A Photo Narrative of Anxiety

My Anxious Heart by Katie Crawford

My Anxious Heart explores and identifies how emotionally and physically depleting general anxiety disorder can be from a personal perspective. As I have carried anxiety for the majority of my life, I’ve chosen to photographically depict this battle and its constant presence. Since it is within my own mind where anxiety is born, I have decided to interpret my roles as both instigator and victim through self portraiture. 

a captive of my own mind. the instigator of my own thoughts. the more i think, the worse it gets. the less i think, the worse it gets. breathe. just breathe. drift. it’ll ease soon.

a captive of my own mind. the instigator of my own thoughts. the more i think, the worse it gets. the less i think, the worse it gets. breathe. just breathe. drift. it’ll ease soon.


Through this body of work, I am visually interpreting my own emotional and physical journey so that others may be able to understand this weight that so many bear in our society. The physical ramifications of the disorder, such as a racing heart, dizziness, shortness of breath and lightheadedness, frequently go unnoticed or are misinterpreted by those who have never suffered from anxiety. Although the physical symptoms make up a great deal of the disorder, the emotional outcome is exceedingly difficult to encapsulate as well. Anxiety bars the sufferer from the risk of discovery, the desire to explore new ideas, and the possibility of exiting a comfort zone. It makes sure that it will never be alone. It finds you when you’re in the midst of joy, or alone in your own mind. It is quiet and steady, reminding you of your past failures, and fabricating your future outcomes. 


My interpretation of these symptoms through my images aids in the explanation of how true anxiety has the capability to drain every last drop of aspiration. This representation is achieved in the photograph with the use of black objects and materials that subtly interact within the frame. Manipulating the images in this way evokes a sense of overprotection and lingering presence. By providing these surreal images as expressions of anxiety within a realistic portrait, the viewer is guided through the internal and external struggle of a person living with this disorder. Using my own stories and experiences, I am capturing the raw essence of anxiety. Through this personal journey, I have grown and found that depicting my fears has become therapeutic, as well as a gateway for others to express their oppression and begin their own healing process.

Katie Crawford received her BFA from Louisiana State University.  Specializing in surreal portraiture, he focusses on depicting her battle with anxiety and depression through the photographic medium.  Find out more about her work on FacebookBlog, or on her Website.