The project I am submitting is a personal exercise in dealing with a very private situation, which required taking great care mentally and physically. This video has taken several years to complete and like most of my work will never be finished but a work in progress. It relates to the theme sanity vs. insanity.
“Pristiq” is a short video about the physical and mental symptoms of coming off an anti-depression drug called “Pristiq.” Like most good Americans mental health is seen as a private issue, seeking help is considered weakness. Especially in New York City there is no time for real reflection, if only I can make more money, work harder or become more successful I will feel better. It was only when I started to have tangible, physical symptoms such as dizzy spells, severe headaches, short term memory loss and insomnia that I started to realize that something is seriously wrong and made an appointment with my doctor.
Fortunately or unfortunately my doctor without hesitation or with any real conversation prescribed me an anti-depression drug called “Prestiq.” With simple instructions “take two everyday on a full stomach” and in a very casual manner the doctor explained that I might get thirsty more than usual and I might have feelings of nervousness in the beginning and sent me on my way I should expect to feel better in a few weeks. Then began my new journey having to take a prescription drug.
Depression is an intangible concept, there is no real textbook case, and each experience is unique. As an artist I had the need to express my experience and the only way I knew how was through video and sound. To be truthful it was really the best way and the only way to cope with the physical and emotional side effects of withdrawing from the medication.
This video I refer to, as “the bathtub video” is an honest portrayal of my safe haven (the bathtub) where I spent regularly to retreat and reflect on the physical and emotional responses I felt daily as I took less and less of my medication. I don’t see this video as a clear expression for or against anti-depressant but rather an honest portrayal of the severity of the situation when you are dependent on drugs for what you believe to be for your mental stability. There is a fine line between sanity and insanity and daily I felt like I was walking this line the months it took for me to completely stop taking “Pristiq.”