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 www.blackdoginstitute.org.au.