A Psychological Self-Portrait

A Psychological Self-Portrait

I have experienced depression for about seven years and was first aware of this as an adolescent. I originally attributed it to a teenage tendency but as I have aged, my symptoms have yet to cease. Since then, my psychological state of mind has become a large part of my conscious thoughts. I view my depression as a weakness and become ashamed when I plunge into a despondent state. When feelings of depression surface, I attempt to hide those feelings in my subconscious. Depression is, however, a part of who I am.

Psychological Self-Portrait addresses my depression. Rather than hiding my moods and feelings, I wanted to confront them. My images depict my feelings during an episode of depression. I show myself in stripped-down garments in a cold, sterile environment. Multiple exposures with a Holga camera were used to illustrate the confusing emotional battles that I experience. Throughout this series I have depicted myself psychologically through physical struggles as well as in my facial expressions—pained, saddened, angered, ashamed, and conflicted. I am in constant mental battle; I have attempted to express this on film.

Deedra Baker
2009

Deedra Baker 2009

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9 Comments on “A Psychological Self-Portrait”

  1. Jenni says:

    I really like this series. Perhaps like isn’t the correct term but it really speaks to me, both as a photographer & a fellow sufferer of depression.

    May I ask how old you are? Just out of curiosity…

  2. Jenni,
    Thank you for your interest in my work. I am glad to hear viewers may relate to the images. To answer your question, I am 22.

    Deedra

  3. capellion says:

    I was introduced to your work through a drawing class this semester. As a 22-year-old who has suffered from depression for close to ten years (I was about 12 when symptoms began), I find this series to be very inspiring. I have trouble accepting that my depression is a part of me that I cannot be rid of and I am only beginning to understand that it doesn’t have to define me as a person. The inner struggle is so clear in these images and I am comforted by the fact that I am not the only person like me who feels such bizarre internal battles. Your other work is quite beautiful as well. You are an inspiration to me and others who share this disease. Thank you.

  4. Thank you for your comment. I greatly appreciate it! Where are you taking your drawing class?

  5. capellion says:

    I am at Metropolitan State University of Denver in Colorado. It’s a black and white drawing class led by Sara Sanderson. She is an amazing teacher!

  6. capellion says:

    Sara showed it to us as an example of a direction we could choose to go for our self-portrait project. I was so taken with your images that I interrupted her lecture to ask specifically your name. The assignment had already cited you as an artist to research, specifically this set of images, but I had to know right then and there who you were.

  7. Ginger Cook says:

    Do you know of others who do psychological self portraits?


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