The Fragmentation Podcast

8
Oct

The Oxygen Tank [Leprechaun Podcast] Transgressive Fiction

The Oxygen Tank by author, Jonathan Harnisch is a non-linear story of schizophrenia and obsession. Rather than having a chronological plot, it exists in a series of maddening hallucinogenic episodes that combine Benjamin J. Schreiber's deepest insecurities and darkest fantasies. In every one of these manic flashes, the same characters appear: Georgie, the alter-ego living in Ben's body, and Claudia, the object of his twisted desires and destructive obsession. These "schizophrenic blue-movie skits and sleazy hardcore porn-flicks," as Ben describes them to his psychiatrist, open a disturbing window into the psychopathy that controls his every day.

00:0000:00
30
Sep

Porcelain Utopia

A fictional novel that explores the inner workings of the schizoaffective mind. This book is not just to provide a picture of how mental illness disrupts the reality of the sufferer, but more importantly to share how creative pursuits like writing can have tremendous therapeutic benefits. Its target audience is adult readers who enjoy the transgressive style that best depicts the intricacies of a mentally ill mind.

00:0000:00
15
Sep

Reflections On Mental Health Recovery SD (2015)

A mental illness is a condition that affects a person's thinking, feeling or mood. Such conditions may affect someone's ability to relate to others and function each day. Each person will have different experiences, even people with the same diagnosis.

Watch Now:
15
Sep

Living Colorful Beauty

Mentally-ill sexual abuse victim, Ben Schreiber undergoes psychiatric sessions while rambling through memories of sexual exploits. Nominated for the Crimson Quill, finalist INDIEFAB, finalist National Indie Excellence Awards 2016, shortlisted 24th Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards, BookLife Prize for Fiction.

00:0000:00
15
Sep

Lover in the Nobody

Independently wealthy schizophrenic offers to pay his neighbor to be his sexual torturer. Nominated for the Crimson Quill, finalist INDIEFAB, finalist National Indie Excellence Awards 2016, shortlisted 24th Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards, BookLife Prize for Fiction.

00:0000:00
13
Sep

Melt Away

A beautiful film about new tears for old grief, and loving what was and what was not. I competed Melt Away while undergoing a dark, deep experience with depression, existential despair and with new tears for old grief. I am glad to see so many people have appreciated Melt Away's inherent beauty. I thank you, all, to God, and to all my fans, friends, and family for playing such a unique role in my experimental pieces, although perhaps without you knowing it. I am brought to a deep sense of nostalgia for good times long gone, from lost film footage in the archives here at the production office to experimenting into the depth of new ground, and new artistic expression. I suffer from a rare and comorbid mental health diagnoses, namely those within the schizophrenia and autistic spectra. My mental illnesses have blessed me over the years with many creative gifts. So, with immense gratitude, I thank you, my muse, wife, and my family, friends, and fans.

Watch Now:
11
Sep

World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD)

My name is Jonathan Harnisch: 

I was diagnosed with Tourette’s at the age of 12, although, according to my mother, I had shown symptoms since I was two. I sometimes wonder whether I was even then showing signs of the psychosis that has plagued me for my entire adult life. 

I was 18 when I had my first psychotic episode. It was Christmas Day, 1994. I was living in New York City and was admitted to Beth Israel, where I was given a number of tests—medical and psychological. 

My toxicology report came up 100% clean, a clear indication that my psychosis was not drug-induced. My intake report by the ER doctor shows that I had a “loosening of association” and “pressured speech,” both of which can indicate schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorder with psychotic features. No wonder it took so long for me to get the right diagnosis; so many of the symptoms overlap. 

... However, I want to bring this back to delusion and truth, and how people so frequently label your truths as delusional as soon as you’ve been diagnosed with a psychotic disorder. I will also discuss my condition’s genesis and prognosis—and then move onto those accomplishments for which I’ve never been truly recognized. ...

I often wonder if other people, like me, have trouble being believed. ...

As I may have mentioned already, serious mental illness, such as schizoaffective disorder, is believed to be caused first by a genetic predisposition to develop mental illness and second by environmental factors. In my family, I have a grandfather who seems to have been diagnosed with schizophrenia, according to old medical records that I recently found. In addition, I have two second cousins, both of whom have been publicly diagnosed with mental illness. So, I would definitely seem to be genetically predisposed to becoming mentally ill. 

However, having this predisposition isn’t enough. You also need certain environmental factors. What I’ve read in some of the literature is that mental illness can be compared to diabetes. A person may be genetically predisposed to develop diabetes, but if that person gets enough exercise and watches their sugar intake, then the diabetes may never take hold—it’s the same with mental illness. 

In my case, I had the predisposition, but I also underwent enough traumas (sexual, physical, and emotional abuse) and upheavals (such as my parents’ divorce when I was young) for the illness to take hold. Boy, did it take hold. 

Sometimes, though, people like my sister, who has a genetic predisposition plus environmental factors (my sister comes from the same family and has had the same kind of upheavals), do not become mentally ill. Nobody knows why. 

