Depression is a condition which is oft ignored and seldom considered with appropriate empathy that it deserves. It is a monster which eats a person from inside, creating a hollow which blocks the shaft of love and light surrounding the person, causing him or her to withdraw. Withdrawal is fuelled by apathy, don’t let the monster find its roots inside your loved one. Empathise, love, and let the light of your being shine through the darkness that depression is. Not just clinical treatment, but support and empathy too are two critical elements to ward off the depressive disorder.
However, to understand how to get rid of it, one needs to get into the head of one who is suffering from the disorder, and understand how to mind works at that time. Dark and cavernous, these bits of randomness floating in the mind can be complicated, but are immensely precarious. But to ward those off, you need to get what it means.
Keeping the same perspective in mind, Katie Joy Crawford, a photographer who herself has battled anxiety for years, came up with a series of pictures named ‘My Anxious Heart’ that are poignant and force you to look at depression in a different light. The captions and the images are resonating the inner turmoil of those who suffer from these disorders.
Take a look at these dark, delirious, yet starkly real images, that depict the emotionally depleting parasite that depression is. Come forward and empathise, for it is the first step towards defeating the demons of depression and anxiety.
“I was scared of sleeping. I felt the most raw panic in complete darkness. Actually, complete darkness wasn’t scary. It was that little bit of light that would cast a shadow — a terrifying shadow.”
“They keep telling me to breathe. I can feel my chest moving up and down. Up and down. Up and down. But why does it feel like I’m suffocating? I hold my hand under my nose, making sure there is air. I still can’t breathe.”
“A captive of my own mind. The instigator of my own thoughts. The more I think, the worse it gets. The less I think, the worse it gets. Breathe. Just breathe. Drift. It’ll ease soon.”
“Cuts so deep it’s like they’re never going to heal. Pain so real, it’s almost unbearable. I’ve become this … this cut, this wound. All I know is the same pain; sharp breath, empty eyes, shaky hands. If it’s so painful, why let it continue? Unless … maybe it’s all that you know.”
“You were created for me and by me. You were created for my seclusion. You were created by venomous defense. You are made of fear and lies. Fear of unrequited promises and losing trust so seldom given. You’ve been forming my entire life. Stronger and stronger.”
“No matter how much I resist, it’ll always be right here desperate to hold me, cover me, break down with me. Each day I fight it. ‘You’re not good enough for me and you never will be.’ But there it is, waiting for me when I wake up and eager to hold me as I sleep. It takes my breath away. It leaves me speechless.”
“I’m afraid to live and I’m afraid to die. What a way to exist.”
“It’s strange — in the pit of your stomach. It’s like when you’re swimming and you want to put your feet down but the water is deeper than you thought. You can’t touch the bottom and your heart skips a beat.”
“My head is filling with helium. Focus is fading. Such a small decision to make. Such an easy question to answer. My mind isn’t letting me. It’s like a thousand circuits are all crossing at once.”
“A glass of water isn’t heavy. It’s almost mindless when you have to pick one up. But what if you couldn’t empty it or set it down? What if you had to support its weight for days … months … years? The weight doesn’t change, but the burden does. At a certain point, you can’t remember how light it used to seem. Sometimes it takes everything in you to pretend it isn’t there. And sometimes, you just have to let it fall.”
“Numb feeling. How oxymoronic. How fitting. can you actually feel numb? Or is it the inability to feel? Am I so used to being numb that I’ve equated it to an actual feeling?”
“Depression is when you can’t feel at all. Anxiety is when you feel too much. Having both is a constant war within your own mind. Having both means never winning.”
Wiping tears, aren’t you?