I’ve often viewed my mental health in the manner of a battle, rather than a struggle.

Any person who’s experienced such states of depression or anxiety, for either a time or constantly, can speak to the involuntary nature of such occurrences. However, since entering my teenage years, I always felt a strange duality with and separation from my mental health. It was as if I were still there, but there was another side of me that would emerge, and with him, the world was suddenly viewed through black-tinted glasses. Often, I’d find myself unable to move, trapped in whatever position I was occupying moments before. A splitting pain accompanied the emergence of this ”darker self,” like furious strikes to my head, tinged by a sick enjoyment of the whole ordeal… 

 Amongst such mania, however, there has always been the complicated belief that such states are temporary. That we who are afflicted by ourselves, despite intense suffering, are capable and tasked with the gracious duty of encountering such chaotic states and rising above. It is our embodiment of the modern-day hero myth–to be the one who encounters such chaos in one’s life and reestablishes order. 

 The exploration of these feelings led me to photography as an art form, and with it the creation of Mania, a self-portrait series that brings a physicality to the complex conversation revolving around mental health. Utilizing my prior experience as an actor and filmmaker, I’m able to entertain the role of both abuser and victim within the work, allowing the viewer to glimpse into the complex nuances that make up the individual’s human experience, as well as my own.

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