Maybe, as my wife says, it’s just the luck of the draw. She’s kidding. At least about the luck part, because having mental illness isn’t lucky, although we do have to keep laughing about it. Keep positive. You’re never alone if you can laugh with someone about it. 

As I’ve mentioned, I have schizoaffective disorder. Originally, though, I was diagnosed with depression. That was back in 1994, when I was 18. 

Over the next 10 years or so, I saw doctor after doctor, moving here and there, trying to find my place in the world. I made seven suicide attempts and had years of alcohol and drug abuse issues. My last suicide attempt was in 2001, and I was freed from my drug and alcohol addictions in early 2003. More than 11 years ago. 

As I was getting off the drugs, I saw a doctor who diagnosed me with schizoaffective disorder, which basically means schizophrenia with a mood disorder thrown in, and, in my case, that mood disorder is bipolar with manic features. However, in 2005 and 2006 I saw a doctor who said that I did not have schizoaffective disorder. Instead, I had a personality disorder. The point is that getting the right diagnosis can be time-consuming and frustrating, but it is also necessary, as once I was “re- diagnosed” with schizoaffective disorder, I was able to get on the right medication. But that’s a different story altogether. 

I’m focusing here on being diagnosed with any type of mental illness that includes psychotic features that then make it almost impossible for people around you to believe your truths. However, not only do I have the double whammy of a thought disorder coupled with a mood disorder, I also have Tourette’s syndrome, which is considered severe since this usually tapers off in one’s 20s but mine did not. I’m 40 now, so, along with the confusion I suffer and the mood fluctuations, I also tic and sometimes engage in coprolalia, which is involuntary swearing or yelling out racial epithets. 

Hard combination. ...
Watch Now:
28
Aug

Love and Limerence (2016)

Envision a blend of a mentally ill mind with unsurpassed resiliency and fiery intellect and your result would be the brilliant Jonathan Harnisch. An all-around artist, Jonathan writes fiction and screenplays, sketches, imagines, and creates. Produced filmmaker, fine artist, musician, and published erotica author, Jonathan holds myriad accolades, and his works captivate the attention of those who experience it. Manic-toned scripts with parallel lives, masochistic tendencies in sexual escapades, and disturbing clarities embellished with addiction, fetish, lust, and love, are just a taste of themes found in Jonathan's transgressive literature. Conversely, his award-winning films capture the ironies of life, love, self-acceptance, tragedy and fantasy. Jonathan's art evokes laughter and shock, elation and sadness, but overall forces you to step back and question your own version of reality. Scripts, screenplays, and schizophrenia are defining factors of Jonathan's life and reality - but surface labels are often incomplete. Jonathan is diagnosed with several mental illnesses from schizoaffective disorder to Tourette's syndrome; playfully, he dubs himself the "King of Mental Illness." Despite daily symptomatic struggles and thoughts, Jonathan radiates an authentic, effervescent, and loving spirit. His resiliency emanates from the greatest lesson he's learned: laughter. His diagnoses and life experiences encourage him to laugh at reality as others see it. Wildly eccentric, open-minded, passionate and driven, Jonathan has a feral imagination. His inherent traits transpose to his art, making his works some of the most original and thought-provoking of modern day. Jonathan Harnisch's struggles with his mental health conditions are interlinked with the incomprehension of non-sufferers, which provokes him to explain his reality. He has explored a range of media, including film, music, and now the written word, to help the general public understand exactly what it feels like to suffer from schizophrenia. By fictionalizing the day-to-day meetings of multiple personalities, he is illuminating a corner of psychiatry that few understand. As an author with schizophrenia, Jonathan Harnisch is ideally placed to share the unusual perception commonly defined as 'mental illness'. Harnisch is not dealing with an altered reality, but a double reality. His main characters, Ben Schreiber and Georgie Gust, perfectly illustrate how two lives can share the same body.

Watch Now:
28
Aug

Facebook Live: Check Up From The Neck Up: Feeling Better! (How Cannabis Helps Schizophrenia)

Jonathan Harnisch @jwharnisch Author | Mental Health Advocate | Schizophrenia | Artist | Blogger | Podcast Host | Patent Holder | Hedge Fund Manager | Film & TV Producer | Musician

Watch Now:
28
Aug

Glamorous (2016) [Romance Fiction by Jonathan Harnisch] - (First Draft)

