In a personal and heartfelt video, one of the most talented landscape photographers around talks about his recent struggles with his own mental health in relation to content creation and the ultimately meaningless pursuit of likes on social media.
Nick Page is one of my favorite photographers and YouTube creators. I don't just like him because he's a talented artist and chooses share some of his secrets with us, but because of all the creators I watch on this platform, there is an honesty and gentleness to him that I find immensely endearing. That might sound twee, but I feel that I need to be straight about it. Talking about mental health is tough. We all go through bad times — some more than others — and that's why I've massive respect for Page and others like him who use their platform to spread a message like this in such a vulnerable way.
Dare I say, most of us have been there at some point: the inner critic becomes loud and sharpened, while the rational, kind voice fades to the back. Social media usage seems to amplify these thoughts. Some people are adept at not allowing it to affect them, but for those who take the perceived or real lack of engagement to heart, it can be an extremely damaging psychology that can persist if not dealt with in an appropriate manner. As someone who also suffers from social media-induced feelings of self-doubt and self-criticism, it's incredibly heartening to see a person with Page's ability and success express the same emotions. Being alone with those thoughts can be a very dark experience, so it's important to learn how to share them so that we can spread the burden and lessen the load.
If you feel that you can't share them with someone close, there are plenty of free phone numbers with volunteers at the end of the line who are willing to listen. You'd be surprised at how much better you might feel by just telling another person what's going through your head. Failing that — or even added to that — your GP is a good place to start, but maybe professional counseling could be a better option. I'm not a medical professional, so if you're worried or feeling particularly down, please seek advice from a certified medical professional. Quite often, just the act of scheduling an appointment can feel like a mini victory.
If anyone is willing to share their experiences with mental health issues around social media or the business of photography, we would love to hear from you in the comments.
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