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16th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest People
The Beauty of Depression

“The tree tattoo on my back represents two sides of depression, the ugliness and the beauty. When I was young, the forest was a scary place. Bad things happened there if you go on your own. When I got older, that didn't change. But I started exploring it little by little on my own. When I started making friends, they would either go in the forest with me willingly and find beauty in the darkness and canopies; or they would refuse because of the fear of the unknown or walk in and get scared and leave. The forest I would explore was like my depression. When I took it on alone, it was struggle, and I wanted to give up. But as I got older, I started taking it on little by little. With people that involve themselves in my life, they would be able to find beauty in my depression and can love me through it or they would run away or not even try. This tattoo represents the analogy that depression has two interpretations, scary or beautiful. It's all on how you look at it.”

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 04.2016
Date Uploaded: 11.2018
Photo Location: Grambling , Louisiana, United States of America
Camera: NIKON D5100
Copyright: © Keith Matthews