Mental illness has been a fringe conversation for many years now whether in discussion of the government reducing or stagnating essential services for mental health care, or as a sticky glob hurled at politicians who don’t perform appropriately, or as the mysterious explanation for violent tragedy. The truth is that mental illnesses like depression and consequences like suicide are painful, complicated, and very common.
Mental illness is a very isolating experience because many of the symptoms of mental illnesses, especially depression, attack the parts of the mind that interpret relationships, make meaningful connections, and experience joy. Often the effects of mental illness are not felt until a tragedy occurs, a suicide or another violent physical manifestation of the illness, when the impact radiates outwards through family, friends, and communities.
This year has seen a number of staged examinations of domestic violence and violence against women in time with the #MeToo movement and a global recognition of the violence and abuse faced by so many women. Steve Rodgers’s new work fragments his examination across four different stories. The unnamed cast trace three violent relationships from meeting to testifying and illustrate the often subtle ways power is abused to sometimes deadly ends.