Janelia Mould's Photo Series Captures What Depression Feels Like


Depression can make you feel like part of you is missing. That feeling of emptiness is the subject of Janelia Mould’s photo series “A Girl Called Melancholy – A Story Of Depression.”

“I tried to capture the lack of being,” Mould, a self-taught photographer from South Africa, told The Mighty. “I am always looking for topics or themes to express myself through. I try to convey some sort of message through my images and was inspired by my own life-experience for this series. The images are a very subjective to my journey with depression.”

9. illusions - cheekyingelosi Illusions 

Each photo in the series is missing its subject’s face, a purposeful exclusion Mould said helps magnify how empty and hopeless depression can make you feel.

“The character in this series has no face and sometimes has missing limbs, firstly, so that anybody that either suffers from depression or has dealt with it in some way, can identify with her.” Mould said describing her series. “Secondly, its keeps the viewers’ attention on the feelings often experienced through depression, like emptiness, vacantness and not recognizing oneself anymore.”

woman without a head laying on a mattress with her feet up in the air.

Jaded 

Mould also includes quotes from famous figures to unknown authors alongside her photos. Her photo “Barren” (shown below), features a quote from an unknown author, which poignantly complements her photo.

Some days, I feel everything at once. Other days, I feel nothing at all. I don’t know what’s worse ― drowning beneath the waves, or dying from the thirst.

Woman without a head standing under an umbrella in the rain. Barren 

Mould hopes her photo series will help others understand what it’s like to live with depression. “If you are suffering from depression, you need understanding and patience from others, not a quick fix,” she said.

Woman without a head wearing a dress hanging on a clothes line. Dangling 

Her series currently contains eight photos, but Mould may add more with time. “I have not decided how many more photos I will add or when it will be finished,” she said. “I guess I will take more inspiration from my journey ahead and see where the road leads me.”

You can view the rest of the series below or on Mould’s Facebook page and website

6. forgotton - cheekyingelosi Forgotten

4. uninhabited - cheekyingelosi Uninhabited 

photo of a dress in a suitcase with legs sticking out Withering Away

2. its complicated - cheekyingelosi

It’s Complicated

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Depression

Sad girl is holding heart symbol by her finger

Learning to Accept That I Am Worthy When I Feel Anything but OK

For me, a combination of anxiety, depression, and physical illness has given me a negative perception of myself as a person and what I deserve in life. I am a firm believer in karma and sending good energy out into the universe. You get what you give. What goes around comes around. But what happens when [...]
Dr. Mary Ann Goodwyn

How One Therapist Changed My Life Completely

My therapist, Dr. Mary Ann Goodwyn, is my hero. She’s the kindest, most thoughtful, loving and genuine person I’ve ever met. Or she was. Until cancer took her from us. Let’s back up. My first memory of Dr. Goodwyn was when I was in fourth grade. That year, I punched a bully in the face, [...]
contributor photo

Depression Makes Me Think in Metaphors

I am depressed. The realization comes barrelling down on me like a truck with no brakes, slamming headlong as splinters and shards slice open my reality. But the doctor isn’t in the office today. And it’s the weekend. And the counselor has no available openings for months. And I realize that I am standing at [...]
woman and dog

Please, Ask Me How I Am. Please, Want to Know the Honest Answer.

Ask me how I am. Ask me in a way that genuinely makes me feel like you want me to answer truthfully. I know you probably won’t. I know  it’s not because you don’t care about me. It isn’t because you don’t worry about me sometimes. But if you’re honest with yourself, it’s because you probably [...]