Photo Essay About Depression

Since quite a few of my friends have expressed an interest in seeing my actual final Photography Photo Essay, I have put it together for you including the Intro, correct image order and captions.  

I got 95% YAY!!! for this assessment and a High Distinction for the subject overall!!  Let me know what you think


"nothing matters anymore"
"(n) depressive disorder, clinical depression, depression (a state of depression and anhedonia so severe as to require clinical intervention)"
"It's an epidemic of modern times - depression:
1 in 5 people will experience depression in their lifetime. Over 50% of them will not seek treatment.
This year alone 1,000,000 people in Australia will experience a depressive illness.
Depression is the third largest individual heath problem in Australia after heart disease and stroke.
There are still high levels of stigma associated with depression."
"The World Health Organisation estimates that depression will be the number one cause of disability in both the developed and developing worlds by 2030. [20]"


Clinical Depression is a subject that is very personal to me.  One that can still bring me to tears when I recall that time of my life.  I struggled with this mental illness for 4 years, surrounded by a perpetual shroud of darkness and despair.  The darkness inside consumed my life, transformed me into a vessel of hurt and pain that seemed to root permanently and deeply into my soul.   Nothing gave me pleasure because I could not stop the self-loathing, and the intense feelings of rage, fear, guilt, sadness and worthlessness.
Anti-depressant medication saved me from thoughts of ending the feelings of helplessness and devastating sadness finally and forever.  It saved me from the worst of the illness, from the worst of my own dark thoughts but at the same time numbed me, making me feel empty and hollow.  It felt like I was floating above my existence, seeing but not seen, trying to disturb as little as possible in constant fear of making things worse.  I felt disconnected and isolated because I pushed life away;  it held no peace or joy for me.  I was trapped inside my own mind, so became a ghost on the outside, a numb mask containing the inner turmoil so as not to spill out the true ugliness inside me.
Hope finally came in the form of clarity, finally the confusion and darkness seemed to lift from my mind and I could see ~ myself, my life and the people around me.  I finally saw a glimpse of the light through the darkness.  And with this new found clarity and hope came the return of my inner strength as I surveyed the tatters of my life and began to visualise who I wanted to become.
The goal of this photo essay is to give a voice to the sufferer whom is often too afraid to share what is inside them for fear of rejection and further pain.  It seeks to express the emptiness, hopelessness and the loss of innocence that Depression sufferers feel by "touching" the viewer emotionally and enabling them to empathise with the subject.  To communicate a silent call for help, and to capture in some small way the moment of redemption.  

Captions based on "Bring me to life" by Evanescence (listen here)…

come undone

kept in the dark ...

without a voice, without a soul

big my blood to run

call my name

save me

from the nothing i've become ...

don't let me die here

i've become so thumb

my spirit sleeping somewhere cold

i cant wake up

there must be something more

save me

wake me up inside

bring me to life

  • Listening to: 30 Seconds to Mars
  • Reading: Game of Thrones
  • Watching: The L Word (4th Season)
  • Drinking: Coffee

"My opinion is that social media is all about being happy and having the best life you could imagine, while behind the closed doors, there’s a lot of shit happening," Dutch photographer Laura Hospes tells us via email. In her photos, Hospes is not interested in showing people what they want to see. Instead, the 21-year-old artist puts her personal journey on display — in stark black and white — in her series UCP-UMCG.

Named for the mental hospital in which it is set, this collection of photographs follows Hospes through her ongoing treatment for depression, anxiety, and disordered eating following a brief stay in intensive care due to a suicide attempt. Hospes takes her viewers behind those "closed doors" she mentions — and into the life of a young woman in recovery. She bravely documents and performs her innermost feelings in front of the camera, in spite of the pressure and the self-consciousness that come along with photographing herself.

Hospes began taking photos the first day she arrived at the hospital, using her iPhone until she had her camera brought to her. For the first month, she was allowed to keep her personal belongings with her; "the only things we were prohibited to have were razor blades or other sharp stuff," she explains. Hospes' restrictions were increased, however, after she attempted to commit suicide for a second time. She was placed in an isolation room and was allowed to choose one item to keep with her: "I switched all the time from [having my] camera, to laptop, to phone, to camera," she says.

Adjusting her process to fit the rules of the hospital, Hospes demonstrates a true passion for her work — one that reflects how integral photography is for her recovery. "In shit periods, the thing I need is to be less lonely," Hospes explains. As we see how intimately she interacts with the camera, it's clear she finds respite from loneliness in her work. Drawing her viewers' focus close to her body and face, Hospes lets us join her during her hospital stay — if only for a moment.

Click through to see Hospes' experience unfold, in her own words and images. (Trigger warning: One of Hospes' images depicts the results of self-harm.)

Editor's note: This article has been edited since publication. Information as to how Hospes was permitted to have her camera with her while hospitalized has been added for greater context.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *