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12 haunting photos that capture how depression and anxiety can feel.

She captured in images what can be so hard to put into words.

12 haunting photos that capture how depression and anxiety can feel.

Anxiety and depression are fairly prevalent.

One of the most common mental health disorders in the U.S., in 2012 the National Institute of Health found that almost 7% of adults had experienced a major depressive episode in the previous year. Even more prevalent is anxiety, with about 18% of U.S. adults reporting an anxiety disorder.

And yet it can be hard to explain depression and anxiety to someone who has never experienced those things.


That's why Katie Joy Crawford created a photo series she calls "My Anxious Heart."

Crawford, who is a photography student, has general anxiety disorder. She explains:

"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."

Do any of these images resonate with you?

"I was scared of sleeping. I felt the most raw panic in complete darkness. Actually, complete darkness wasn't scary. It was that little bit of light that would cast a shadow — a terrifying shadow." Photo and caption by Katie Crawford.

"They keep telling me to breathe. I can feel my chest moving up and down. Up and down. Up and down. But why does it feel like I'm suffocating? I hold my hand under my nose, making sure there is air. I still can't breathe." Photo and caption by Katie Crawford.

"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." Photo and caption by Katie Crawford.

"Cuts so deep it's like they're never going to heal. Pain so real, it's almost unbearable. I've become this ... this cut, this wound. All I know is the same pain; sharp breath, empty eyes, shaky hands. If it's so painful, why let it continue? Unless ... maybe it's all that you know." Photo and caption by Katie Crawford.

"You were created for me and by me. You were created for my seclusion. You were created by venomous defense. You are made of fear and lies. Fear of unrequited promises and losing trust so seldom given. You've been forming my entire life. Stronger and stronger." Photo and caption by Katie Crawford.

"No matter how much I resist, it'll always be right here desperate to hold me, cover me, break down with me. Each day I fight it. 'You're not good enough for me and you never will be.' But there it is, waiting for me when I wake up and eager to hold me as I sleep. It takes my breath away. It leaves me speechless." Photo and caption by Katie Crawford.

"I'm afraid to live and I'm afraid to die. What a way to exist." Photo and caption by Katie Crawford.

"It's strange — in the pit of your stomach. It's like when you're swimming and you want to put your feet down but the water is deeper than you thought. You can't touch the bottom and your heart skips a beat." Photo and caption by Katie Crawford.

"My head is filling with helium. Focus is fading. Such a small decision to make. Such an easy question to answer. My mind isn't letting me. It's like a thousand circuits are all crossing at once." Photo and caption by Katie Crawford.

"A glass of water isn't heavy. It's almost mindless when you have to pick one up. But what if you couldn't empty it or set it down? What if you had to support its weight for days ... months ... years? The weight doesn't change, but the burden does. At a certain point, you can't remember how light it used to seem. Sometimes it takes everything in you to pretend it isn't there. And sometimes, you just have to let it fall." Photo and caption by Katie Crawford.

"Numb feeling. How oxymoronic. How fitting. can you actually feel numb? Or is it the inability to feel? Am I so used to being numb that I've equated it to an actual feeling?" Photo and caption by Katie Crawford.

"Depression is when you can't feel at all. Anxiety is when you feel too much. Having both is a constant war within your own mind. Having both means never winning." Photo and caption by Katie Crawford.

In addition to finding Crawford's work on her website, you can also follow her on Facebook.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

via CNN / Twitter

Eviction seemed imminent for Dasha Kelly, 32, and her three young daughters Sharron, 8; Kia, 6; and Imani, 5, on Monday. The eviction moratorium expired over the weekend and it looked like there was no way for them to avoid becoming homeless.

The former Las Vegas card dealer lost her job due to casino closures during the pandemic and needed $2,000 to cover her back rent. The mother of three couldn't bear the thought of being put out of her apartment with three children in the scorching Nevada desert.

"I had no idea what we were going to do," Kelly said, according to KOAT.

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