Recovery in a nutshell: Self worth

In this trailer for Art and Craft, a documentary about his life as an art forger, Mark Landis, who was given a schizophrenia diagnosis as a teen, has a lot to say about recovery, if you listen carefully to what he is saying.

Watch this clip then imagine being a young man diagnosed as schizophrenic, whose troubles are compounded when people shun him and consider him useless. He retreats into a lonely adult life of watching television. Were it not for his hospital art therapy class, his talents in copying works of art might have gone unrecognized and he may not have found a calling.

Listen to what he has to say about why he masqueraded as a philanthropist giving away works of famous painters he had forged:

“I got addicted to being a philanthropist I wasn’t used to have anyone treat me like this. . . Everyone was so nice and respectful —things I was quite unfamiliar with.”

“It seldom happened that people were nice to me.”

“We all like to feel useful. Whatever ability we happen to have we like to make use of it.”

“(This documentary) gave me something to do because I’m really just a lonely old shy man.”

Imagine, for a moment, if people close to Mr. Landis learned early on how to draw him out as a human being. He might not be the lonely old shy man he says he is today.

The diagnosis, and the way friends and family react to the diagnosis, sets up feelings of hopelessness and despair for all. How can a solid recovery take hold in this environment?

See also Elusive Forger, but Never Stealing

An excellent course in the fundamentals of recovery:
Families Healing Together

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