Through this project I examine the relationship between the effects of depression and anxiety on a person and societies perceptions of mental illness.
For this project I reached out to social media and collected experiences of depression and anxiety from people in the form of a word, a sentence or a short statement. I then used these stories to create a visual representation of their experiences.
Since my early teens, I have suffered and battled with a deep depression. Until my early thirties, I carried this invisible illness with me, alone and in silence, ashamed of this perceived weakness. It wasn't until I reached my darkest day that I sought real help and spoke openly about my depression. What stopped me from seeking assistance sooner was my own preconceptions about depression and the stigma associated with mental illness. It is my desire to challenge such preconceptions and create an awareness of the effects of depression that drives me to create this work.
Each person's story is presented in the form of a triptych, The Portrait, The Statement and The Effect.
The choice to use balloons to represent the subjects is because they have always made me smile. There is an innate joy in receiving and playing with a balloon; they are fragile, ephemeral and a representation of joy and freedom. This creates a juxtaposition to the feelings we experience with depression and anxiety.
"Through My Eyes - An Expression of Anxiety and Depression" is the first part of a larger body of work that I will continue to create over the coming year.
Thank you to everyone that wrote to me and shared their experiences and stories.
“Suffering is justified as soon as it becomes the raw material of beauty.”
- Jean-Paul Sartre
© Jason Bran-Cinaed - Ravenfire Photography