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Mental well-being and how photography helps me

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Mental well-being and how photography helps me

4 Jun 2021 11:24AM   Views : 407 Unique : 261

Mental health affects all of us in one way or another (whether you like to admit it or not) and everyone has there own ways to deal with their issues. Photography for me has always been my copping mechanism.

Until recently I worked for a London law firm doing all there IT, as you can guess this was a very high stress environment and regularly caused me to be depressed and suffer from neuralgia in my face (this is a stabbing, burning, and often severe pain due to an irritated or damaged nerve. )

When I was working there wasnít often time available for me to go out and shoot landscapes or wildlife, especially as I was spending most of my time at work in London. The only way to get my phototherapy fix was to take up and learn street photography around my hectic work hours and this helped to a degree.

Recently (like many others in these sad times) I lost someone very close to me, this made me start thinking if all this was really worth all the stress and pain. For me the answer was definitely not and resulted in looking at a total lifestyle change (taking voluntary redundancy and looking for a lower stress job). Now Iím not advocating this for everyone but for me hitting the reset button has made me feel more human then I have for years.

In the last couple of months Iíve thrown myself into photography trying to heal the mess in my head and maybe make some shots I can be proud of. Despite getting up at silly times of the morning to drive miles for a sunset or sleeping in the back of the car to get a sunrise.
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Iíve been physically exhausted but still better mentally then I have in a long time. Thereís just something for me about the act of getting the camera out that just seems to release the stress valve in my head.

Now Iím not making light of mental health issues saying taking pictures can cure the world , Iím still going to have (many) issues and be on medication for life to take the edge off the pain from the neuralgia. But finding the right thing for you that helps you get your mind in a better place can only be a good thing.

I hope that reading these ramblings helps even one person to look at things differently or even just that you are not alone struggling in this messed up world.

Only thing left is too fined a lower stress job, so no stress there then.

Cheers
Jason

Comments

ZenTony Avatar
ZenTony Plus
7 28 7 United Kingdom
4 Jun 2021 4:13PM
I guess there is always stress Jason in whatever we do. It is managing it and ensuring that it does not overwhelm us that is the trick to a better quality of life.
Every morning around 5-6am I walk for around 5 miles and am lucky enough to live near the coast. It resets my mind every day and has helped me deal with many of my own issues.
I wish you well on your journey and if you ever need to talk I am more than happy to be at the end of an email or phone.
I can send you a message with my email address if you would like.
All the best
Tony
whatriveristhis Avatar
4 Jun 2021 5:15PM
Good that you've got your priorities sorted out. Job wise, I hope you find something suitable soon.
Very best wishes.

Alan
saltireblue Avatar
saltireblue Plus
13 14.5k 88 Norway
4 Jun 2021 6:08PM
Not stress, but have been battling with depression for the past year or so, so fully understand the battles you are going through with yourself. I hope you soon are able to find a better everyday, and that you have folk you can talk to...
dark_lord Avatar
dark_lord Plus
19 3.0k 836 England
5 Jun 2021 1:48PM
When I look back I can see photography has been there for me and something I always looked, and of course still do, forward to.
I agree that in itself won't change the world but even if it's a small thing that's positive it's a big help.
dudler Avatar
dudler Plus
20 2.1k 2048 England
6 May 2023 10:11PM
They call if flow or practice these days... But something that you can lose yourself in has always been good for mind, soul and body.
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