Dazed Magazine

Dazed&Confused Magazine Submission

 

These days, there are more and more people admitting to mental health problems. Due to the power of the internet and a number of movements and campaigns, people are becoming more aware of mental health diseases. This is slowly changing our society, making the subject more accepted and less of a taboo.

This project was created based on personal experiences with mental illnesses.

A couple of years ago when still in high school I started separating myself from my peers. This slowly turned me into a ‘loner’ and a ‘freak’. I stopped meeting with my friends. I stopped talking to my family. I stopped living. I hated the world. I hated everyone; but above all, I hated myself. But I did not feel sad about it. In fact, I didn’t feel anything. For a number of years I felt empty inside, often putting a fake smile on my face in front of the people around me, to make it look like everything was okay. But it wasn’t. I didn’t feel happy nor sad. I felt nothing. I did not want to talk to anyone. I did not want to live. Almost every night I cried myself to sleep, I’d cut my wrists to check whether I can still feel something. Depression. I was depressed for several years, never talked to anyone about it, pretended I was fine, trying to end it all…

Now, I can proudly say that I was able to get myself out of that state and, I enjoy life. However, the demons from the past still haunt, coming back as dark, questioning thoughts. Depression caused me to develop a wall between myself and the world which evolved into another mental problem – anxiety. I fight a constant battle on an everyday basis, trying to live life ‘normally’, communicating with people around me, even if I want to run away and hide from the world…

All these issues often caused me to be angry. Angry at people for not noticing my problems, angry at people for ignoring ‘the real’ me. But above all, angry at myself. Angry that I could not win this battle going on in my head. Anger had been filling me up, which often caused outbursts, triggered by the smallest mistakes that ended up with me hurting the people I love the most; physically or emotionally…

I have dealt with a number of mental problems in my life. Even though I consider myself ‘happy’ and ‘fine’ now, these never fully go away. This project was created as a means of personal therapy. Creating performative auto-portraits of what I really feel like inside helped me to understand myself more and, hopefully, will help me with overcoming my problems. Problems that many young people in today’s society struggle with.

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