Photos by Jesse Parajeckas | Mental Illness Photography. Creating photos and images to cope with depression and anxiety. Dana Point California, orange county, southern california, conceptual fine art photography. contemporary surreal and abstract self portraits.
The series “Shame” looks at how the stigma associated with mental illness can damage its victims. The process involved in creating this series represents how the stigma affects people. Instead of wearing an invisible mask, as many do, to hide their mental and emotional identity, I go into public environments and physical hide my own identity. By physically hiding myself, I am emotionally exposed and creating a scene that brings discomfort, confusion, and judgment; just some of the reasons why people metaphorically wear a mask in an attempt to avoid. During these events I am usually approached by a stranger and it is only through communication and understanding that the discomfort dissipates. The reality is that many people are ashamed of their mental state, and the lack of understanding others have of mental illness only greatens this effect. Through this body of work I hope to bring a little more understanding of mental illness to some, and inspire others to not let fear and shame change who they want to be. This body of work also addresses questions of identity, judgement, and culture.