Envision a blend of a mentally ill mind with unsurpassed resiliency and fiery intellect and your result would be the brilliant Jonathan Harnisch. An all-around artist, Jonathan writes fiction and screenplays, sketches, imagines, and creates. Produced filmmaker, fine artist, musician, and published erotica author, Jonathan holds myriad accolades, and his works captivate the attention of those who experience it. Manic-toned scripts with parallel lives, masochistic tendencies in sexual escapades, and disturbing clarities embellished with addiction, fetish, lust, and love, are just a taste of themes found in Jonathan's transgressive literature. Conversely, his award-winning films capture the ironies of life, love, self-acceptance, tragedy and fantasy. Jonathan's art evokes laughter and shock, elation and sadness, but overall forces you to step back and question your own version of reality. Scripts, screenplays, and schizophrenia are defining factors of Jonathan's life and reality - but surface labels are often incomplete. Jonathan is diagnosed with several mental illnesses from schizoaffective disorder to Tourette's syndrome; playfully, he dubs himself the "King of Mental Illness." Despite daily symptomatic struggles and thoughts, Jonathan radiates an authentic, effervescent, and loving spirit. His resiliency emanates from the greatest lesson he's learned: laughter. His diagnoses and life experiences encourage him to laugh at reality as others see it. Wildly eccentric, open-minded, passionate and driven, Jonathan has a feral imagination. His inherent traits transpose to his art, making his works some of the most original and thought-provoking of modern day. Jonathan Harnisch's struggles with his mental health conditions are interlinked with the incomprehension of non-sufferers, which provokes him to explain his reality. He has explored a range of media, including film, music, and now the written word, to help the general public understand exactly what it feels like to suffer from schizophrenia. By fictionalizing the day-to-day meetings of multiple personalities, he is illuminating a corner of psychiatry that few understand. As an author with schizophrenia, Jonathan Harnisch is ideally placed to share the unusual perception commonly defined as 'mental illness'. Harnisch is not dealing with an altered reality, but a double reality. His main characters, Ben Schreiber and Georgie Gust, perfectly illustrate how two lives can share the same body.

Watch Now:
25
Aug

Plow (2016) by Jonathan Harnisch

Schizophrenia is an intense and unforgiving mental disorder whose symptoms can include everything from abnormal social behaviors, to hearing voices, and not knowing what's real. It often accompanies other, less severe mental conditions like depression and anxiety. Needless to say, the sum of these disorders can be hard to deal with. 50 percent of those diagnosed with schizophrenia also struggle with substance abuse as a means to cope. But there are some who have turned to something far less harmful to cope with their condition: art.

Watch Now:
25
Aug

Facebook Live: Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling.

Watch Now:
25
Aug

Having a PTSD Episode

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition triggered by experiencing or seeing a terrifying event. ... PTSD is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation. Fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a typical reaction meant to protect a person from harm. Nearly everyone will experience a range of reactions after trauma, yet most people recover from initial symptoms naturally. Those who continue to experience problems may be diagnosed with PTSD. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they are not in danger. -- NIMH
Watch Now:
25
Aug
25
Aug
19
Aug

The Week That Was… (Yawn, That Was A Boring Week)

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by abnormal social behavior and failure to understand what is real. Common symptoms include false beliefs, unclear or confused thinking, hearing voices, reduced social engagement and emotional expression, and a lack of motivation.

Watch Now:
16
Aug

Facebook Live Monday August 15 2016

Jonathan Harnisch
@jwharnisch
Author | Mental Health Advocate | Schizophrenia | Artist | Blogger | Podcast Host | Patent Holder | Hedge Fund Manager | Film & TV Producer | Musician
Watch Now:
14
Aug

May 27, 2016, Jonathan Harnisch Facebook Live Schizophrenia Broadcast #1

Schizophrenia is a brain disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally.

Watch Now:
14
Aug

Living w/ #‎Schizophrenia: I Want To Fix Me

Schizophrenia is a brain disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally.

Watch Now:
13
Aug

I’m Done

E-Mail (Saturday, August 13, 2016) To My Father, Wife, Psychiatrist, and Psychologist: I do not care if all of you are sleeping. My wife took me off Klonopin, canceled blood disorder doctor, canceled trip to Colorado to get more medical marijuana, and is hiring a lawyer. Meantime, I had let go of Mary. I woke up on the wrong side of the bed. I look at you all and I see complete strangers. I hate everything. You hate me. Good for you. Fuck my life. Why keep trying? When no one gives a shit. My Current Feelings: listless, moody, lethargic, gloomy, dismal, discontented, tired, indifferent, unsure, impatient, dependent, unimportant, regretful, bashful, puzzled, self-conscious, edgy, upset, reluctant, timid, mixed-up, sullen, provoked, suspicious, envious, enmity, aversion, dejected, unhappy, bored, forlorn, disappointed, wearied, inadequate, ineffectual, helpless, resigned, apathetic, shy, uncomfortable, baffled, confused, nervous, tempted, tense, worried, perplexed, troubled, disdainful, contemptuous, alarmed, annoyed, provoked, disgusted, resentful, bitter, detested, fed-up, frustrated, sad, depressed, sick, dissatisfied, fatigued, worn-out, useless, weak, hopeless, forlorn, rejected, guilty, embarrassed, inhibited, bewildered, frightened, anxious, dismayed, apprehensive, disturbed, antagonistic, vengeful, indignant, mad, torn, hate, unloved, abhor, despised, angry, hurt, miserable, pain, lonely, cynical, worthless, impotent, futile, accursed, abandoned, estranged, degraded, humiliated, shocked, panicky, trapped, horrified, afraid, scared, terrified, threatened, infuriated, furious, exhausted. I'll be okay. Is that what you want me to say? This is coming out of fear, and I know I should take a moment to breathe before say this, but I've had it with you all I'm done. Let me rot in fucking hell completely and utterly alone. No more caregiver plain and simple either. Fucking done fucking goddamn done you guys fuck this shit I'm done I'm fucking done... with all of you.

