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!

Breaking Free

Breaking Free - Self Portrait by Jaeda DeWalt

Photo taken by contributor Jaeda DeWalt, a conceptual self-portrait artist in her forties from Seattle, Washington. Her battles with mental illness hearken back to her earliest memories, at age four, when she became obsessed with the number four and performed exhaustive rituals in patterns of four. During her teen years, she began noticing extreme mood swings, manic one moment and depressed the next, and in her late twenties she finally sought treatment and was diagnosed with Bipolar, OCD, Anxiety, ADHD, and PTSD from the trauma of being sexually abused as a child into her young adult years. Her life was filled with self-destructive coping methods until she went full force into creating, in her mid-twenties. The process of creating and putting herself in front of the camera felt cathartic, liberating and healing. The photographic medium opened up a new world to her and ignited a kind of passion within that she didn’t even know she was capable of experiencing. She has been on an ever-evolving, healing journey, ever since.

About this photo: “My struggles with mental illness have taught me how important it is for me to  speak my personal truth; to make what was once hidden, visible. I cannot heal in silence and shadows, in shame and untold suffering..”

Find more from Jaeda at FacebookTwitterYouTube, and on our YouTube channel.

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4 comments on “Breaking Free

  1. Rodrick Rajive Lal
    March 4, 2017

    Nice concept!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Richard
    March 4, 2017

    Great picture!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. autisticaplanet
    March 4, 2017

    Your picture is how I feel most of the time. Screaming on the inside. Hard when you can’t connect and relate to others due to the symptoms of your disability like me.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Eduardo Mendoza
    March 4, 2017

    This writing about your image is so related with the stage I’m in these days Jaeda!!! I posted on my blog my story and truth a few days ago, in Spanish since I live in Mexico. I also just completed translating in into English, cause the google translator doesn’t deliver the right sense of what I really try to convey with my words. Keep on with your great work, it’s really inspiring!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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