This is what an anxiety disorder feels like, in 9 photos

Katie Joy Crawford has generalised anxiety disorder and depression. She can't always explain how that feels, so she has tried to show it through her work as a photographer.

In My Anxious Heart Crawford is trying to capture both the physiological and psychological experience of mental illness through a series of self-portraits.

Crawford has just graduated from Louisiana State University and the series was her senior thesis project. She told

I've had anxiety for over 12 years and have used art to deal with it in an indirect way, but this time I wanted to create a literal interpretation of what it felt like for me.

Using my own stories and experiences, I am capturing the raw essence of anxiety.

I created the project as a way for me to personally express what I feel like in my experience. I know it may not be specific to each person, but I hope that it creates the opportunity to open a dialogue between those who suffer from it and those who have never understood it.

Speaking to the Huffington Post,Crawford added:

I want people that suffer from [anxiety] to be able to use these images as a reference if they need it

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.

All images credit: Katie Joy Crawford. For more see her personal webstite and Facebook fan page.

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