-- Jonathan Harnisch
00:0000:00
13
Aug

Living w/ ‪#‎Schizophrenia‬: I Want To Fix Me

Schizophrenia is a brain disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally.

Watch Now:
13
Aug

Facebook Live: I Feel Hopeless/Worthless/Sad/Lonely & Want To Feel Better.

Schizophrenia is a brain disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally.

Watch Now:
10
Aug

The World I Live In As Someone With Schizophrenia: Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Schizophrenia is a brain disorder in which people interpret reality abnormally.

Watch Now:
5
Aug

A Sensual Obsession (2016)

Nothing is taboo if you have an angle on it.

Watch Now:
20
Jul

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Schizophrenia [7-1-16]

Here's the main stuff we addressed:

I let my therapist know that the "same issues" were bothering me; my caregiver, my wife, my dad, money issues. And feeling neglected. We talked about how these things are unlikely to change globally for many reasons, and that it seems like there's this vicious cycle that always ends up frustrating me and messing with my quality of life. My therapist was stressing that "accepting" these things is not healthy or necessary b/c I deserve to speak my mind and influence changes. And my therapist does think things can change on a minutiae level. For example, if I would like more or less company, or need a particular type of food, or other specific things, that can likely be taken care of. It's just the global stuff (e.g. that I am not in direct control of my own money) that is unlikely to change.

So, as opposed to "accepting," my therapist was suggesting "adapting" to the situation. The goal of this would be to roll with the stuff that can't change, focus on the stuff you can change, and thus not get so frustrated. So, for example, if my casita is not livable while the renovation workers put in the floors, and I feel trapped by your other choices, I can calmly discuss things with my wife and/or my therapist to come up with an arrangement. This would help them, help me. This would be as opposed to getting so angry and frustrated over the fact that I have to have this discussion in the first place! When this happens, it makes it harder for my medical team to help me.

I also discussed how difficult it is to communicate, mainly b/c my mind goes faster than I can verbally get the ideas out. This may be why it's so upsetting when things aren't going the way I'd like; b/c it presents a situation in which you need to communicate. My therapist wonders if I become afraid I won't get your point across, and thus it comes out in a way that makes it seem like you're angry with my wife, etc.

20
Jul

Living Another Day w/ Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a challenging disorder that makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal, think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally. But that doesn't mean there isn't hope. Schizophrenia can be successfully managed. The first step is to identify the signs and symptoms. The second step is to seek help without delay. With the right treatment and support, a person with schizophrenia can lead a happy, fulfilling life.

Watch Now:
19
Jul

To Close The Day With Positivity Relaxation And Love

Facebook Live Monday, July 18, 2016

Watch Now:
18
Jul

Music and Mental Health Monday July 18 2016

Schizophrenia is a challenging disorder that makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal, think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally. But that doesn't mean there isn't hope. Schizophrenia can be successfully managed. The first step is to identify the signs and symptoms. The second step is to seek help without delay. With the right treatment and support, a person with schizophrenia can lead a happy, fulfilling life.

Watch Now:
18
Jul

Let Go and Flow

Schizophrenia is a challenging disorder that makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal, think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally. But that doesn't mean there isn't hope. Schizophrenia can be successfully managed. The first step is to identify the signs and symptoms. The second step is to seek help without delay. With the right treatment and support, a person with schizophrenia can lead a happy, fulfilling life.

Watch Now:
17
Jul

#‎WHATDEPRESSIONFEELSLIKE SUNDAY, JULY 17, 2016 VIA @JWHARNISCH

Depression (major depressive disorder or clinical depression) is a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.

Watch Now:
16
Jul

Schizophrenia Saturday July 16 2016

Schizophrenia is a challenging disorder that makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal, think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally. But that doesn't mean there isn't hope. Schizophrenia can be successfully managed. The first step is to identify the signs and symptoms. The second step is to seek help without delay. With the right treatment and support, a person with schizophrenia can lead a happy, fulfilling life.

Watch Now:
16
Jul

Schizophrenia Symptoms Friday, July 15, 2016

Schizophrenia is a challenging disorder that makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal, think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally. But that doesn't mean there isn't hope. Schizophrenia can be successfully managed. The first step is to identify the signs and symptoms. The second step is to seek help without delay. With the right treatment and support, a person with schizophrenia can lead a happy, fulfilling life.

