by Markaye Hassan and Hannah Holst
Link to the website.
Welcome to My Brain is the very raw, real story of an individual’s experience getting a diagnosis for ADHD while attending university. Occasionally lighthearted and intentionally frustrating, this series of blog pages is also designed to mimic the experience of ADHD itself.
Dropping the viewer off in the middle of the story, this piece constantly interrupts them with pop-ups as they try to navigate the simple timeline. Whether or not viewers choose to follow any of the distracted paths presented to them, the pop-ups make getting through the story difficult, which mirrors the experience of having ADHD.
The heart of the story is in the contrast between solitude and community surrounding mental illness. The thoughts of the story’s main character are shown through difficult journal entries and life experiences surrounded with questions of worth and capability. Meanwhile, a group of five girls, including the protagonist, sit in a room together late at night when their medication has run out, surrounded by distractions, laughing and sharing stories of life with ADHD.
The contrast between the story of the protagonist and the video with her friends works to emphasize the necessity of diagnosis and community when dealing with mental illness. While there is a real difficulty to the quiet sections of this piece, there is a palpable camaraderie between the girls: a joyful distractibility that acknowledges union in sharing similar life experience, even where those experiences are difficult and genuinely frustrating.