Untitled
Canon Rebel T3I
This picture is about dissociation and feeling disconnected. Dissociation is a disconnect from the self. Normally it is experienced by not really knowing who you are and feeling very disconnected from your actions and thoughts.The most common form of minor dissociation I can think of is staring at a mirror for so long that you aren't really sure that its you in the mirror and you're not really sure if you're real.
One in Four
Canon Rebel T3I 
Data is inconclusive about exactly how many people self harm at some point in their lives, but it is estimated to between 20 and 35% of the US population. I have a lot of friends who have self harmed at one point and I have on and off for 7 years. Self harm is proven to be an addiction. It is extremely hard to quit and the relapse rate is very high. I try to embrace my scars and a sign of my strength, but often I hate them. People I care about often look at my scars rather than my face when interacting with me. For a long time I was afraid to work without long sleeves because I thought people wouldn't buy from me if they saw my self harm scars. One in four is a lot of people. And many of those people are suffering in silence and fear. We need to create safe spaces for people to talk about things like self harm.
Search Me
Google
These are just the top searches people put in. This shows how little people believe mental illness is real. This occurs from lack of education and and awareness. Stigma is very strong which prevents people for getting help. In my survey I found that there was an almost unanimous vote that mental illness is shown poorly in the media, which leads to things like these google searches. I believe that portrayal of mental illness affects how our community talks about mental illness and how comfortable individuals feel in sharing their concerns
Isolation
Kodak tri-x on ilford multigrade paper, bleached
This picture is about how isolating having a mental illness can be. I took it in 2014 for my Photo One class. As part of our portfolio, we needed to create a photo essay, a series of at least 5 photos that told a story. I created one photo essay about depression which was the very beginning of this Edith, long before I had any idea I would get so involved in NAMI and even do an Edith Hamilton Project. 
Weapons of Mass Destruction
Kodak tri-x on ilford multigrade paper
Also part of the photo essay mentioned on the above
Untitled 
Canon Rebel T3I
Haunted
Canon Rebel T3I
This is a picture not based off of what I experience, but rather what I have learned from others to be their experience, especially a girl from Sheppard Pratt. This picture is partly about hallucinations and partly about PTSD. Some people experience hallucinations and know that these things are not real or not normal, but others have been hallucinating for so long and started at such a young age that they do not know what they're experiencing. Hallucinations can be harmless and can even be friends to the people who experience them, but often hallucinations can get violent, telling people to harm themselves or others or make them think harm has been done to themselves or others. It can sometimes be hard for people to get used to not having their hallucinations once they are on medications.
Shades of Emotion (1 of 5)
Canon Rebel T3I 
The following pictures are a series.
These pictures are all self portraits that represent different ways I feel at different times, often during depressive episodes and anxiety episodes. I shot these pictures while I was lying on the floor because for me, the floor is where I have my worse moments. When I get too hungry, when I have meltdowns, when Im too tired, when Im too depressed, I end up lying on the floor. If Im on the floor at home, usually its a sign that Im not okay. So it only made sense to do these self portraits on the floor. Honestly my favorites of this series are the two on the right. The upper one is often what it feels like to be disconnected. I have these episodes that are somewhat like a meltdown, yes the type that young children have. I don't really know how to describe the feeling in words. I can think completely clearly, but there is a disconnect between being able to express myself beyond whining and rolling around on the floor. I'm not really me. The one on the adjacent page is my favorite of these. The picture to me represents being silenced, and fear, and a bit of being haunted.
Shades of Emotion (2 of 5)
Canon Rebel T3I 
Shades of Emotion (3 of 5)
Canon Rebel T3I 
Shades of Emotion (4 of 5)
Canon Rebel T3I 
Shades of Emotion (5 of 5)
Canon Rebel T3I 
Spinning
Canon Rebel T3I on Epson ink jet paper
This picture was inspired by a song called Pretty Me. The song describes spinning as a ballerina as a metaphor for spinning out of control and losing to an eating disorder. I think that happens a lot with mental illness. You spin out of control. And you don't know how to stop. You are afraid, and sometimes you're even afraid to to stop spinning.


Butterflies
Canon Rebel T3I 
The butterfly project is a method of dealing with self-harm where you or your friends draw butterflies on you and you have to wait for them to come off before you can self-harm again. At my worst time, I drew butterflies for every person who I felt cared about me and would care if I was gone.
Night life
Snapchat
Nights can sometimes be the worst and hardest times as I wait for sleep or avoid it. I often don't want to sleep because I feel there are so many other things I can be doing. Other times I can't sleep, my body is exhausted but my brain wants to run a marathon. I often forget to go to sleep and I do not become tired until around 5 am without medication.
On the Edge
Canon Rebel T3I on Epson ink jet paper
This picture is about not being able to reach hope or happiness. You are on the very edge of it, you can see it, but you are not emerged in the light yourself. To me, this is what it feels like to be depressed. Each person is experiencing the same thing, but they are isolated in their experience.
The Call of the Ignorant
Canon Rebel T3I
This is a picture I took when I was visiting Skidmore College. I saw Be Happy written on a window along the main path and I started laughing and took a picture. I always hear of people being told to just be happy or to get over it. I really don't think people who say that know how ridiculous they sound. Mental illness is an illness. It is a disease of the brain. You cant just get over cancer, so why would you be able to just get over a mental illness. I think these things stem from a lack of knowledge and education about the brain and maybe internalized norms that lead people to fear their own feeling or emotions. I wish I could just be happy on command, but I don't really think anyone can do that, mentally ill or not. Happiness takes a lot of effort sometimes.
Untitled
Kodak tri-x on ilford multigrade paper, crayons, and Styrofoam
his piece has a few meanings. It is partly about how overwhelming emotions can be and how they can flood over you without any control, especially positive emotions. When starting to feel better and staying on meds, I have often found feeling good to be very uncomfortable. After spending so long feeling bad, it can be very weird to start feeling good, for me it felt like a loss of identity, I didn't know who I was without living in severe depression. Feeling good can be very overwhelming, but I slowly became accustomed to it.
The choice of they way the crayons are lined up is a reflection of my worst battles with anxiety. I would color coloring pages with colored pencils. I needed to have the pencils in rainbow order as seen here. Coloring at that time was both very painful and the only way I knew to handle my anxiety.
Depressed heart
Clay
Research has found that a large proportion of suicide occur from the ending of a relationship. Depression feels like it is taking over your whole body, turning your organs black with its darkness. Making relationships difficult.
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