I have done this project completely based on my feelings. About my depression. At first, I thought I would do a self-portrait series but due to the nature of the Bangladeshi culture, I could not gather the courage to do that. In this society, depression is seen as attention or sympathy seeking. That is why I used different models to bring out the different sides of depression.
Many people around us are depressed. Those who are the most depressed prefer to talk less and we tend to distance ourselves from them. We don’t want to invite a depressed person to hangouts. We don’t even ask them their reasons for being depressed. Instead, we mock them for being quiet and think that they are boring. We don’t bring them close to us because we think “the person is depressed; how will that person make us feel happy?” But we don’t understand that if they get a little love and care, they may be able to pull themselves out of their depression. It may be that the only cure for someone’s depression is some caring and mental support. But most of us don’t think like this.
When someone posts something on social media about their depression, people make fun of them. When a celebrity shares their experiences with depression or commits suicide because of it, we call that depression; but when people around us talk about their depression, we don’t take it seriously. When someone who is not famous commits suicide because of depression, we call them cowards. By no means do I feel that suicide is the right way but we can love and support a depressed person and try to bring them away from such drastic measures.
I am defining various photographs with their captions. I think that there should be at least one chapter in Bangladeshi textbooks about depression. Otherwise, our younger generation will remain unaware of the detrimental impacts of depression.
All the images taken are staged photos. No person’s personal lives are portrayed through these pictures. I have just utilized them as characters for the part.
Sometimes depression is not the end of the story. Depression can lead to many other related diseases such as anxiety and, ultimately, phobia. The fear of not being able to do something or delusions cause people with depression to constantly feel suffocated and trapped even in a situation that may seem like a regular everyday occurrence to someone who does not suffer from depression.
It’s not that all depressed people are sad and cry all the time. Some depressed people are brilliant actors. They socialize like everyone else. They laugh and make others laugh. Only when they come home and close their doors, do they reveal their true faces.
Men have a more difficult time expressing their depressed emotions to others. Sometimes the only place they can express their depression is in the bathroom. And often, all the taps are turned on so that no one can hear them cry.
In this society, the depressed cry into a pillow because no one cares about their depression. If someone is found crying due to depression, they are often labeled as ‘crazy’, made fun of or become the center of amusement. But hardly anyone ever tries to find out their reasons for crying or to help them get out of depression.
Sometimes we are so depressed that we hide behind closed doors, lie in our beds and cry out silent tears so that those on the other side of the door cannot hear us.
With this image, I actually intended to highlight 2 things. First, the Bangladeshi job market and graduate students. The number of people who graduate and the number of jobs available are unbalanced. Just due to unemployment, many young men and women in Bangladesh are falling into depression and committing suicide. Secondly, many women in Bangladesh do not get permission from their in-laws to get a job after marriage. But many women graduate after a lot of sweat and tears with a dream of working for a good organization or becoming businesswomen. Due to marriage, many women’s dreams remain unfulfilled and they become dependent on others which becomes a reason for their depression.
Education in Bangladesh can become a burden on students. Students become depressed because society forces them to perform well in academic activities. The same old criteria where CGPA matters and one mistake leads to unemployment. The constant pressure of studying and taking exams is a major cause of anxiety and depression among students.
We often think that money can cure anything and those with money do not suffer from things like depression. This perception is completely inaccurate. Sometimes all the money in the world can’t bring you happiness. If you have a terminal illness, no money can cure you. You may fall into depression at that point.
Due to depression and insomnia, many of us are left with dark circles under our eyes. But people often don’t understand that this not an easy issue to fix. Many people advise to just sleep or to practice sleeping at the right time. But no one understands that this sleeplessness cannot be solved just like that.
The doorknob is correlated to depression. Depressed people are like ghosts behind closed doors. Just like we cannot see what a ghost is doing right in front of our eyes, we cannot see what a depressed person is doing behind closed doors.