We are photographers living with or affected by mental illness; supporting each other one photograph at a time. Join our community, submit today!
Photo taken by first-time contributor Don, a man in his fifties from the Western North Carolina Mountains. Throughout his teens and twenties spikes of grandeur, depression, and anxiety were the norm, although back then no one used those terms, at least not in his small town. He struggled throughout his twenties, and married for the second time. Don continued to be plagued by episodes of mania and depression, until one day in his early thirties it all came crashing down. His anxiety turned to severe panic attacks. Fear and paranoia consumed him. It would take years to get a concrete diagnosis. Ultimately, he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, general and social anxiety, and ADHD. It was around that time when he picked up the camera he had laid down some years back, and began to shoot again. He liked being behind the camera’s lens. He felt safe there, sort of like when a child puts his hands over his own eyes, thinking you cannot see him. Some of his photographs have been published and won a number of awards.
About this photo: “I took this photo one morning. I was driving to work and as I rounded a turn I saw this amazing sunrise over Perch Lake in Sparta, Wisconsin. I had to stop and shoot it. I pulled over by a dock, grabbed my camera bag and tripod, and ran to the lake. I set up my camera on the tripod and began shooting. I shot around 20 frames, with varying settings, as fast as I could, since sunrises don’t last very long. The entire event lasted about 10 minutes. Hopefully, the photographs will last forever.”