Anyone who has or has experienced a mental illness will know it can be hard to describe what you experience to those who aren’t afflicted by such things. But every now and then I come across a piece of work — a blog, a photo essay, a painting, a comic — that smartly conveys some aspect of what life with mental illness is like
My Anxious Heart, a photo essay by Katie Crawford, does a fantastic job of illustrating what anxiety feels like: How it affects your mind, thought processes and self-esteem.
As Crawford writes on her website:
My Anxious Heart explores and identifies how emotionally and physically depleting general anxiety disorder can be from a personal perspective. As I have carried anxiety for the majority of my life, I’ve chosen to photographically depict this battle and its constant presence. Since it is within my own mind where anxiety is born, I have decided to interpret my roles as both instigator and victim through self portraiture.
Through this body of work, I am visually interpreting my own emotional and physical journey so that others may be able to understand this weight that so many bear in our society.
My interpretation of these symptoms through my images aids in the explanation of how true anxiety has the capability to drain every last drop of aspiration.
Each photo in the series is telling, though I am particularly drawn to three photos in the series — overwhelmed (below); fogged (above); and suffocated (below).
Photos published with permission.