Watch Now:
15
Jul

Facebook Live 7-14-16 Schizophrenia Symptoms Social Interactions and Psychiatry

Schizophrenia is a challenging disorder that makes it difficult to distinguish between what is real and unreal, think clearly, manage emotions, relate to others, and function normally. But that doesn't mean there isn't hope. Schizophrenia can be successfully managed. The first step is to identify the signs and symptoms. The second step is to seek help without delay. With the right treatment and support, a person with schizophrenia can lead a happy, fulfilling life.

Watch Now:
14
Jul

Manikin Pannikin: A Self Admission

Facebook Live, Wednesday, July 13, 2016, in Corrales, NM

Watch Now:
13
Jul

Facebook Live: Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling.

Watch Now:
13
Jul

Got Schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling.

Watch Now:
13
Jul

Cold Turkey?

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling.

Watch Now:
12
Jul

Facebook Live: Schizophrenia Overcoming Overstimulation And Cognitive Impairment

The exact cause of schizophrenia isn't known, but genetics, environment, and imbalanced brain chemicals may play a role. Schizophrenia is characterized by abnormal social behavior. In severe cases, patients may see or hear things that aren't real. Treatment is usually lifelong and often involves a combination of medications and psychological and social therapy.

Watch Now:
11
Jul

Room of Books: The Brutal Truth

A collection of personal essays exploring the author's experiences battling schizophrenia and other mental illnesses. Prolific writer and filmmaker Harnisch (Porcelain Utopia, 2016, etc.) explores his personal struggle with mental disorders in this short collection of autobiographical pieces that he originally wrote for his "online community dedicated to mental health." Throughout his adult life, he writes, he's received myriad diagnoses from doctors, including PTSD, depression, and schizoaffective disorder. His book elucidates the day-to-day activities of a person who suffers from such conditions, and the author mentions frequent communication with therapists, a demanding cigarette addiction, and many sleepless nights. At times, the prose is hard to parse and the content can feel repetitive. However, the author shares some incredible insights into what it's like to suffer from the rarely understood symptoms of schizophrenia. In one essay, for example, he describes his experience of paranoia: "We have become the target of a vast conspiracy stretching on invisible webs....It lives in the telephone wires, the cell towers, the papers, and even online....It nests in the hearts and minds of my family, friends, and loved ones." He also sheds light on what it's like to suffer from delusions: "Symbols, mythology, and connections, even coincidences, take on a very deep and personal meaning, a very deep and personal context." Ultimately, although this work is challenging and heavy, it's also uplifting, as the author never loses hope for recovery; instead, he remains tirelessly optimistic: "I keep moving ahead, as always, knowing deep down inside that I am a good person and that I am worthy of a good life." A courageous, if difficult, self-portrait of one man's suffering, as well as his hope for recovery. — Kirkus Reviews

00:0000:00
8
Jul

History of Sex [Audiobook] – July 8, 2016, by Jonathan Harnisch (Author)

“It’s like I'm too far away, in time, from when I would actively participate in things, enjoying them while they were happening…” Ben Schreiber mostly inhabits a world within himself, sharing it with his alter ego Georgie, living often non-linearly in a process of psychosis with visions and images of characters that fade in and out. In reality, Ben is in sessions with his therapist, Dr C, who is inviting him to recall family memories. Inside his own world, Ben is in front of the cameras he has set up in his home office, telling his story. In it, he recalls his sex education as a child, the sex ed. in class counterpointing his father’s pornography and the relationship his father may or may not have had with Gladice, a sexually provocative woman who has similarities to and elements of Claudia, a woman Ben meets aged thirty. Claudia captivates Ben when they share an early ‘moment’ together while smoking and a physical one that involves Ben’s foot fetish in which he paints her toes and makes love to her feet. Claudia urges Ben to go ahead and write about his life and experiences. Ben again begins to recall his early sexual experiences. A particularly vivid one is the day he is with his grandmother at the gym and he sees her friend fully naked in the changing room. Darlene, at least in Ben’s version of the scene, temptingly and languorously dresses herself in front of him. Ben also sees his own funeral, attended by numerous ex-girlfriends (even an ex-boyfriend) who talk about how, in spite of Ben trying to be considerate at first, the relationship always failed when Ben’s behavior degenerated. Ben discusses his failure to engage with life with Georgie. Georgie encourages him to make changes, to find work (even though Ben is rich), to find friends, to seek whatever it is he really wants, to face up to why he acts and lives life as he does. Back in therapy, Ben is with Dr C, where he begins to relate a story of his grandmother, of her toughness during his childhood. Flashing forward to another session, Ben as Georgie is very agitated. Inside his mind, the ghost of his grandmother visits Ben at home. Georgie is there too, helping Ben to recall and face the subdued memories of this woman. Georgie is eleven years old… he thinks he wants to do anything to help his sobbing, lonely grandmother until… Although he wants her to leave his bedroom, he is frozen as she sexually assaults him, the experience mixing with the pornography and sex ed. he has recently been exposed to. Again with Dr C, Ben is highly anxious, pacing. Georgie encourages Ben to open up to Dr C. He does and breaks down, crying hard. In Ben’s internal world, a number of characters attempt to console Ben, including his wife, Kelly, who may or may not have been real, as he comes to terms with his childhood memories in the following days. Ben looks up to the cameras, says his goodbyes, and leaves. Author, Jonathan Harnisch has written the bestselling and award-winning novels, Lover in the Nobody, Living Colorful Beauty and When We Were Invincible. He is also a noted controversial mental health advocate, and fine artist, blogger, podcast host, patent holder, hedge fund manager, musician, and film and TV writer and producer.
00:0000:00
4
Jul

