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Sarah Naughter


My name is Sarah Naughter I am a fine art sculpture artist from Dublin Ireland I attended the National College of art and Design with the intention of becoming an art teacher I took time out of my studies for family purposes and unfortunately my health deteriorated rapidly which took me away from who I am and had a huge impact on my mental well being. I woke up one day with vision loss I went to opticians who said I had a central macular haemorrhage and advised me to attend a and e which I did and ended up spending months admitted under investigation by the end of my time in the hospital I was diagnosed with a chronic pain syndrome without any cause I was stuck in pain with no way of return without rewiring my brain. I suffer 24/7 chronic pain which had a devastating impact on my mental health I felt as though I would give up on life on goals opportunities and being a mother. To be stuck in a nightmare of endless pain and learning to accept this new body. So I learned different ways of coping I learned through movement the pain lessoned through destressing and being mindful I lessened my pain. I recently got a diagnosis of functional neurological disorder which is a neuro/psychiatric disorder which is a condition in which patients have symptoms such as movement disorders including tremors, dystonia, loss of vision, speech slurred, memory loss and limb weakness/paralysis blackouts also known as dissociative seizures and it has been my mission ever since to come back to the artist I have always been and to use art to raise awareness of my condition and mental health in general. As first sufferers usually don't have a structural cause it is a delay in diagnosis and symptoms progressing leaving patients frustrated hopeless and left behind. Be it physical or mental pain we should stand together with our voices heard and not be afraid of the stigma attached to this or any other mental health condition. I now have to use a walking frame as support as my condition has progressed but I feel as though if we get support mentally and try to create a balance within we can look at the walker frame as a frame of mind to not limit ourselves due to mental health conditions or disabilities. Recently my Neuropsychologist sent me the link to this competition and as part of my therapy I decided to enter the competition to try to help others and I trust it will. My message is to keep going and keep moving in body mind and spirit. Thank you

The artists' stories

"The Vibrant Mind" is an art contest that celebrates artistic expression from individuals with mental health conditions. By focusing on the artists' work rather than their various diagnoses, it hopes to promote a stigma-free and inclusive environment.


That being said, the participants were given the option to share their background stories if they wished to do so.

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