PRESCRIPTION: Have a long positive conversation with a friend or family member.

Generic: Make a connection with someone.

Stop “Have a long positive conversation with a friend or family member” and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as: the conversation turns negative or unproductive, your friend or family member is a bad listener

Hello my dears,

management here, otherwise known as your humble narrator Emma Retina.

Lately I’ve noticed that a common lurking shadow in any topic of conversation in our times is the role technology plays in our lives.  The experience of watching movies, shopping, books, dating, meeting new friends, private businesses, exchange of information and even general conversation have vastly changed.  Society has the trouble of being more connected than ever but the connection although vast lacks depth.

How has this affected the community of those of us who suffer from mental illness?  Firstly it wonderfully gives us this forum here at ASR and other publications like us.  Can it also negatively affect us by aiding in our seclusion and push away from civilization not from choice but from trouble with illness?  I’d love to hear what you all think of this topic and publish it.  Does technology help or disable you? As always we look forward to hearing from you!

Inpatient Asylum Press

Contemporary News-

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Talk to a therapist … in public and in the middle of Fifth Avenue

“The installation, called #PopupTherapy, started Wednesday to raise awareness and inspire transparency (both literally and figuratively) in mental health care. The goal is to show that therapy can be accessible and affordable, and — above all — that it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Anyone can stop by, relax and get a free 15-minute session with a professional.”

Would you give it a try? Read more here

 5 Encouraging Therapy Apps for When You Need Some Support

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Many sophisticated apps in the mental health field have been developed to bring together patients and therapists. Whether you prefer virtual or face-to-face therapy sessions, apps may have the advice or information you’re looking for.

See the list here

In our own voices

Magenta Maggs Goes Shopping

by John Chylinski

“A little tale I wrote about coping with mental illness in the minutiae of everyday life. I hope you like it.”

It was Tuesday. Magenta Maggs watched the garbage truck batter her bin empty and then fart its way around the street corner. There it hid; out of her sight, but not quite out of her mind.

She finished her coffee and then stood, spilling crumbs from her toast onto the floor. She bent to contemplate the pattern they had made on her previously spotless vinyl – a face peeking out from behind a tree maybe? Methodically, she swept them up.

She stood a while, motionless, carrying her handbag in her basket. Then she opened the front door, stepped outside and closed it so gently it made no sound. Her hands were sweating as she paused on the virtually deserted footpath. She took several slow deep breaths, lolled her head around her neck and paced her way towards the junction ahead.

Outside number 27 she relaxed by stroking a ginger cat, which arched its back and mewed discreetly. She produced a small piece of raw meat from her basket, and watched closely as the animal devoured it. The cat looked up licking its lips. She went to pat it again, but it turned quickly and jumped the fence.  What had it seen? She looked around but saw nothing out of the ordinary.  She took five slow deep breaths, and started walking up the gentle hill.

To distract herself, she considered what she wanted to buy. Meat and veggies for three days were her priority, but she also needed bread, butter and tea. She would not be able to buy cigarettes, because that would mean visiting too many different shops. She would need to ration herself with her one remaining packet until next time.

Magenta Maggs had gone to a supermarket once; a shiny new building with everything in the one space. And it had been fine, except for all the people. Mothers wheeling around their noisy brats, leery men and doddery grand-folks guarded every aisle and queue. Shortly after that horror, she had found a small group of shops on a nearby backstreet.

The Barnes Avenue shopkeepers were now much kinder to her. At first they had interrogated her cruelly. They had wanted to know her name, to make her remember theirs, and to ensure she knew all the rules for living in their area. But after a while she must have become qualified because she was allowed to buy what she wanted peacefully. No-one tried to make conversation with her or order her to have a nice day.  

She had visited these shops twice a week ever since she had been reborn. Their sights and smells were anodyne with familiarity, and sometimes she looked forward to her outings. But on this day her shops were even more quiet than normal. In front of the empty car park was a large sign, neatly painted in loud colours which read ‘Valuable development opportunity in desirable location.’

Every shop was closed.

Magenta Maggs pressed her face against each window nonetheless, but saw no-one. Their interiors were now unlit, eviscerated travesties. She found this situation unreal, and she felt giddy. It was at times like this that she heard voices. These were not disembodied evil or exhortations to end it all. They were past friends, family, sometimes doctors or counsellors. They never came singly, and what they said often represented polar opinions. While they shouted and bickered Magenta Maggs was unable to think for herself. She sank to the ground and rested her head on a door arch and waited for it all to stop. When her confusion had lessened some minutes later, she opened her eyes.

 

Magenta was startled. A child of indeterminate gender stood in front of her. It wore a garishly bright hooded cape and had a mask over its eyes. Magenta reached out toward it, and felt through the folds of the cape until she could feel a body.

The child flinched. “Hey, no fair tickling,” it said.

Magenta Maggs withdrew her arm as if it had been spring loaded.  

“Are ya blotto?” It said. “When my mum does that she’s almost always blotto,” it said and waved an arm at Magenta’s crouching form. “Do ya need me to help you home?” It said with some pride. “I know the way to everywheres around here.”

Magenta glared. “I…am….not….blotto.”

The child persisted. ‘So what’s wrong with ya. Are ya sick?”

Magenta sighed. Slowly she got up, shrugged her shoulders and rolled her head around, and shambled off in the direction from which she had come.

“Hey lady,” the child yelled at her, “Ya forgot ya things.” It raced after her, triumphantly carrying them raised in the air. It tripped on a kerb, fell heavily, and bag and basket went flying. The child was silent a moment, and then began to cry.

