Forums > Model Colloquy > Modeling and Depression

Model

Autumn Rose Brightly

Posts: 1097

Crowley, Texas, US

I have found modeling to be very helpful in lightening my depression. I have had a massive boost in self-esteem and have been given a reason not to SI. Any other models have similar stories? How has depression affected your modeling?

Nov 27 12 11:45 am Link

Photographer

deletedxxx

Posts: 149

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

I found the opposite. That's why I'm trying photography now. As a model I had to chase photographers, jump through hoops and play 20 questions to get basic information (after THEY asked me for a shoot) that I often ended up feeling that they were having a tough time deciding if they preferred doing a shoot with me or watch re-runs of Oprah!

I was always amazed when I finally did manage to get a shoot to happen they would tell me I had a great reputation. Really?

Nov 27 12 01:11 pm Link

Photographer

JLC Images

Posts: 11559

Phillipsburg, New Jersey, US

As a photographer I find it helps a ton!  Helps me visualize things going on in my brain.  Along with meds it makes everything a little better.

Nov 27 12 01:22 pm Link

Model

Avonelle

Posts: 167

Toledo, Ohio, US

While modeling is primarily the reason why I haven't SIed in years, it affects my mood in cycles. There are some months when I positively glow, feeling beautiful and amazed and so grateful, and I throw myself into booking shoots with excitement and energy, and all I feel is complete inspiration. It gives me a reason to take better care of myself, exercising daily and eating healthy and getting plenty of sleep.

And then there is a complete 180 degree shift - I start feeling waaaay more self-conscious about the physical flaws I see in my images, I start hating on all of my poses, and start feeling like I will never reach the point where I will be content and proud of all of my work, like I have finally reached that place where I am satisfied. That is when the shoots become emotionally and physically exhausting, when the idea of shooting gives me an anxiety attack because I am sure that I will disappoint everyone involved, and all I want to do is curl up in bed for weeks until the emotions start getting under control.

I am pretty bi-polar when it comes to modeling. Sometimes, it's my favorite thing in the world. Sometimes, it's my least.

Nov 27 12 01:27 pm Link

guide forum

Model

Anna Adrielle

Posts: 18763

Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium

personally depression is a lot more than just low selfesteem, so I wouldn't go as far as saying it's good against depression. But it has given me higher selfesteem, goals to strive for, and a reason to go out and meet new people, which is also really great smile

Nov 27 12 01:36 pm Link

Model

Autumn Rose Brightly

Posts: 1097

Crowley, Texas, US

Anna Adrielle wrote:
personally depression is a lot more than just low selfesteem, so I wouldn't go as far as saying it's good against depression. But it has given me higher selfesteem, goals to strive for, and a reason to go out and meet new people, which is also really great smile

I should clarify: I have been diagnosed with depression and also have very low self-esteem

Nov 27 12 01:38 pm Link

Photographer

Art of the nude

Posts: 11892

Olivet, Michigan, US

landofy wrote:
I found the opposite. That's why I'm trying photography now. As a model I had to chase photographers, jump through hoops and play 20 questions to get basic information (after THEY asked me for a shoot) that I often ended up feeling that they were having a tough time deciding if they preferred doing a shoot with me or watch re-runs of Oprah!

I was always amazed when I finally did manage to get a shoot to happen they would tell me I had a great reputation. Really?

Interesting, I would think that being a model, or at least most models, would be great for self esteem, given the number of people who ask them to shoot.

Photography has been good for me in terms of getting a lot of positive feedback, but not from the aspect of the frustrations of trying to get people to actually commit, and follow through on those commitments.

Nov 27 12 02:06 pm Link

Photographer

Fotografica Gregor

Posts: 4124

Alexandria, Virginia, US

I cannot really speak to the issue of clinical depression,  but I do have PTSD (which is fairly mild now)  and symptoms from the aftermath of a serious head injury. 