Room of Books: Living Colorful Beauty

Living Colorful Beauty is a twisted, intensely character-driven ride. In Living Colorful Beauty, author Jonathan Harnisch tells the story of Ben, a man diagnosed with Tourette's syndrome, schizoaffective disorder, and several other issues. Ever since his youth, Ben has been both plagued by mental illness and obsessed with venality. As he navigates through an unstable, directionless life and leaves a string of shattered romances in his wake, he generates a fictional character, Georgie Gust, to deal with his many paraphilias and neuroses. But with the introduction of a new psychotherapist, Ben may have a chance to let go of his doppelgänger as well as his overwhelming insecurity. Though the book is saturated with Ben's sexuality, its prevailing theme is actually his struggle to come to terms with his mental health. The entire book reads like a Freudian therapy session, so the ultimate resolution of Ben's problems is appropriate. Ben's internal creative process is integral to the book's effectiveness, since much of the psychoanalysis Ben receives seems to come from himself through the lens of his fictional creation, Georgie. The book features an almost claustrophobic amount of navel-gazing, which may be intentional. At times, the reading experience leaves no doubt as to how the book's main character could drive himself crazy with his recursive, obsessive self-examination. Ben and Georgie have an interesting and nuanced relationship. At times Ben seems completely unable to control his double while simultaneously being one with him. He often reassures himself that his creation is the inferior man, citing Georgie's pumpkin-like body as the reason that nobody will ever want him. On the other hand, of the two of them, Georgie seems to have the more active love life. Ben reaches for emotional intimacy through relationship after relationship, but his illness, issues with women, and physical demands--the Georgie in him--constantly hamper his progress. As the narrator, Ben's point of view colors all of the other characters. Several of these, in addition to Georgie, are or may be fictional, mere expressions of Ben's illness. This is especially true of the women in Ben's life. There are comparatively very few men in this story, but the women are usually of a seductive and even predatory type. Ben aggressively sizes up the ladies he knows, from his girlfriends to his therapist, in terms of their attractiveness, perhaps in an attempt to balance the scales, since in his own perception, women are domineering copies of his own terrifying mother. Part of Ben's evolution is to move toward a valuing of women beyond his mother issues, a satisfying direction for this character to travel. Living Colorful Beauty is a twisted, intensely character-driven ride that ends on a hopeful note. It may interest fans of Charles Bukowski and Tom Robbins.

00:0000:00
2
Jul

Room of Books: When We Were Invincible

Written in the vein of Catcher in the Rye or The World According to Garp, Jonathan Harnisch’s When We Were Invincible is a coming-of-age novella, which details the experiences of outsider Georgie Gust navigating the fictional St. Michael’s Academy, a prestigious East Coast boarding school. Georgie suffers from Tourette’s Syndrome and early onset schizophrenia, which makes his journey all the more poignant.

00:0000:00
2
Jul

Room of Books: Lover in the Nobody

A young man battling extreme mental illness brings his sadomasochistic fantasies to life in Harnisch's (Sex, Drugs, and Schizophrenia, 2014, etc.) latest novel. As this riveting story opens, Georgie Gust, a suicidal Tourette's syndrome patient, tells his doctor he wants to leave the mental institution where he's been committed. When the doctor puts him off, Gust finds himself buffeted by violent fantasies of escape, and he even prepares to hang himself. The novel plunges readers into the mind of a man at war with his own urges, memories, and sexual obsessions. After a scene shift, Gust's chauffeur, Ben, delivers him to his empty home, where Margaret, his only friend, visits to check on him. However, she annoys him because "she seems to care." Later, Gust, a foot fetishist, gives a pedicure to his sexy neighbor, Claudia, in a scene lit with unexpected poetry and poignancy. As the narrative viewpoint flickers among Gust, Ben, and a quasi-omniscient third-person perspective, Gust's voracious appetite for pain prompts him to hire Claudia to torment him. (He has wealthy parents, so he spends cash liberally.) When Claudia's house goes up in flames, she moves in with him, and their sadomasochistic bond descends into extraordinary, hallucinatory violence. In Claudia's hands, Gust discovers new depths of masochism, and she finds joy in tormenting him. Despite the garishness, brutality, and squalor of many passages (which are not for the squeamish), more sophisticated readers will appreciate the extraordinary feat Harnisch has accomplished. He lucidly, poignantly conveys a mind riven with what are, after all, human vulnerabilities: mental pathologies, shameful fantasies, anguished doubts about the natures of reality, love, and memory. In the hands of a lesser writer, these themes would splinter the narrative. Fortunately, the author masters his material; readers will believe the voices that vivify it and compassionately wish them to find the healing that eludes them. An extraordinary, harrowing odyssey into an embattled self, full of humor, compassion, and a rare understanding of mental illness.

