Artist: Jennifer Sieberg
Medium: Digital Images
Artist Statement: This triptych of images represents how the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders taints the nursing perspective. The birds are the people in a community, each with their unique life stories. The birdwatchers are mental health nurses, observing and listening to the consumers’ life experiences and how it affects their story. The birdcages in the final image represent the confining nature of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). The DSM has relatively concrete sets of criteria required for each mental health diagnosis, and once a survivor is diagnosed, her/his story becomes encaged by the disease. After diagnosis, it is often difficult for healthcare practitioners to clearly hear the survivor’s story without considering that affixed label. Within the cage, many survivors find it difficult to remove the self-stigma associated with a diagnosis from the DSM.