I find that I enjoy the added socialization, especially around something enjoyable (as opposed to my "day job lol),  and that if nothing else, I am much less of a curmudgeon, having the opportunity to work with so many young and vibrant people.

But when it comes to emotional issues, I find this biz to sometimes add a bit of stress,  sometimes distract from stressors, but never to be an antidote or cure.

The answer to my own issues lie in my "real life" - the messy bits that are really hard, and that we don't want to confront - relationships, family, work, social obligations, personal challenges, etc....

The "answer" for me is a process not a destination

dealing with what I would rather avoid, before the psychic load and ego dystonia make it impossible 

solving problems as much as possible

and accepting those outcomes or realities I cannot change

giving myself permission to be authentically myself, as long as I act with compassion - including reserving a bit of that precious resource for myself....

Nov 27 12 02:22 pm Link

Photographer

toesup

Posts: 1055

Templeton, California, US

Art of the nude wrote:
Photography has been good for me in terms of getting a lot of positive feedback, but not from the aspect of the frustrations of trying to get people to actually commit, and follow through on those commitments.

I agree with this +1000

Some of the models I've worked with have said that the modeling, and especially the comments about the pictures after they have shown them to their friends, have added so much to their self esteem.. and self confidence.

Nov 27 12 02:31 pm Link

Model

angel emily

Posts: 1020

Boston, Massachusetts, US

I don't have depression or self-esteem issues, in any clinical sense anyway (and I don't think in any vernacular sense), but I haven't found modeling to help this, at all. It's the one area of my life where I'm constantly criticized by others, or myself, or rejected.  It increases every bit of perfectionism in me.

Honestly, if I was looking for a self-esteem boost, I might join a sports team or drama club or choir or something.   Not this.

Nov 27 12 02:42 pm Link

Model

-Nicole-

Posts: 19209

Madison, Wisconsin, US

Autumn Rose Brightly wrote:
I have found modeling to be very helpful in lightening my depression. I have had a massive boost in self-esteem and have been given a reason not to SI. Any other models have similar stories? How has depression affected your modeling?

It's the reason I stopped shooting. I thought modeling would make me have a better vision of myself, but that backfired. I can't look at a picture without pointing out what I hate about myself.

Nov 27 12 02:50 pm Link

Model

NicoleNudes

Posts: 3956

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

nvm

Nov 27 12 03:19 pm Link

Model

Alabaster Crowley

Posts: 8268

Tucson, Arizona, US

It goes back and forth. When I see other models with bodies similar to mine, and they look awesome, it makes me feel good. When I see other models with bodies that I wish I had, it makes me feel not good.

Like someone else mentioned, that's a self esteem thing and not really depression, though.

Nov 27 12 03:31 pm Link

Model

Aly Catt

Posts: 402

Oneonta, New York, US

I had low self esteem and bad depression. Modeling made me confident but it also helped my depression by doing it full time and traveling. My situation is a bit different. Since a lot of my depression has to do with how much i hate my town and almost all of the people in it, traveling helped a lot. I love seeing new things and meeting new people and having new experiences. Being in a small town(im SUCH a city girl. Dont put a cali girl in upstate new york)  you get stuck, everyones knows yu and has already judged yu and if they didnt like yu back in high school they dont like you now. Traveling just makes me feel free.

My last shoot was in chicago november 6th...i havent shot since then and about a week and a half ago i fell back into a deep depression. However ive started planning my east coast tour in january, and just planning it makes me feel a whole lot better. Just gotta get through december smile

I never really compare my body to other models bodies because different bodies are good for different genres. For fine art or fashion i love my body...for glamour not so much. Everyone can find a genre that fits their body type and build confidence smile

Nov 27 12 03:51 pm Link

Model

Alondra Charlotte

Posts: 23

Phoenix, Arizona, US

NicoleNudes wrote:
I'm not diagnosed with anything either, but I've always had low self esteem.

I think I go through the same kind of cycles. Everything will be amazing, I'll feel so confident in everything I'm doing and I love my body the way it is. I feel really accomplished and proud of myself.

