Hello, my name is Arie Rain Glorie and I am an artist and curator based in Naarm Melbourne. I identify as queer and neuro-diverse, as someone who lives with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I am the owner of The Anxiety Shop.
I started making products about my experiences with mental health in 2019 to try to figure out what was going on in my brain. OCD is a condition that causes unwanted intrusive thoughts (obsessions) that a person tries to minimise by engaging in physical actions or mental rituals (compulsions), which is exhausting and interferes with their quality of life. People who are unaware they have OCD can fear the intrusive thoughts are a reflection of their character and don’t reach out for help because they feel ashamed. On average it takes people over 10 years to receive a diagnosis because society doesn’t openly talk about intrusive thoughts and misuses the term OCD as an adjective, which perpetuates these feelings of shame. Needless to say, I was terrified and felt debilitated for quite some time.
What helped enormously (besides therapy) was using literature, art and mass media to form a language around the difficult thoughts and feelings I was experiencing. Through these references I began to find it easier to have emotionally honest conversations with other people. What I discovered by being more honest about my mental health was that my experiences were not that unique. Now I find myself situated in an amazing supportive local community and a global community of mental health advocates who also want to help build a world where there is no shame or stigma surrounding mental health.
So here I give you The Anxiety Shop, to help bridge the topic of mental health in a creative and humorous way. It is a conversation starter, helping us to collectively bring shame out into the open, where it cannot survive.