It’s Not All In Your Head. Consumed: Mental Illness Through Photography

What if mental illnesses were shown on the outside?

Would we still be afraid to ask for help?

Since I was 13 years old I have fought depression, anxiety and bouts of insomnia. Since then I have tried to explain what that pain, discomfort, emptiness, and apathetic nature feels like to people. Often the words would come up short, and even the poems, songs, and stories I wrote didn’t seem to fully paint a picture into someones head to make them understand what I was going through. As I increasingly became aware of the lack of education and the stigma that surrounds mental illness and mental health, I thought about trying a different approach.

And that’s when the Consumed: Mental Illness Through Photography project was born.

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A Lens Into Our World Consumed dear hope

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

Consumed

MARISSA 2 COLOR

I launched a new page that details my “Consumed: Mental Illness Through Photography” series. These are the first shoots that will grow to show multiple illnesses with models of different races, genders and identities. Because a mental illness can happen to anyone at anytime no matter who you are.

Find more at the link.

Source: Consumed

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Mental Illness Through Photography: Anxiety

What if mental illnesses were shown on the outside? 

Would we still be afraid to ask for help?


The slideshow below is showcasing some of the shots that were taken during my last photo shoot for my project ConsumedAs someone who has personally fought both depression and anxiety I looked for a way to personify this invisible illness that no one can see.

A Lens Into Our World Consumed dear hope

Consumed: Photography Through Mental Illness (Teaser Video)


What if mental illness was shown on the outside?


Hey All!

I made a small video showcasing what it was like setting up some of the end shots from the photoshoot I posted about yesterday. I really want to start getting more behind the scenes footage to make a full video at the completion of the project in the spring.

For those who don’t know I’m currently producing a photo series entitled “Consumed” that looks to challenge our idea of what mental illness is by portraying attributes of the illnesses externally instead of internally.

If we can make the invisible visible maybe we can start to end some of the stigma that surrounds us all.

Check out the video below, and feel free to subscribe as it’s the official Dear Hope youtube channel!

You are loved.

PF


Consumed