Welcome to The New Dear Hope!

Hello Everyone!

Today I’m excited to say that we launched the new version of our site! We have an all new homepage that has a slider featuring highlights and the latest posts – along with sub categories to help you see what the newest posts are on different parts of our site.

You will also find that we now have social media icons and a search bar at the top of the page to help you navigate around!

While some parts are still be worked on we have most of the new site up and running. Be sure to take a look around and let us know what you think!


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Dear Hope is Going to Mental Health America! + Other News From The Author

Hello everyone!

Paul here.

This has been an AMAZING and BUSY last few months for Dear Hope, and I think a few announcements are in place!

Conference Invitation

First off, I’m super excited to announce that  Dear Hope has been invited by Mental Health America to speak at their conference “Media, Messaging, and Mental Health” this June in Virginia!

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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.

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.


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



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


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.



Consumed (Anxiety): A Behind The Scenes Look At The Next Series

The Consumed project continued the other night with the focus this time being on Anxiety.

We worked for 6 hours as a team to bring to life and personify what anxiety would feel like as an external factor instead of an internal factor. I’m so proud of the team and effort and passion everyone involved brought. I couldn’t have done it without them. But while I’m working on the photos post shoot I thought I would share some of the behind the scenes photos taken. Take a look in the slideshow below.

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Find more of the consumed project here. And be on the lookout for more projects and updates as the fall continues.


A Lens Into Our World Consumed

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.


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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