00:0000:00
1
Jul

Living Successfully With Schizophrenia On Facebook Live

Thursday, June 30, 2016, in Corrales, NM; Schizophrenia is characterized by abnormal social behavior. In severe cases, patients may see or hear things that aren't real.

Watch Now:
30
Jun

10-Minute Morning Vlog on Schizophrenia and Starting Fresh

June 30, 2016; The world isn't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place, and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or anybody is going to hit it as hard as life. But it is not about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.

Watch Now:
24
Jun

Jonathan Harnisch: Life Sucks I’m Just Trying To Live It: An Affirmation of Life (2015)

The title and opening of this 40 min documentary film may be rather misleading, but by its ending, my experience in the hospital last week has been a personal life changer, and may indeed inspire you! ...This hidden gem of a video just might change your life as it did for me documenting three days in the intensive care unit at the UNM Sandoval Regional Medical Center in northern Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Sometimes leaving is harder than staying. "I use my experiences, good and bad to inspire, and I will not stop.' "This [experience] is one sentence in this life story I'm writing, and I'm not the editor, and there ARE typos." — Jonathan Harnisch, 'Life Sucks I'm Just Trying To Live It An Affirmation of Life (2015)'

Comment on Facebook: “I’ve watched quite a few of your videos Jonathan and this one is hardest so far, I'm so glad you had the patient advocate and that she is a great person who connected with you and helped you. It must be awful you don't have any family except for Maureen. Thank goodness she is there for you, who visited you especially when very ill, that makes me sad and angry. You are so f-ing strong so much of the time, how can folk survive in such an endless storm, living with such pain and confusion 24/7? That must be so scary when your health is compromised with all this Tourette's and the salt thing, the water, diabetes and all the other things you have going on. Thank goodness you had the treatment you needed at UNM and met people who care and who can help you. Good luck with all, I hope your health will improve in any small way each day and that you can have more wellness and many good moments in this life. When I said hardest to watch I meant from the position of seeing someone in pain, mental or physical and not being able to help. I went out with a younger lad for five years or more who is schizoaffective, and I was ten years older and had three young children, toddlers really. He was a lovely guy, and I've suffered mental health problems all my life, but I was unprepared for having a boyfriend with this illness. I learnt so much but at first my paranoia and mental ill-health and huge responsibilities meant I struggled to cope with my boyfriend's issues until I got used to him and learned some more empathy plus I was made to feel embarrassed at the age-gap by others, as he was 21 when I met him and were hospitalized a lot at that age, some people were suggesting I was using him for money as well, he actually struggled to get me to accept any help from him as I'm real independent, also cops sometimes would show up at his own home and social-workers and such which used to really upset him and his Dad explained he has to go with them as they'll make sure he does. Just seemed all so brutal and unfair as he was the gentlest and intelligent of people fighting through this awful illness. I showed him lots of self-help stuff to do with outdoor survival and nature which he loves, we cooked, went walks, watch films, just hung out. I did protect him and stand up for him, something I've never managed for myself. Due to my way of life and philosophy he didn't have to try and be someone he was not nor be embarrassed or blamed because of all the weird symptoms (once I had realised the seriousness of the illness) and his inability to cope at times and I believe this helped him detach a bit and just be. His mum was always thanking me and when I attended one of his big psychiatric reviews I became more aware of a bit of what they'd gone through as a family when the poor lad had broken down as a teen and how hard all the medical stuff and treatments had been and how they felt they just hadn't been listened to at all. :( I used every ounce of skills I'd learned to stand up for him at that meeting and helped him to have a voice and for him and his family to start having a say in the lads treatment. It literally was like mutiny! :) I will say I was pretty stressed out, but he actually taught me self-help skills too and helped me with my mental health being able to reassure me that we could both cope and learn new surviving skills! He still lives nearby and is much better more of the time but still reclusive, as am I, but he managed to learn an instrument he's always wanted to and does other creative stuff too, he did some writing, went college. Back then I had no idea about schizophrenia and had been brutalized by others and thought he was doing the things he was doing to make me scared, then I slowly gleaned it was the symptoms of schizophrenia that I was scared of not him and that he could not help how he was being affected, but he was the most decent person to me whilst struggling with his illness. I'm so glad I met him, and there are many I can't say this about. I wear my suit of armour every day. :) ” 
—Mary L.
Watch Now:
24
Jun

You Can’t Do Epic Sh*t With Basic People

June 24, 2016: Facebook Writing Therapy Session

00:0000:00
22
Jun

Fragmentation [Audiovisual Book] by Jonathan Harnisch

Jonathan Harnisch’s postmodern literature relies on narrative techniques such as fragmentation, paradox, and the unreliable narrator. In Fragmentation, Harnisch has outdone himself, for good or ill, with the strangest, saddest, most confusing, and unedited, schizophrenic, psychosexual stream-of-thought narrative imaginable, a work suffused with almost evangelical zeal in the service of disillusion. Author, Jonathan Harnisch has written the bestselling and award-winning novels, Lover in the Nobody, Living Colorful Beauty and When We Were Invincible. He is also a noted controversial mental health advocate, and fine artist, blogger, podcast host, patent holder, hedge fund manager, musician, and film and TV writer and producer.

