Behind the Mask

Photos taken by Sara, 23, who has experienced major anxiety and panic attacks. She has lived through mental abuse, physical abuse, and social abuse in her past. More recently, she has been rushed to the hospital three times for severe rapid heartbeat and near loss of consciousness, and was told on all occasions it was due to anxiety. She has since been prescribed Xanax, and is in the process of coming to terms.

About these photos: For many years I have watched my mom suffer from depression, and lately have been diagnosed with anxiety and panic attacks myself. I feel like for many years I hid the pain I felt and the hardships I was going through and it manifested itself into a painful and awful panic disorder that I cannot seem to get rid of no matter how positive I am or how much I love myself. I still feel the pain weighing heavy inside like I did when I took these pictures. I was hiding behind a mask of happiness and feeling nothing but pain and heartache, these photos were my way of showing myself that I needed to break through the evil and open up my heart to being a truly happy person. Even though it has barely happened and these were taken 5 years ago, I feel like I have made huge progress since then. I am hoping to one day be a happy person free of people and things that bring me down and make me feel like I did when I took these photos. Until then, I allow the happiness to leak out whenever possible and let the evil out in horrid, loud outbursts. I can’t hold it in anymore. Its just not healthy! 


**Send your self-portraits here to be a part of our Faces of Mental Health Month.

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16 thoughts on “Behind the Mask

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  1. Thanks D, beautiful post for me, you are awesome at translating things in such a gripping and true way. I am honored to be a part of Broken Light Collective. Thanks so much. The only thing is my name is linked but the link doesn’t go through, was this intentional? Just thought I would let you know.
    Much love and thanks


      1. You know it! With my spirits lifted and camera in hand I shall deliver greatness! Hehe this really put a smile on my face and brightened my day. Can’t thank you enough.



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