Henry Boy Jenkins is a Seattle writer, artist, and musician living with schizophrenia. In addition to his biweekly blog for Bring Change 2 Mind, he is writing a memoir chronicling his experience with schizophrenia and trauma. Publicly open in his advocacy, Henry focuses on education and authenticity as the most effective tools for shining a light on the face of mental illness.
Why do I blog?
I want to share my experience, strength, and hope as a person living with schizophrenia. A mental illness can create circumstances that are uniquely challenging. If my experience facing these obstacles motivates a reader to start a conversation, then I feel that together we are proactively bringing about a change. Being helpful makes me happy.
I found BC2M…
…through my therapist. We were excited to find an organization that really spoke to how I feel as a person living with a mental illness. Having an online community is awesome – I get to meet incredible, courageous people every day!
What Stigma Means to Me:
Stigma is the wall that stands between disillusionment and freedom. The dictionary defines it as “a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person – i.e., the stigma of a mental disorder.” Self-stigma is the most crippling of all. How we see ourselves is vitally important to maintaining a healthy life.
The Way I Find Wellness:
As an artist, being creative helps me focus on the task at hand, which can help keep my symptoms at bay. Daily exercise, proper eating, and regular sleep contribute to my physical well-being. Interacting with others, in real life and online, helps me stay positive. Wellness is a whole-person experience: mind, body, and soul.
If I Had a Magic Wand:
I would kick discrimination to the curb. Then I’d make sure everyone got ice cream and cake or a day at the beach, or both!
My Pick-Me-Up Song:
“Linus and Lucy” by Vince Guaraldi. Ever since I was little. I start dancing like Snoopy and the next thing you know it’s Party Time!
Favorite (Mental Health) Book:
My absolute favorite is a graphic novel by Darryl Cunningham entitled Psychiatric Tales. I also like Diagnosis: Schizophrenia by Rachel Miller and Susan E. Mason.
If I were a superhero, I would be / have powers to…
Daredevil – “the Man Without Fear”. My diagnosis is based on fear (among other things), so being fearless would be awesome. Daredevil’s senses are in overdrive 24-7, just like mine, which he uses to navigate the world around him. He’s blind, but he doesn’t let his handicap get in the way of his life or fighting crime.
Words to Live By:
“Don’t be mean; we don’t have to be mean. Because remember: no matter where you go, there you are”. – Buckaroo Banzai