On October, 10th – International Mental Health Day – I had the chance of writing how unsafe and unhealthy the construction industry can be. I skimmed again on the surface of this topic on November, 25th – International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – as I entered the committment of publishing a daily […]
On October, 10th – International Mental Health Day – I had the chance of writing how unsafe and unhealthy the construction industry can be. I skimmed again on the surface of this topic on November, 25th – International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – as I entered the committment of publishing a daily article from that day to December 10th, International Human Rights Day. These awareness days are useful only if we make them matter and this has been my way. It’s not much, but I’m proud of this reading list.
Today I return on the subject matter of gender struggles and mental health with yet another graphic novel.
RX – A Graphic Memoir
by Rachel Lindsay
Rachel Lindsay is an American cartoonist living in Vermont and has published weekly the comic strip Rachel Lives Here Now since 2013. This is her first book, diving deep into a personal experience of mental health and medications. She’s on Patreon, should you wish to support her work.
In her early twenties in New York City, diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Rachel Lindsay takes a job in advertising in order to secure healthcare coverage for her treatment. But work takes a strange turn when she is promoted onto the Pfizer account and suddenly finds herself on the other side of the curtain, developing ads for an antidepressant drug.
She is the audience of the work she’s been pouring over and it highlights just how unhappy and trapped she feels, stuck in an endless cycle of treatment, insurance and medication. Overwhelmed by the stress of her professional life and the self-scrutiny it inspires, she begins to destabilize and while in the midst of a crushing job search, her mania takes hold.
Her altered mindset yields a simple solution: to quit her job and pursue life as an artist, an identity she had abandoned in exchange for medical treatment.
When her parents intervene, she finds herself hospitalized against her will, and stripped of the control she felt she had finally reclaimed.
Over the course of her two weeks in the ward, she struggles in the midst of doctors, nurses, patients and endless rules to find a path out of the hospital and this cycle of treatment. One where she can live the life she wants, finding freedom and autonomy, without sacrificing her dreams in order to stay well.
You can find a beautiful review of the graphic memoir on 7 Days, authored by Rachel Elizabeth Jones.