Mental Illness Through Photography: Anxiety & Depression (October Update)

What if mental illnesses were shown on the outside? 

Would we still be afraid to ask for help?


Often times I’m asked what it feels like when the depression hits. Is it just sadness? Do you just want to isolate yourself and be alone? I mean yes, it is. But theres so much more. It feels like there’s a hand inside of my head that is pulling on the back of both of my eyes, slowly encasing me in myself. It makes you feel like you want to cry, but for me, no tears ever come. It’s like there’s a black hole sitting in the middle of my chest that is sucking any little bit of life that I have out of me. From the tips of my fingers to the bottom of my feet, I feel everything start to retract. And I go numb. It can happen when I’m in a room full of laughing people who I could consider my best friends. And out of no where it’ll hit me like a truck. And often times all I can do is watch as the truck approaches, caught like a deer in the headlights. I’ll start to slip. And my mind feels heavy with pressure as doubts flood in and I start to question even the most concrete parts of my life.



The text above is from a piece I wrote a few months ago trying to describe what depression, and to an extent, anxiety, feel like to me.

Now. a few months later, not only do I have words to describe what it feels like, but photos. These shots come from my project Consumed: Mental Illness Through Photography that looks to depict different mental illnesses externally instead of internally. Over the last few weeks I spent time with two models to personify the darkness I feel that consumes me on a daily basis.

I hope these photos help you represent what you fight like they did for me, and I hope those who have trouble understanding what anxiety and depression feels like, understand a little more.

See more shots below. Also expect another update on the Consumed photo series next month as I have two new ideas with two more shoots scheduled to continue to personify my interpretation of depression and anxiety. Feel free to follow the site with your email to get updates, or find us on twitter and facebook.

And always remember you are not alone.

You are loved.

PF

Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

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A Lens Into Our World Consumed dear hope

“Navigating The Fog, My Journey To Accepting My Depression” – Coping: This is Who We Are Entry 11

I don’t really know how or why it all started. I can barely remember when it even started. I was so confused as to why this was happening, but for some reason it did. And now, here I am.

I didn’t understand why I could possibly be feeling this way.

Nothing was wrong in my life, after all.

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Before, and even during my depressive episodes, I always thought that depression could only happen after some sort of serious traumatic event. But that’s not the case. I could go on and on about the stigma of mental illness, but that’s another story that could be discussed forever. The stigma, and the belief that depression isn’t something that just happens, prevented me from getting the help that I needed. For years, I beat myself up over feeling depressed and being suicidal. I told myself that I should just suck it up. After all, I had no reason to feel that way, right?. I lived in a stable household. I went on frequent trips to incredible places. I went to private school and had lots of friends. I had more than enough opportunities to do whatever I wanted. So why did I feel so hollow and numb, with my only desire being to kill myself?

Coping: This Is Who We Are dear hope

Dear Hope Is Expanding, Meet The New Editor!

Hello Everyone,

It seems as my life continues to get more busy and complicated the website is continuing right alongside doing the same. In the last six months we’ve gained a lot of momentum and created a community that is engaging, empathetic, understanding, and willing to hear and learn from each other. It makes me proud looking at what we’ve accomplished so far.

So I want to keep going.

10176116_10206246596547066_7865623685647307170_nBesides community submitted pieces you deserve to read different news and articles about what is going on in the world today about mental health and your well being. I have to decided to bring on another editor to the site who will help me in finding and publishing content to keep the ecosystem alive and breathing, and he is someone I know very well.

Meet Danny. (Pictured on the far left next to me)

Danny and I have known each other for 4 years and currently live in the same apartment during our last year at the college we are attending. Danny is as passionate and driven to advocate for mental health (among many other things) and will be a great addition to helping us destigmatize and educate those who are willing to listen.

Danny has already submitted to the site twice with his own “Coping: This is Who We Are story and a piece of poetry he wrote entitled “Arachnophilic“. Be sure to check them out and give him some love.

I hope you all welcome Danny with an open mind as a new voice enters this world we share, and look forward to hearing a piece from him over the next week! If you’ve been thinking about submitting to the website now is a good time as well, as we only have a few submissions left in the queue. Share with your friends and invite them to share their stories, because as the community grows, the understanding of these illnesses does in unison.

You are loved.

PF

Want to submit to this site and share your story, art, or article related to mental health or mental illness? Email wemustbebroken@gmail.com

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Vacation Is Over: A Quick Update

Hello Everyone!

Sorry the site has gone dark the last few weeks.

I was recently on vacation in Europe visiting Dublin and Paris with my mother and a friend! I may write a separate post about it, as other cultures are always very eye opening and teach you so much.

But now it’s time to get back to work in the community. I have a few people I’m in contact with about pieces for the blog that I’m very excited about. If you been thinking about maybe contributing, send an email to wemustbebroken@gmail.com and we’ll chat! No harm done if we can’t work something out!

I plan on getting a few articles out myself. I recently saw the new pixar movie Inside Out and want to comment on it’s take on sadness/depression and the importance of them in relation to the emotional spectrum. I’m also in the beginning stages of working on a piece about depression and relationships. Be on the lookout for those. Maybe a creative piece too. It’s been a while since I wrote anything, so send some creative juices my way.

In other news the blog has passed 7500 views and has over 650 followers. 

This is incredible. Thanks to everyone who has joined our community and shares these posts. All the insight that has been added and all the people I have met has been heart-warming. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Lets get things going again!

Paul

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Under Construction

Hello All!

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I’ve been slacking with the posts lately on here as I was finishing up school work but now the semester is finally out. The next week or so is going to be spent reworking and (possibly?) remodeling the blog.

Be sure to come back and check it out as I work on it, and if you visit during the next week and wonder why links go nowhere or things look incomplete, that is why.

See you all soon!

Paul

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