Wednesday, 28 July 2010

..Darkness visible: sufferers picture their depression ........

COUNTLESS hours have been spent researching depression, yet no scientist could capture what it means to someone who is afflicted by it. So a photography competition being run by the Black Dog Institute aims to do just that.

Kelly McMartin, 13, says depression is darkness. ''My photograph is of two girls [who are actually the same girl] showing that with love and hope you can come out of the darkness into the bright and wonderful world of happiness,'' she says.

Ebony Bejah, 23, says her depression is characterised by sadness or loneliness. She photographed a person on a wharf surrounded by warm colours because she wanted to create a feeling of safety. ''Warm colours make you feel good about yourself,'' she says.

Both were selected as among the most outstanding of the 450 Australian and international entries in the competition.

Every person's experience of a mood disorder is different and is expressed in different ways, says Gordon Parker of the Black Dog Institute. ''It is remarkably individualised,'' he says.
Professor Parker says the institute ran the photography competition because it found patients often understood their mood disorders in a very different way to psychiatrists.

''Psychiatrists … talk about drugs and behaviour and therapy, but patients talk about staying positive and doing exercise,'' he says.

The competition winners will be announced tomorrow night at the Black Dog Institute at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick. The top 30 will be online at


Victor said...

I was so shocked when a friend of forty years was hospitalised for depression and he informed me that he had suffered from the condition for thirty years. I had absolutely no inkling.

Damien Oz said...

Victor - Clinical depression is not usually debilitating. Manic depression on the other hand is very different.

As such - your friend probly coped for a long time with behavioural and medical assistance like I do.

Even now tho, depression is still largely misunderstood and not openly discussed often.

Hence why I bring it up here every damn time I can ;)

Wonder Man said...

interesting photos

Stephen said...

I suffer from depression, & I am on meds. Sometimes the depression is crushing.

Thanks for the post & the great photos.

Damien Oz said...

Stephen - The Big D seriously does like to beat us down

Stay strong mate and thanks for the look in.