The word ‘depression’ lingers about all over the internet and social media, but it’s a shame how just a small number of the general population really know what depression is. Depression affects everyone in different ways. It’s more than just a feeling or emotion; definitely not just an ‘excuse’, nor is it a fashion statement.  When you think about depression, or even search it online, there are many images of overtly sad people in despair with their head in their hands. This may be true for some, but in reality most people with depression suffer behind brave faces – making it near impossible for others to suspect there’s anything wrong. 

For quite some time I have been battling with depression and social anxiety internally due to fear of stigmatisation. Also, I was subject to my own torment of the incapability, refusal and denial to talk openly about my mental health issues. I eventually sought help and got diagnosed in October 2014 and have since been recovering. With mental health problems affecting 1 in 4 of us a year, I became determined to speak out and change society’s perceptions of mental health disorders – so I decided to create this project.

This project is not restrictive to depression, but all forms of mental health disorders. The project was inspired by my own personal experience and I wanted to expand that to incorporate and reflect the reality of living with various mental health disorders, besides depression and social anxiety. The whole point of this project is to tackle the question; What does mental illness look like and who does it affect? Since mental disorders have no particular ‘face’ I am hoping that the project will allow everyone to recognise and understand that mental disorders do not discriminate by age, gender, ethnicity etc. This will be shown by the many faces of these individuals who have shared their personal experiences, to demonstrate that you do not have to “look” a certain way to be affected. By doing so, Im hoping to decrease the existing stigmas and raise awareness of mental illness. 

This project is for everyone.

For the ‘1 in 4’:  This project allows sufferers of mental health disorders to share their challenging experiences; support those who have suffered and are still suffering and; build a support network for us all to recover together.

For the ‘3 in 4’: This project should educate us all about how mental health disorders affect the lives of those experiencing it and demonstrate how someone’s mental health problem is only just a part of who they are. Most importantly, to understand that mental illness is not a choicebecause unfortunately, it can affect us all.

If you would like to join us and share your personal experience on this site, please contact me at: facesofdepressionproject@outlook.com for more info!