She was tired of just letting the depression consume her. So she set up her camera and took these.

She had an uncanny sense that she should document her recent bout of depression. I'm glad she did. Photos by Alicia Shao.

Alicia decided to do more than just be at the mercy of depression when it strikes.

She documented it. From the photographer herself:

"This is a series of self-documentation with regards to depression. It started with the first photo. But it somehow articulated how I felt, but couldn't express in words. I then spent the next 2 hours setting up cameras, trying to capture those moments. So far this has been going well, and it's helping others understand what I am going through. Also, it has been a strangely liberating experience, because I feel like I'm no longer carrying this weight alone and people finally understand me. I hope this somehow helps you too." — Alicia Shao

Her images paired with facts about depression from DoSomething.org make a powerful combination.

"Roughly 20 million people in the United States suffer from depression every year."


All images by Alicia Shao and used with permission.

"1 in 4 young adults will suffer an episode of depression before age 24."

"Many creative individuals experienced depression, including Ludwig van Beethoven, John Lennon, Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain, Georgia O'Keefe, Vincent van Gogh, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Sylvia Plath."

"Depression is a common mental disorder. Globally, more than 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression."

"Continuous exposure to violence, neglect, abuse, or poverty may make people who are already susceptible to depression all the more vulnerable to the illness."

"Depression affects all people regardless of age, geographic location, demographic, or social position."

"Over 8% of adolescents in the United States suffer from depression at a given time."

"There are interrelationships between depression and physical health. For example, cardiovascular disease can lead to depression and vice versa."

"People who are depressed are more prone to illnesses like colds than non-depressed people."

Depression isn't in your head. It's a real thing, and there's real help.

Alicia's images are hitting close to home for many, which isn't surprising given the prevalence of depression in our society. If you need some help managing depression, (800) 826-3632 is a hotline that can help in the U.S. (there is a link further below for more resources in the U.K., too).

As common as this affliction is, everyone could stand to see this. If not for themselves, then for someone they love.

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Comedy legend Carol Burnett once said, "Giving birth is like taking your lower lip and forcing it over your head." She wasn't joking.

Going through childbirth is widely acknowledged as one of the most grueling things a human can endure. Having birthed three babies myself, I can attest that Burnett's description is fairly accurate—if that seemingly impossible lip-stretching feat lasted for hours and involved a much more sensitive part of your body.

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via SNL / YouTube

Christopher Walken is one of the greatest actors of his generation. He's been nominated for an Academy Award twice for best supporting actor, winning once for 1978's "The Deer Hunter" and receiving a nomination for 2002's "Catch Me if You Can."

He's played memorable roles in "Annie Hall," "Pulp Fiction," "Wedding Crashers," "Batman Returns," and countless other films. He's also starred in Shakespeare on the stage and began his career as a dancer.

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

RELATED: This fascinating comic explains why we shouldn't use some Native American designs.

Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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Gerrymandering is a funny word, isn't it? Did you know that it's actually a mashup of the name "Gerry" and the word "salamander"? Apparently, in 1812, Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry had a new voting district drawn that seemed to favor his party. On a map, the district looked like a salamander, and a Boston paper published it with the title The GerryMander.

That tidbit of absurdity seems rather tame compared to an entire alphabet made from redrawn voting districts a century later, and yet here we are. God bless America.

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