What is Real?

Photo taken by contributor Danielle, a woman from the northeastern part of the US. She suffers from recurrent depressive episodes that can last from a few days to a few years, as well as hypomania. She finds photography to be helpful during those times when she is able to bring herself to lift the camera.

About this photo: “I took this photo on my routine walk home from my psychiatrists office. I was disappointed with the outcome. I wanted to go down on a med and just ended up going up on another. I wanted her to be excited about a plan I have for the future, but she was not. It seems my “good” days can only be attributed to hypomania and my “ideas” cannot be trusted. As I walked back, I felt tightly bound by my mental illness like a straightjacket, and my thoughts were everywhere, so despite the cold weather I took off my shoes and walked on the beautiful fall leaves. I wanted to feel unbound, and grounded to the earth. To the moment. To reality. But it only left me questioning what reality really is.


**Visit Broken Light’s main gallery here. Currently accepting submissions.

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11 thoughts on “What is Real?

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  1. I am drawn to this lovely photograph because I live on the West Coast, & we don’t get too many Autumn leaves here. I remember the feeling of bare feet on leaves in my New England hometown. It’s divine! Hope you read some of the great mental health advocate blogs in our community. We really care!


  2. Really nice pic! And i will pray that you will continue to use this method of picking up your camera to feel a sense of freedom. Keep what you are doing no matter what your doctor says or dont say!


  3. feel the earth beneath his feet to hear the leaves crack and the fragility of existence, but also the strength of the earth that relays trees well.


  4. very pretty photo. I love when the leaves change colors although for me that is usually the start of my seasonal depression. I might consider trying a new doctor. I had one like that who insisted on treating me as bi-polar because they had given me some of those anti-seizure meds for prophalaxis for migraines. She put me on stuff that made me horribly sick and knocked me out. I finally got to another doctor that verified that I was not bi-polar and had never been and put me back on the only med that ever worked for my depression – prozac. I had done great on it for 10 years then I failed it. For the next 10 years I was put on everything – nothing of which worked. When I told the new doctor about this and asked about giving prozac another try she agreed and I have been doing well again for the last 4 years.


  5. I love that you turned to photography during a moment of frustration and confusion about your interior struggle – carry that camera with you!


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