A Psychologist Has Turned His Patients' Experience Of Mental Health Issues Into Stunning Photos

"I wanted to visually portray this anguish for those who've never suffered with it," said Douglas Amorim. This post contains images some may find distressing.

Psychologist Douglas Amorim, from Cuiabá, Brazil, has created a photo essay called "Depressive Intimacy" to draw attention to issues of mental illness and suicide.

Leomax Lester

Each photo in the essay depicts a type of emotional manifestation. The photo above is about the feeling of emotional blunting, reflecting the phase of depression in which the person feels unable to do the most trivial things, like getting out of bed or brushing their teeth.

Amorim says the biggest complaint his patients have is that their friends and family don't understand what they're going through. "I wanted to make people who suffer feel understood, and urge them to seek help," Amorim told BuzzFeed Brazil.

Leomax Lester

This photo illustrates the feeling of having turned into an object, and the loss of the sense that one's self has meaning.

"I wanted to visually portray their anguish for those who've never suffered with it," said Amorim.

Leomax Lester

This photo depicts anxiety disorder.

Amorim says he has also suffered from depression and was the model in the photos.

Leomax Lester

This photo represents panic syndrome, a physical sensation of imminent mortal danger.

"People don't know there is treatment, and see their problems as weakness," he said. "The numbers just keep growing, and yet it's not treated as a public health issue."

Leomax Lester

This photo illustrates social phobia and pathological shyness, another common aspect of depression, among other mental illnesses.

The aesthetic inspiration for the photos came from the work of American photographer Brooke Shaden, and the photo essay was created with photographer Lester Leomax.

Leomax Lester

This photo represents bipolar disorder.

The idea to do the photo essay also came from his experience in the arts.

Leomax Lester

This photo depicts a person reduced to physical weakness.

"I've been a clinical psychologist for seven years, and I've always done theater," he said. "I wanted to express myself artistically about the importance of taking care of mental health."

Leomax Lester

This photo reflects depersonalization, defined by Amorim as "turning into a second person," such that virtually anything seems insurmountable.

Amorim also uses his Instagram account to try to bring psychology to people. "I try to demystify the idea that psychologists are only needed in extreme cases," he said. "Psychology can help people with everything. The jealous, the insecure, harsh people, even procrastinators can benefit."

Leomax Lester

This photo illustrates the feeling of always being persecuted by your condition, no matter where you go. "The bats represent mental illness," he says.

If you need information and practical advice on depression, you can call the Mind infoline on 0300 123 3393 (9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday) if you’re in the UK.

You can call the Samaritans for confidential support if you’re experiencing feelings of distress or despair on 116 123 (UK), 116 123 (ROI).

And you can call the Crisis Call Center at 1-800-273-8255 at any time of the day if you’re based in the US.

This post was translated from Portuguese.