Over the course of my life, I have dealt with something that doctors call “Depression.” This mental disorder has cost me countless friendships and important parts of my life. It has affected me in many ways, from my eating and sleeping patterns, to my interactions with others like family and friends. I didn’t know I had it until my Junior year of High School. It slowly became worse till I couldn’t really handle it. It started by just feeling sad out of the blue. Then, it gradually started to suck up my energy; I became constantly tired and irritable. I distanced myself from others, I isolated myself in my room for hours crying without a reason, I even stopped enjoying what I used to. When anxiety came, friendships started leaving. This made me push friends loved ones away, to the point of complete loneliness. Slowly, I was reaching rock bottom, suddenly I would find myself thinking about suicide or self-harming. I was sinking in a bottomless pit and there was nothing I could do about it. Got treatment and everything seemed to have “improved.” Now, I am a sophomore in college and it still haunts me. This semester has been very tough for me, lots of feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, darkness, and self-destruction. 

People fail to realize that depression is not an emotion or just a feeling. For me, depression has been everything that is holding me down. Slowly, it has consumed and extracted the happiness away from me and from everything I love. When I told my friends I had depression, there was an awkward and uncomfortable silence. When I told my parents, they went into denial, they said that it wasn’t a real issue and that everything was in my head. Depression became a taboo in my life, I didn’t want anybody to judge me or feel sorry for me, so I thought I could fight it alone. I was very wrong. This is something that I have to live with for the rest of my life.

This is a series of 8 self-portrait photographs that try to portray what depression and anxiety feel like to me.