Bipolar Disorder Self Portrature: Behind The Scenes On Bella Morte

Bipolar Disorder Self Portrature: Behind The Scenes On Bella Morte

One of the first things I wanted to do when I was finally able to buy myself a new camera was make a start on a project I’ve had in mind for quite some time. As most of you know I do a lot of work on Bipolar Disorder and working towards raising awareness of mental health issues. Mental illness is extremely difficult to understand, not only for those who have it, but for their friends, family, and the other people in their lives.

Ignorance and stigma are constant enemies when you have a mental health illness.

I do a lot of writing around mental health and themes and messages concerning mental health awareness often find their way into my fiction. I’m an avid journaller, and write for my own peace of mind daily.

But not everyone likes to read. Not everyone enjoys fiction, and even if they do not everyone enjoys my fiction.

So how could I explain to people the nature of Bipolar Disorder without using words?

The answer, of course, was to use images.

For a long while I’ve been planning a series of self-portraits that use a similar blending of fantasy and reality as my fiction to depict Bipolar and mental illness in a visual form.

Last week I was finally able to make a start of that series, beginning with two image sets shot in Wales, on my favourite beach on the island of Anglesey. I’m still editing the images produced, but for now I wanted to share with you a behind the scenes look at the shoot, including the props and clothes worn, and a short video I filmed on the day.

A full post detailing the image will follow when I release the image itself, for now though, enjoy!

BIPOLAR DISORDER SELF PORTRAITURE Long Black Velvet And Net Vampire Dress The Gothic Shop I was fortunate enough to have the support of The Gothic Shop for this project, who very kindly provided the STUNNING dress used for both sets of images.

For these shots I needed a dress that was pure Gothic decadence, something that really reflected an elaborate and deep descent into the dark.

BIPOLAR DISORDER SELF PORTRAITURE Long Black Velvet And Net Vampire Dress The Gothic ShopThis was complicated somewhat by my current size. I’m a UK size 26 at the moment, and finding the kind of dress I needed in a size that would fit properly wasn’t easy. Fortunately, The Gothic Shop have a much wider range of genuinely plus sized (i.e. not clothes in a size 14-16 that are called ‘Plus) than the majority of places, and we were able to settle on one of several possibilities.

BIPOLAR DISORDER SELF PORTRAITURE Bella Morte, Curiology Necklace The Gothic ShopIn addition to the dress, The Gothic Shop were also kind enough to provide the titular necklace I wore for the shoot ‘Bella Morte’ is Italian and literally means ‘beautiful death’. The original title for the first of these shoots was ‘A Beautiful Death’, so the necklace was utterly perfect for the shot.

In addition to the clothing there were two props I needed, both for the first shots. I made these myself (details on how I did this to come in later posts), and they consisted of a pair of demonic horns, and a lantern.BIPOLAR DISORDER SELF PORTRAITURE DIY HornsBIPOLAR DISORDER SELF PORTRAITURE DIY LanternI’ll be back later in the week with details on how these were made, as well as the final images themselves. For now though, head on over to Instagram and follow my new account for daily memes, updates, and progress shots on all my projects!

BIPOLAR DISORDER SELF PORTRAITURE Follow Me On Instagram The Bipolar Bear Writes

Why Everything Hurts More As A Highly Sensitive Person – Guest Post By Christine Judd

Why Everything Hurts More As A Highly Sensitive Person

I’m joined on the blog today by fellow Huffington Post blogger and HSP Christine Judd. I recently had a very rough week due to people forgetting to invite me to things, or failing to notice they hadn’t spoken to me properly in while, because I’d stopped bearing the responsibility of always calling them, and left it to them to call me.

It took A YEAR!

During my upset Christine was kind enough to explain to me about Highly Sensitive People, why HSP feel things more deeply than others, and why I was getting upset about something that others hadn’t even noticed.

I believe a lot of Bipolar Bears are Highly Sensitive. Bipolar itself causes us to feel things more deeply, more intensely than others, but we also tend to be very sensitive. We’re easily hurt.

Here’s why!

Why Everything Hurts More As A Highly Sensitive Person

Do you know the feeling of always being the one getting in touch with your friends? Being absolutely devastated when they forget to invite you to a party? You automatically conclude that they must not love you very much if they can’t even remember to invite you. Of course you would never tell them how you feel, because why would they care?

Good news? The people around you still love and care about you. They’re just not Highly Sensitive. As a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) you feel everything more intensely, you think (and worry) about things a lot more and more often than not, you put other peoples’ needs and feelings ahead of your own. Being a Highly Sensitive Person is not a condition but an innate trait that can be found in about 15-20% of population. It simply means that you’re more aware of subtleties in your surroundings and are more easily overwhelmed and overstimulated. Once you learn more about your trait and understand it better, you’ll be able to interact with your surroundings in a completely different way.

Take the situation I described above and look at it again, knowing you’re a Highly Sensitive Person. You know that you tend to overthink things and feel everything a lot more intensely. You care so deeply for people that you put their needs ahead of your own. In return you expect the same from them.

That’s exactly where the problem lies: your high expectations of others (and yourself) and the fact that they have a different way of thinking. As a Highly Sensitive Person you need to realise that not everyone thinks and feels the way we do.

Other people don’t generally overthink or overanalyse things and don’t put others first. They might not even realise that not texting to see how we are, or forgetting to invite you out, is a big deal and has massive emotional effects on you. They probably just had a lot going on and forgot. They don’t think much of it and most certainly don’t obsess and analyse it. They don’t love you less, they’re just thoughtless and don’t mean anything by it.

Next time you’re in a similar situation, try to adjust your expectations and remember that they’re simply not wired the same way you are. That doesn’t mean you can’t let them know that this is something that bothers and hurts you. Explain your way of thinking and maybe you can find a compromise. Just know that you’re not alone and knowing the way you feel and think will help you navigate in difficult social situations.

Christine Judd Highly Sensitive People HSP Highly Sensitive PersonChristine Judd

I take a holistic approach to business, helping you clarify your core message and uncover your ideal clients. By bringing marketing and technology together, I help fledgling business owners get focused on what they want to do, and help them put systems in place to make running their business (and life) simpler. I’m passionate about helping people just like you reach their potential. I can show you what’s possible, and translate all that scary tech mumbo jumbo into something you can understand with ease.

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