YOU WONDER IF YOU'RE REALLY ALIVE AND I AM ASKING IF I AM DEAD STILL
I created this series of self portraits as a means to communicate my thoughts on mental health. At the time, I was struggling heavily with both depression and anxiety, and desperately searched for a way to express how I felt as well as explain those feelings to others. What began as an outlet for self expression became a way to cope with my emotions and relate to others. Along this journey, I realized the power of self reflection, introspection, vulnerability, and, most of all, discussing mental health, especially when it is difficult to do so. We are taught from a young age how to prevent and heal physical injuries as well as when to seek help for them, yet we are taught very little about our mental health. Therefore, most people often have difficulty understanding, expressing, communicating, and/or coping with their emotions. It is estimated that one in five U.S. adults experience mental health issues each year, although less than half of those people receive treatment (“Mental”). Yet, despite its clear relevance, mental health is often seen as a controversial topic to steer clear of. But I can tell you first hand, that ignoring issues only make them worse, whereas open discussions and support can make all the difference. Even if you haven’t personally dealt with mental health issues, chances are that someone close to you has or will throughout your lifetime. With this series, I hope to encourage a positive discussion about negative emotions.
“Mental Health By The Numbers.” NAMI, www.nami.org/learn-more/mental-health-by-the-numbers.