At the age of 20, Laura was studying photography and living life the fullest. But that was not the real Laura. That real Laura was planning to put an end to her life, to stop that war in her head. Laura had suffered from an eating disorder, a couple of years ago. After an intensive therapy she was cured and able to study again. A year later she had to accept that her mental health was still horribly bad and she searched for another psychologist. With this psychologist, who thought Laura was suffering from an eating disorder again, she survived in this circumstances for about a year. Then, on a Wednesday morning, Laura said goodbye to her cat and fell asleep for good, or so she wished…
Here is her tale.
But I awaked in hospital, and admitted to the psychiatric section after one day of physical recovering. The first day I made a portrait of myself, as I did before the hospitalization whenever I felt lonely, miserable or angry. I felt a short relief after that. My camera was left behind in my apartment, so I used my phone. My boyfriend brought my camera the day after and I started portraying myself in this horrible situation. Every time I had a self-portrait session, I felt that short relief and calmness in my head. It helped me dealing with all the emotions that were overwhelming me. I honestly felt like I was going to explode if I couldn’t express myself, so my camera saved me that way.
I hope my UCP-UMCG project (the name of the psychiatric department) will hit many people, especially people who need to see they’re not alone. But I also want people who have no idea what’s behind the closed door of a psychiatric hospital department, to see the pain and fear that will overwhelm any patient. That people in psychiatric hospitals are not crazy, but feel like going crazy. And that is the worst feeling I ever had.
I was 20, studying photography, living life the fullest. But that was not the real me. That real me was planning to put an end to my life, to stop that war in my head