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18th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Altered Images
Mandy - Visual Overwhelm and Overstimulation from a Concussion (aka Traumatic Brain Injury)

A single mother of three girls, Mandy juggles taking care of their needs, her business practice and her own needs as she slowly heals from a concussion resulting from a car accident. But now she feels like she’s observing life from a distance rather than participating in it actively. At the grand opening of a new bike park, Mandy watched her daughters enjoying the event. She wanted to get involved, but it was just too draining physically, emotionally. She is often exhausted from the motion and stimulation. Instead of being the active and involved mom she used to be, now she feels once-removed from situations because there’s too much to process. A concussion is an invisible injury and the impact it can have on our visual system is incredible. Our eye sight is likely one of our most important senses and yet because we cannot see it, it is hard to articulate to others how we "see." Things may appear double or triple. Colors may be oversaturated or washed out. Lights may have halo's or appear with streaks. The list continues and this project is shining a light on how things can appear to those with an invisible injury - www.whatliesbeneathconcussion.com.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 01.2020
Date Uploaded: 11.2020
Photo Location: Carrboro, NC, North Carolina, United States of America
Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Copyright: © Martha Hoelzer