Photo taken by first-time contributor Nicole, a woman in her forties who has had a diagnosis of bipolar with psychosis for the past six years. Nicole has experienced symptoms, however, since she was 19. Nicole is married to an amazing husband and has four incredible teenagers. While her priority is her health and family, Nicole is also running a small photography business, taking on clients when she can. Last year was a particularly difficult year for her, with the longest depressive episode she had ever experienced, lasting almost the whole year. She required many hospitalizations and underwent numerous treatments, including electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). For Nicole, photography is the only thing that seems to give relief to the overwhelming symptoms of her bipolar disorder.
About this photo: “This photograph was taken recently during a period of time whilst I was out of hospital and regaining my confidence as a photographer. I was still struggling with many day to day activities, but had set myself the task of taking a different photo each day, each with a different technical requirement. The technical aspect of this photo was to produce ‘bokeh’. Photography is the only activity I can do in which I completely forget how I am feeling and am totally focussed on the task at hand. It is my healing balm.”