MY ANXIOUS HEART, A PHOTO ESSAY

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.

fogged

Fogged: a captive of my own mind. the instigator of my own thoughts. the more i think, the worse it gets. the less i think, the worse it gets. breathe. just breathe. drift. it’ll ease soon.

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).

View the full series, which was recently featured by the Huffington Post, on Katie Crawford’s website.

my head is filling with helium. focus is fading. such a small decision to make. such an easy question to answer. my mind isn’t letting me. it’s like a thousands circuits are all crossing at once.

Overwhelmed: my head is filling with helium. focus is fading. such a small decision to make. such an easy question to answer. my mind isn’t letting me. it’s like a thousands circuits are all crossing at once.

they keep telling me to breathe. i can feel my chest moving up and down. up and down. up and down. but why does it feel like i'm suffocating? i hold my hand under my nose, making sure there is air. i still can't breathe.

Suffocated: they keep telling me to breathe. i can feel my chest moving up and down. up and down. up and down. but why does it feel like i’m suffocating? i hold my hand under my nose, making sure there is air. i still can’t breathe.


Photos published with permission.

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