Broken Light: A Photography Collective

We are photographers living with or affected by mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time. Join our community, submit today!

The Mask Does Not Define Us

Photo taken by Stephanie Cook from Knoxville, TN. She has struggled with depression and anxiety since childhood.

About this photo: I have always felt like the one on the outside looking in at the world, hiding myself away from the hurt and pain, not realizing I was building a wall between me and those who could help me.  I started photographing the Masquerade series because I love masks, but as I began shooting them I couldn’t help but feel the strong emotional connection with the concept of the images. The mask represents shame, anger, depression, anxiety, panic, fear, etc. and for those of us who live with these we begin to see ourselves as the thing that haunts us.  We need to realize that we are not the hurt that has been done to us, we are strong and we can make it through, there is hope. The mask does not define us.

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4 comments on “The Mask Does Not Define Us

  1. scrapydo
    July 15, 2012

    This is so true! I can associate with the idea and feeling!


  2. Caroline
    July 16, 2012

    Lovely shot and I identify with your comments. I got rid of my mask two years ago…now everyone knows I have depression and I feel so much better. Stay strong 🙂


  3. Helen Cherry
    July 16, 2012

    well said


  4. Saad Solaiman
    July 18, 2012

    I love this… I am loving the concept of masks. In fact I am actually working on my own photo story with masks. here’s the starting photo.


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