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Photographer Documents Husband’s Depression In Intimate Photo Series
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Photography6 years ago

Photographer Documents Husband’s Depression In Intimate Photo Series

‘The Sea That Surrounds Us’ is a photo series by professional photographer Maureen Drennan that documents her husband’s battle with depression and her own battle to understand his mental problems.

The name of the art project is taken from a line from a love poem by Pablo Neruda called Night on the Island, a title that reflects the photographer’s decision to intersperse pictures of her husband Paul with pictures from Block Island, Rhode Island, which is where she spent time as a child. The barrenness and isolation of the island work as both a physical embodiment of the distance she felt from her husband who has been living with depression as well as a tangible manifestation of her husband’s own interior state during his mental health deterioration. They’ve since put those difficult times of fighting depression time behind them, but her beautiful photo series serves as a reminder of how fragile we are as humans, and how difficult it is to truly understand the experiences of another person, no matter how close they may seem to us.

More info: Maureen Drennan (h/t)

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Arty
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh dear husband...you don't feel well? Let me take picture of you (by the way, half have nothing to do with him) and make it an "art" project...

Amelia Ch
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Imagine this: Youre healthy, got a job, wife. Everything looks normal and perfect. But inside youre broken, you can't feel anything, you feel like there is something wrong with you but can't find out what. People start judging you that youre lazy, sad, selfish. Depression is a disease. Don't judge people by their illnes. His wife is photographer. So she used her best tools to deal with her reality. Probably she needed to do this more than he. You might like it or not but don't judge.

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Pocho Basura
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

youre depressed? Kool, let me get it on the net.................

Teresa Lewis
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not all depressed people look the same way. There is such a thing as smiling depression or putting a brave face on it. And somebody with facial expressions like in those photos might not be depressed but just having a bad day or concealing anger.

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Natalie Cox
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Don't give the wife such a hard time! She has everyone here discussing this illness. I'm sure hubby is on board. Sometimes all you can do is watch someone spiral.

Teresa Lewis
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Not when she takes a selfie of herself topless though in the first photo.

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Peg Nacrelli Graham
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I suffer from Depression. I can understand why she shared her photos. And if she reached out and helped even just one person, then at least she has done something good. Why are so many people so....critical? Do you need a hug? Seriously.

Teresa Lewis
Community Member
6 years ago

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She made a mockery of her husband with such useless photos. Why do photos like that help anyone? Everyone knows somebody who has been obviously depressed.

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Jayakumar Nair
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

People who make fun of thse pics dont understand depression. It is something I would not wish on anyone. it is like living a life that seems somehow separate from oneself, an entity that one has no control over.. that hurts constantly and you always feel so hurt and body aches with pain and sorrow constantly. And sometimes, you have no idea why you are feeling so down.

Karolina Strunkinaitė
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When you're depressed one of the hardest things is that you know your illness hurts people closest to you. Nobody at first know what's going on and how to deal with it. The depressed feels guilty for making family suffer in any shape or form and at worst case scenario him letting her publish this made him happy because it made her maybe a little bit happy (or very happy, we'll never know). Maybe he is the one who wanted them published to show others that they're not alone in this kind of mess. Doesn't matter if you've been depressed, seen someone close battling it or didn't have it in your life, it's none of our business how they deal with it. Maybe going public is just a coping mechanism. TL;DR: Leave them be. They've been through enough without your bullshit.

Teresa Lewis
Community Member
6 years ago

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The topless selfie of her ruined the entire message and now she can't be taken seriously.

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Succexxyy
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I don't mind her sharing the photos or making a project about depression because this can be cathartic. But these photos are not a series, I don't see depression anywhere, I just see a bunch of unrelated pictures: a couple on the bathroom, he doesn't loom depressed, just really clean because he's brushing his teeth, and it looks like an intimate moment given the lack of clothes. The rest are just portraits of a person, could be depressed or just sad or tired. And the other photos of landscapes or buildings are just so disconnected. So... nice photos, nothing major, but if the title doesn't mentioned depression I wouldn't have guessed the concept.

Ana T.
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

and what boobs and see trough panties had to with depression???

Teresa Lewis
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Exactly. Just an excuse to exhibit herself.

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Lucina Sandoval-Gordon
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I would of hated someone photographing me when I went on disability for depression. But, maybe it works for them.

Anton De Bruin
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

When have we as humans become so cruel to others? A little compassion, understanding and support goes much further than a jab with the tongue. Isn't that what we all want sometimes?

Susan Emmert
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is an honest, raw look inside the devastating toll of mental illness. If you don't like her way of dealing with the impact this is having on their lives or you don't have to look.

Brett Ray
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It is pictures of a guy in every day like photos. I don't see this as raw at all. Nothing shocking here

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Kim
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Depression is a lonely struggle. These pics didn't really convey that struggle to me but if they did for her, that's what counts.