Magenta gathered her gear, and made to leave. But as she did so, she looked down at the child, who she could now see was a girl – a small, helpless, scared girl.

Magenta Maggs stared at her for an uncomfortable while, and then sat on the pavement. Eventually she allowed herself to stroke the child’s head. ‘The pain will pass soon,” she said quietly. “Courage until then.“ The child caught her sobs, and managed a thin smile. Warmth infused into the very soul of Magenta Maggs, but that quickly made her feel unworthy, and then guilty. Seemingly in reaction, she remembered the shops. A long term routine was gone, and she felt exposed. She slowly curled up her body, so no-one could see.

“Whassup?” the girl asked between sobs, now loaded up with childish curiosity. “Mum always says ‘I’ve got two ears doing nothing’ right now, so tell me’.”

That tickled Magenta Maggs. She took a good look at this girl, and wondered if she could be trusted. She decided to take a risk. “I can’t do my shopping because my shops are gone.”

“So go somewheres else!” said the girl. “I’ll show ya.”

“I can’t. There will be too many people. I don’t like the people. They scare me.” Magenta said in an agitated whisper.

The girl thought for a while, then stood up and put her now battered mask on again. She put her arms akimbo and said decisively. “I’ll take ya there and protect ya with my special powers!”

The girl looked so comical that a laugh burst out of Magenta Maggs like a firecracker.  Such a thing had not happened to her for a long cold while. She drew the girl to her gently and hugged her like a teddy bear. She was surprised and delighted when the girl hugged back.

 

This surprising intimacy caused Magenta Maggs’ mind to race with images. Like magic pictures they seemed unintelligible at first, but then she realized they were memories from her youth. The most persistent of these was the trouble she would get in for playing in freshly mown grass clippings. She thought the girl’s hair smelled like that. She breathed the smelling like perfume.

“What are you doing to my daughter? Sostene, you come here now!”  The moment was gone.

“I have to go now. That’s my mum.” said the girl. “But ya can have this if you want. It’ll protect ya just as good. Try it!” She put the mask in Magenta Maggs’ hands and then skipped happily away. But before she disappeared from view, the girl turned and waved goodbye.

Magenta Maggs sighed and stared at the dirty battered plastic. She thought of the effect that an adult wearing it into a shop would have on staff and customers. It made her laugh out loud. That felt so good that she laughed again. Today had not gone at all to plan. Maybe that was a good thing. Maybe some other things might not go to plan either.

She put the mask in her basket, and set off resolutely for the supermarket.

 

These are superb musical submissions from Irish, alternative musician Eoin O Tuama!

 

Let’s include some nifty lyrics from Eoin O Tuama!-

Sanctum,part A

 I am believed in this junction

Always wipes my head around the corner

Then the large vehicle with the flashing lights shears the side from the bubble car

In many coloured weather, alive you say

But only for a day

What do you see is it me

Join the army let’s go barmy

Mania leading heart-attack at the shopping centre.

 

I’m in no favour

Of the jetstone flavour.

Subterfuge, and a hurt hand.

Whirl Oh crazy Maelstrom

Langstroms’ pony coiled the beige belonging.

Chaos, beautiful chaos

The tribe they bombed

Is everywhere now.

Never give up

Keep no pets

Except us.

Met you at the railway station

An rud ceanna fuinnse.

My brain hurts

Persecution

Pull the Happy Smile up over your’ face

Time flies

Try to hang on to its tail

Before it goes

Bad Temper Assails Me in Some Gamera Type Fashion from Afar

In my Nature

Lies Misogyny And A Thousand Other Hates

Toil and Trouble

The Black Always Surrounds Us

Pull The Happiness Up Over

Try To Find Some.

 

Push out the Cosmic Jam

Laziness is Penting Up

Bottling Up Need to Stretch.

The Roads have More Traffic Now

The Days are Short and It’s Often Raining.

At least I got out for some Time,

But I Spent Four Hours in Bed During The Day

And Feel Guilty

THE AMAZING TALKING BRAIN

I BLEED THE SKY, WITH A HAPPY SMILE

I BLEED THE SKY IN A COUNTRY MILE

WRITE IN THE DARK

KIDS IN THE PARK

I FEEL THE SPARK

CLARITY,FINESSE

ELUDES LIKE THE COUNTRY’S LARGESSE

I AM BLESSED

TO HAVE UNDRESSED, NEXT TO YOU

 

COAL LIKE A HOLE

CINDERS AND BOLE

I AM CARESSED

BY THE MEMORY OF EVERYONE

 

AND THE HAZY RAIN

IN THE LAND OF GIANTS

 

Asylum Art-

A cartoon by German submitter Christian Turre we will be posting more of his videos over time or you can beat us to it and visit his youtube channel here

 The inspiring work of Leigh Bubsy

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Again we are happy to see another submission from the talented Lucy Wainwright!

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 I have been working on two terracotta figures at art college this week, for a project about diversity, equality & inclusion. I chose to tackle mental health awareness and created these small statues to express some of how I feel about the isolation and desperation of having depression. I think … I hope … many of us with mental health issues will recognise these clay people’s feelings.

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They are 8 inches tall or so, made of terracotta or red clay inlaid with lighter slip clay and polished to make them shine a little. They won’t be glazed but will be fired just as they are.

The second part of my project is to use images of my statues on a poster which will promote awareness, reduce stigma & increase compassion and inclusion. Still to do!

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Riddle-

Answer to last pages riddle: Darkness

Riddle Me This: When is a croquet mallet like a billy club?