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Photo by Sarah Sadowski. I had my first panic attack at age four, and I was properly diagnosed with severe panic disorder, agoraphobia, and generalized anxiety disorder when I was about 8 years old. I’m 24 years old now, and I’ve come a long way since 1992, the year of my very first panic attack. Sometimes I forget all of the accomplishments that I take for granted. I finished high school, I went away to art school, I had a few internships, a few jobs, won some awards and had a few shows. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you put it next to this mountain of mental issues, well sometimes I just have to stop and pat myself on the back.
About this photo: This photograph is a part of my thesis work. I focused on using materials to obscure people’s features, sometimes turning them into just silhouettes. I was trying to communicate the blurred line between focusing on your own mental illness vs. focusing on reality. it’s kind of playing with the reversal of that, too. How does the real world see individuals, in this case, me, with my “cloak” of mental illness? It’s something that I think about still often.