Monseg
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

people just have nothing to do ...

kathryn bach
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I really appreciate the effort, but these don't capture depression to me as I know it. Good photography but I don't feel the emotion behind the photos.

Sarah Hamdan
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Okay,he's depressed,I get it,but why is she naked??!!

Linus Wenell
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If that's all you can focus on then you're the one with the issues.

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Cindy Sandberg
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think anything that can be done to put mental illness in the spotlight is helpful & enlightening to those who think it is attention seeking or laziness or that ppl should just 'pull up their socks', 'Buck up' and so on. If it were only that simple or obvious. I say; destigmatize mental illness by talking about it with no repercussions.

Katinka Min
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Quickly scrolling down on Bored Panda is maybe not the best way to see this series. I'm a bit irritated by the almost naked photogrpaher in one pic but I like the rest.

Anni -Manni
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You who have never had depression, anxioty etc.FREE HUGS FROM FINLAND!,land where u can see sun shining 30 days per year.

Teresa Lewis
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Or the UK where you see the sun less and less now even though it's been warm and humid all summer. It feels like there is a lot of chem smog about but higher up in the sky than the old pea soupers in the 50's.

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Tash Stuart
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Thank you Maureen and Paul for sharing this.I found it beautiful and so comforting to me as my husband and I have experienced these feelings

Brett Ray
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh husband... Let me take pics of you and turn you into a boring click bait art project please and thank you. Oh and here's a shot of me half nude to really get the Internet's clicking going... You know... To bring the focus on you, dear. This was dumb and exploitative for the sake of her ego.

Teresa Lewis
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Well said. Though I am concerned about large mental health charities using models or staff members when they are slightly depressed to depict depression. Or a girl looking wistful into the distance.

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Shel Newman
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If the person with depression is on a relationship, their partner is also fighting their own battle, my husband was amazing while supporting me, but I could see him hurting too. I think the photographer is just trying to get that across, and in my opinion she has done it beautifully 💕

Kieran
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Got to agree with Arty, and even if I didn't.... I couldn't help but feel the stated subject matter is being trivialised cheaply here

Theresa Dueck
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

To those of you commenting "Why is she naked?"... I see that photo as the ability depression has to completely rid you of your sexual desire. Here's a beautiful, naked woman standing in the same room and you don't see her. Depression robs you of everything.

Amanda Evans
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Photographers often use their art to understand the world around them and I, as a person who has experienced crippling bouts of depression, see the expressions of her husband as being very connected and well represented by the shots of the barren island. Art is not understood by everyone since it's not just about what is seen but also what is experienced. I understand that some may experience this in a negative light but that does not deter from its value to others. Take it easy and assume nothing

John Smith
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

lol...pained, pained vanity....what will he do? I recommend instead taking pictures of those tits.

Collette
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I understand the depression thing, however why did have to show her breasts and ugly bush ( Ugh)

Collette
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh my dear husband, let me take photos of you and make sure my naked body is on show

Martin
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

She should have shown us her beav as well.

Frozen Bee
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

everyone is "artist" these days...

William-Sarah Rodriguez
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I know how this guy feels. I have a wife, kids, success but when the cloud of depression comes i go into autopiolot mode. Just so they dont have to suffer with me. It really sucks.

Acel SG
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh you have depression? Let me exacerbate it by taking awkward pictures of you while Im also naked for all the pervs on the internet to ogle at my boobs and call you names.

Shulaika La Cruz
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Depression is very real, lonely, sad. It's hard for others to understand

Marcos Zamarripa
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I love your photos, I dont know why your husband is depressed and Im sorry about it, but your photos also express that feel, well atleast I feel in that way when Im watching it, and if I feel bad when a sees this I wont to know how your husband feels, just tell him I send him a hug from Mexico and whenever you're free to visit us and have a great time. Im willing to help.

Marie La Souris
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

art doesn't wear an outfit, doesn't follow orders. don't question it. read it with a neutral, clean gaze, please. you'll feel more relaxed too. these pictures aren't supposed to make sense, but simply to capture a feeling I think. it's simple poetry.

Joe Osborn
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Your neurological disorder is physical and, can be fixed. If it is just your imagination or someone else's fault, you can get rid of them. I would imagine them away. I repeat, the problem is physical and, this means, it can be fixed.

James Lowe
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I welled up at the picture where he has red eyes, I've never rescued to art so powerfully before

Teresa Lewis
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

She's no photographer. She's just got hold of a fancy camera and takes snaps with it. It's automatic so now fiddling with settings needed as with the old film 35mm cameras.

Linus Wenell
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

She takes photos, so she is by definition a photographer.