Watch Now:
22
Jun

Fragmentation [Audiobook] by Jonathan Harnisch

Jonathan Harnisch’s postmodern literature relies on narrative techniques such as fragmentation, paradox, and the unreliable narrator. In Fragmentation, Harnisch has outdone himself, for good or ill, with the strangest, saddest, most confusing, and unedited, schizophrenic, psychosexual stream-of-thought narrative imaginable, a work suffused with almost evangelical zeal in the service of disillusion. Author, Jonathan Harnisch has written the bestselling and award-winning novels, Lover in the Nobody, Living Colorful Beauty and When We Were Invincible. He is also a noted controversial mental health advocate, and fine artist, blogger, podcast host, patent holder, hedge fund manager, musician, and film and TV writer and producer.

00:0000:00
16
Jun

The Finale of Sex Drugs and Schizophrenia by Jonathan Harnisch in High-Definition

BENJAMIN (BEN, BENJY) SCHREIBER has Tourette’s syndrome, which causes him to display uncontrollable tics and hops, and to stutter and swear inappropriately. He is bullied through his school years and can never form firm friendships, especially with women. He is simply incapable of happiness. In his late twenties, he plunges into a downward spiral of drug and alcohol abuse, which culminates in an attempted bank robbery using a cell phone as a fake bomb. He is arrested and placed under psychiatric evaluation, where his psychiatrist, Dr C, quickly sees Ben’s affliction as more than just Tourette’s. Ben is not alone: Inside his head lives GEORGIE GUST, Ben’s alter ego. Georgie is obsessed with his manipulative but extremely sexual next door neighbor CLAUDIA NESBITT and shares a sadomasochistic relationship with her that is supported only by his obsession—Claudia has no love for Georgie. Ben is desperately searching for someone —Claudia Nesbitt as the Perfect Woman—who will provide him the unconditional love that he never received as a boy. He finds it easier to retreat into his mind to share Georgie’s sick obsession with Georgie’s cruel and abusive Claudia than to deal with his real issues. Dr C senses that Ben is suffering from some type of post-traumatic stress that occurred early in Ben’s childhood and that he uses Georgie as an escape when bad memories start to surface. It is up to Dr C to help Ben face the buried terrors of his childhood so that he can finally let go of Georgie and reduce him to the literary character that the writer Ben wants him to be.

Envision a blend of a mentally ill mind with unsurpassed resiliency and fiery intellect and your result would be the brilliant Jonathan Harnisch. An all-around artist, Jonathan writes fiction and screenplays, sketches, imagines, and creates. Produced filmmaker, fine artist, musician, and published erotica author, Jonathan holds myriad accolades, and his works captivate the attention of those who experience it. Manic-toned scripts with parallel lives, masochistic tendencies in sexual escapades, and disturbing clarities embellished with addiction, fetish, lust, and love, are just a taste of themes found in Jonathan's transgressive literature. Conversely, his award-winning films capture the ironies of life, love, self-acceptance, tragedy and fantasy. Jonathan's art evokes laughter and shock, elation and sadness, but overall forces you to step back and question your own version of reality. Scripts, screenplays, and schizophrenia are defining factors of Jonathan's life and reality - but surface labels are often incomplete. Jonathan is diagnosed with several mental illnesses from schizoaffective disorder to Tourette's syndrome; playfully, he dubs himself the "King of Mental Illness." Despite daily symptomatic struggles and thoughts, Jonathan radiates an authentic, effervescent, and loving spirit. His resiliency emanates from the greatest lesson he's learned: laughter. His diagnoses and life experiences encourage him to laugh at reality as others see it. Wildly eccentric, open-minded, passionate and driven, Jonathan has a feral imagination. His inherent traits transpose to his art, making his works some of the most original and thought-provoking of modern day. Jonathan Harnisch's struggles with his mental health conditions are interlinked with the incomprehension of non-sufferers, which provokes him to explain his reality. He has explored a range of media, including film, music, and now the written word, to help the general public understand exactly what it feels like to suffer from schizophrenia. By fictionalizing the day-to-day meetings of multiple personalities, he is illuminating a corner of psychiatry that few understand. As an author with schizophrenia, Jonathan Harnisch is ideally placed to share the unusual perception commonly defined as 'mental illness'. Harnisch is not dealing with an altered reality, but a double reality. His main characters, Ben Schreiber and Georgie Gust, perfectly illustrate how two lives can share the same body.
Watch Now: