My next photographic project is my attempt to begin a conversation on mental health.
Last year I spent 5 days in an inpatient military psychiatric unit following a suicidal psychotic break. Though the event was catalyzed by the separation of my and my spouse, it has revealed a much deeper maladaptive coping mechanism that had become almost second nature - a pattern of managing stress and trauma that was so engrained in my psyche that it had become completely hidden under my own awareness.
The last year of psychotherapy and psychopharmacology revealed depersonalized schizoid personality-like tendencies and avoidant behaviors that have shaped my life. I’ve struggled with constant thoughts of suicide; not the idea of hurting myself, but more so an apathetic malaise and overwhelming want to no longer participate with life. I am robotic and disembodied from the self, dissociated and disjoined from reality, and find no joy in the things or relationships that interweave throughout my life.
It is because of this discovery, the opened bottle of self-awareness, that have sparked a visual exploration of this self. The representational artistic involvement investigates the representational depiction of home, family, and familial connection, juxtaposed with the darkness and separateness and loneliness of the self’s inability to connect - with the literal depiction of a closed door. This linguistic-based approach hopes to take a mindful observation of mental health, its processes, and its impact on daily life.
If I can aid my own understanding, maybe this cathartic visual experience will help others.