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Cervantes01
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Depression is a terrible illness, as someone who has suffered with and continues to, I can honestly say that I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

Virginia Greenwood-Warner
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Feel sooo sorry for this man. It is hell being in such a dark hole. Just hope he gets treatment soon and that it works for him. It may sound really silly but rescuing a dog can help. Very often the connection between the 2 can be soo strong and it changes the persons life around.

Teresa Lewis
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Maybe leaving her or kicking her out might help.

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Michele Braughler
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

as long as he had your consent and purpose, its all good

Teresa Lewis
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Depressed people like that don't give their true consent. They are either too amenable and then regret what they allowed or they don't want to do anything. They are too vulnerable.

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Cindy Sandberg
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It is sad because the majority of people who we refer to are very very bright.

Leonard Safta
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Depressed? With a wife that has such beautiful tits?!??!

Anthony Myers
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think he's depressed he married her.

Mary Magdelina
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The impetus is creative but the images are not very good choices, the photography is less than gifted, and the work it itself fails (miserably ) to accomplish its mission.

Kathryn Epps
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think it's beautiful, a wife using her talents to represent her husband's depressed inner world. It is her showing her understanding of it, and giving the horrible disease a tunnel to the world for their understanding too. If I were the husband I would see her making beauty out of pain, and ultimately giving my sadness a voice and being loving and supportive.

Jonathan Eatsalot
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Well, at least BoredPanda got something out of it, and that's all that matters.

Teresa W-S
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Paul, you make The World prettier cuz you are IN IT!!!!....Please, do not step out cuz we all would miss a precious piece of our beautiful puzzle without you!!!!... Maureen, thank you for reminding Paul how precious he is!!!! XXX

Gara Gara
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's funny,how people who work 16 hours a day for survive , never have a depression

Richard Dewsbury
Community Member
6 years ago

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No reason to be depressed when you have a wife with poonts like that

d bradley
Community Member
6 years ago

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why she is nude and in the photo doesn't seem a little weird? and the grass is? maybe he's depressed because she's not listening or paying attention to him

amit vasani
Community Member
6 years ago

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Oh ...... Dear you don't feel well?

Ihave Apenis
Community Member
6 years ago

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"I was depressed, now im also angry that my wife showed her boobs to everyone"

Tatjana Debus
Community Member
6 years ago

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I'm thinking the same way like Arty!

Richard Petch
Community Member
6 years ago

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She could pack her bags and leave this prat that lays around all day looking for sympathy instead of seeing a doctor and getting it sorted.

Teresa Lewis
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

How do you know he doesn't have a job or studies full time?

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William Yauwry
Community Member
6 years ago

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I'm fully aware that by saying this, i will be laughed or bullied by some.. directly or indirectly.. But to Paul (and Maureen).. and to all people out there who are experiencing the same thing (depression), and you feel that noone fully understand what you feel inside.. even the closest people in your life.. as a member of that group.. i just want to say.. Jesus (still) cares and understands you... : ) If you feel you've tried everything to stand and endure... try kneeling down for once.. give Him a chance..

John Smith
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Plus Jesus already has immaculate oral hygiene.

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Teddy James
Community Member
6 years ago

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Fuck all the dumb shit. I can see her got dang boobies, an I like it. She gots her nipple is showin.. I like uh have it.

Joe Cronje
Community Member
6 years ago

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I'd also be depressed if I had a carpet covering my torso.

Kristian Egsgaard
Community Member
6 years ago

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Well umm...Nice boobs

Eibon Music
Community Member
6 years ago

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There is no such thing as depression. It's just another reason to sell us overpriced drugs and health insurance. Grow up and get over it

Eibon Music
Community Member
6 years ago

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Depression isn't a real thing. Grow up and get over it. Just another excuse to sell us pills for extravagant prices.

felipe calderon
Community Member
6 years ago

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depression is just the politically correct word for " I am lazy and just want to be a burden to my love ones", just tighten your bootstrap and work or better yet go save the whales

River Smith
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

depression is a real disease that kills real people. It is more deadly than cancer if left untreated. You don't tell someone with cancer to just get better. You don't tell people with depression to just get better. People don't kill themselves because somebody hurt their feelings. They kill themselves because they cannot bear to be alive in a world their brain says does not want them. So leave the "real meaning of depression" to the doctors who diagnose and treat it and the people and their loved ones who deal with it. In other words, fuck you.

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Arty
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Oh dear husband...you don't feel well? Let me take picture of you (by the way, half have nothing to do with him) and make it an "art" project...

Amelia Ch
Community Member
6 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Imagine this: Youre healthy, got a job, wife. Everything looks normal and perfect. But inside youre broken, you can't feel anything, you feel like there is something wrong with you but can't find out what. People start judging you that youre lazy, sad, selfish. Depression is a disease. Don't judge people by their illnes. His wife is photographer. So she used her best tools to deal with her reality. Probably she needed to do this more than he. You might like it or not but don't judge.

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