Juanita Gonzalez Cardona

What we keep to ourselves

Depression is a complex mental disorder, if not an illness, that is experienced on different levels. A less physically apparent symptomatology is one of its main characteristics. Its bruises and scars are internal and emotional, but no less painful. It is precisely in the lack of evident signs where its unintelligibility relies.

One in five adults experience depression in the UK, where records indicate that women are more likely to seek help than men. On the other hand, the most common death cause for men under 35 is suicide.  Such statistics reflect the fact that in spite being so common and present in the human condition, living with depression continues to be a stigma. They also show how certain modes of behaviour based on masculine and feminine stereotypes affect mental health, in the sense that they can lead men to hide their feelings and emotions, by thinking of them as a sign of weakness.

As a person who has also experienced the condition, I became increasingly motivated to explore the stories of those who are less likely to talk openly about their struggle. For that reason, the following project focused on the stories of three men living in England, who are diagnosed with different types of depression: mild, manic and major. In the challenge of representing something so private and not readily perceptible, sound and photography were employed as a window into their experiences.



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