An Artist’s Struggle With Depression in Photography


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Depression and anxiety is real, and is all around us. Fortunately, we have strong people in our communities who are speaking out in their own unique ways to remove the associated stigma attached to it.

Photographer Edward Honaker is one such person, and he has produced a portfolio of images that shows how he experiences depression. Falling and immersion in water are common themes in his work, as well as literal loss of face. Edward was diagnosed with depression 2 years ago and made the depression portfolio as a way of coping, and to encourage others:

“When I was making the portfolio, I asked myself if I was the kind of person whom others would feel comfortable coming to if they were going through a difficult time and needed someone to talk to,” Honaker said. “Truthfully, at the time, I don’t think I was. I’ve still got quite a ways to go, but the whole experience made me a lot more patient and empathetic towards others.”

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(via deMilked)

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3 Comments

  1. These photographs perfectly illustrate thoughts, emotions, and self-perception of a person suffering from depression. The act of taking these photographs, expressing oneself artistically, and sharing their creations with the world are actually constructive behaviors in treating this mental illness. More likely than not, someone who is depressed tends to bottle up emotions or suppress traumatic events that led to the depression in the first place. However, externalizing those powerful feelings through the arts, such as the artist has done here with photography, can be a freeing experience. A study by Brillantes-Evangelista (2013) demonstrated the effectiveness of expressing painful stories through the arts in the form of poetry for children who have been previously abused. She corroborates that the non-verbal language of arts can help those enduring the burdens of a disturbing past to convey their experiences, which is vital to the process of healing. Whether or not you share your creative expressions depicting your inner struggles, they are at least released outside of your mind which can help an individual feel a sense of a relief from the heavy baggage they carry.

    Reference:

    Brillantes-Evangelista, G. (2013). An evaluation of visual arts and poetry as therapeutic interventions with abused adolescents. Arts in Psychotherapy, 40(1), 71-84. doi:10.1016/j.aip.2012.11.005

  2. These photographs perfectly illustrate thoughts, emotions, and self-perception of a person suffering from depression. The act of taking these photographs, expressing oneself artistically, and sharing their creations with the world are actually constructive behaviors in treating this mental illness. More likely than not, someone who is depressed tends to bottle up emotions or suppress traumatic events that led to the depression in the first place. However, unleashing those powerful feelings through the arts, such as the artist has done here with photography, can be a freeing experience.

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