.

It requires assertive communication skills and sufficient self-awareness to understand when it is time to pull back a bit. It is possible to have a long-term, rewarding friendship with someone with an identity disturbance if you work at it.

What happens when you set boundaries with a borderline? Setting boundaries for your relationship is important for you and the person with an identity disturbance. However, you should not expect your limits to fix the relationship quickly. The person with the identity issue may feel like these boundaries are a form of rejection, which may cause them to lash out. Lashing out can range from gossiping, lying about your character, all the way to homicide.

My personal harrowing experience with an Identity Disordered Person came in the form of mean-spirited speech coinciding with mirroring behavior and narcissism. It is a common red flag for people to legally change their names because of identity disorder, this person doesn’t use her original birth name because of the need to change their identity. She once in casual conversation asked about my bra size which I replied 34DD unbeknownst to me she then went to her plastic surgeon for breast augmentation she demanded the surgeon to give her DD-size breasts to which the surgeon replied your frame is too small to support it. I will give you C-size breasts. She then threw a tantrum and insisted on my actual breast size of DD. Flash forward 15 years later. She has had many breast surgeries to fix botched surgeries and still doesn’t feel any better about herself nor has she achieved the goal of looking or being me.

The second incident of my dossier on my personality disordered friend was my original idea of using acupuncture to help with fertility. I used a professional from Manhattan who was recommended and licensed he is also licensed in herbalism. Once again unbeknownst to me, she went to an unlicensed unheard of acupuncturist and almost killed herself with an ingredient in her tea, ambulances hospital what a nightmare she caused herself to try and be me. I was horrified but aware of her impressionable nature. She still to this day every once in a while speaks to me in a mean-spirited tone trying to publicly embarrass me, body shame me, talks about me behind my back to her colleagues and my friends. She most definitely has an obsession with me.

Besides the ones I had mentioned earlier there are other attributes that this person has to further the pathology of identity disturbance, adultery, promiscuity. rejection sensitivity disorder, and poor memory. She took personal campaigns to extreme alienating potential friendships by forcing strong views onto others in destructive ways. She even yelled and screamed at me when I was trying to teach her a few things on the computer I swear I thought she was going to get violent. Knowing the reason why she acts this way is tremendously helpful. She still attempts to bait me in public to get out of character but I’m too chill and empowered by the knowledge of professionals in the field of psychiatry to fall for it. Having an older sister who is a psychologist is also helpful. She is the one who told me about personality disorders and gray-rocking which is my favorite technique for this particular person. She also told me to sever all contact with the person if possible. The anecdote of my sisters class has the professor coming in to the classroom dropping his brief case explaining that personality disorder or BPD has a poor prognosis and then teaches how to handle BPD or personality disorder by walking out of the classroom and not coming back. The point of his lesson don’t be friends with this person sever all ties.

Movies about Identity 

This might seem like an odd topic for a film to some people. For those who live with the condition these movies about identity show them they are not alone. There is a stigma associated with poor mental health in the United States and other societies around the world. It’s all too often the reason people suffering from these issues often don’t seek help. One of the ways society learns more about mental illness, its symptoms and consequences, is through storytelling. That lens, in modern society, is often film.

Film is particularly well-suited to showing how people, their family, friends and colleagues, deal with difficult mental health problems, how their lives sometime unravel, and what it takes to recover.

sources MoMa, Smithsonian Magazine Matt Morrissette, verywellmind.com, Cosmetic Surgery and Psychological Issues Randy A. Sansone, MD and Lori A. Sansone, MD, inspiremalibu.com, nhsinform.scot, Mike E. King