Then I'll go through the cycle where I hate my body, hate my work. I look at other models and see how skinny they are, how much more popular they are and how much more work they get and I get jealous. I try very very very hard not to be jealous of them because a lot of them are my friends and I want them to do well. But I just feel sometimes like I'm not good enough, that I'll never be good enough. And that's really hard to overcome and get through sometimes.

But overall, even when I'm having my "down" times I still feel better about myself than I did before I started modeling. So there's always that.

I can relate to both Nicole and Avanelle. It's helped me self-esteem wise a bit. But my depression makes it hard sometimes. Sometimes I'm happy about everything and I'm glad I started modeling. And sometimes I just feel like criticizing every detail, every picture, every slight flaw, and don't want to shoot ever again.
But that's always been a depression-related thing for me, hardly solely modeling based.

Nov 27 12 06:56 pm Link

Model

Gabrielle Heather

Posts: 10064

Middle Island, New York, US

... I may or may not fill this in later... but I fit in here

Nov 27 12 08:41 pm Link

Model

P I X I E

Posts: 35329

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Modeling has been part of my path to recovery. So yeah.

Nov 27 12 09:12 pm Link

Model

NYMPH

Posts: 626

Oakland, California, US

I feel kind of like Gabrielle, I don't know how much to say.

I would definitely like to commend everyone who has spoken in this thread. It's not any easy subject, especially on a site that specializes in judgment and snarky comments. You are all brave, beautiful women.

Modeling and depression is a really complicated relationship for me. Modeling actually caused a lot of SI for me. It was a way to say, 'hey! I'm may be pretty, smart, tall, thin, nice, creative, and have everything going for me, but I am not ok'. And that's summing it up very loosely. It's definitely cyclical (as are most things), and I'm learning how to take care of myself for myself, which also includes treating myself as the kind of model I want to be - not just doing what I think I should do, or what other people tell me is right or wrong.

Nov 27 12 10:08 pm Link

Model

Autumn Rose Brightly

Posts: 1097

Crowley, Texas, US

Gabrielle Heather wrote:
... I may or may not fill this in later... but I fit in here

(hug) I'm here if you ever want to talk smile

Nov 28 12 04:46 am Link

Model

Autumn Rose Brightly

Posts: 1097

Crowley, Texas, US

NYMPH wrote:
I feel kind of like Gabrielle, I don't know how much to say.

I would definitely like to commend everyone who has spoken in this thread. It's not any easy subject, especially on a site that specializes in judgment and snarky comments. You are all brave, beautiful women.

Modeling and depression is a really complicated relationship for me. Modeling actually caused a lot of SI for me. It was a way to say, 'hey! I'm may be pretty, smart, tall, thin, nice, creative, and have everything going for me, but I am not ok'. And that's summing it up very loosely. It's definitely cyclical (as are most things), and I'm learning how to take care of myself for myself, which also includes treating myself as the kind of model I want to be - not just doing what I think I should do, or what other people tell me is right or wrong.

(Hug) Here for you. I keep reminding myself that I am beautiful, I've found that affirmations are amazing. I have struggled alot with learning to treat myself with the kindness I treat others with but I AM worthy of it.

Nov 28 12 04:48 am Link

Model

Autumn Rose Brightly

Posts: 1097

Crowley, Texas, US

Avonelle wrote:
While modeling is primarily the reason why I haven't SIed in years, it affects my mood in cycles. There are some months when I positively glow, feeling beautiful and amazed and so grateful, and I throw myself into booking shoots with excitement and energy, and all I feel is complete inspiration. It gives me a reason to take better care of myself, exercising daily and eating healthy and getting plenty of sleep.

And then there is a complete 180 degree shift - I start feeling waaaay more self-conscious about the physical flaws I see in my images, I start hating on all of my poses, and start feeling like I will never reach the point where I will be content and proud of all of my work, like I have finally reached that place where I am satisfied. That is when the shoots become emotionally and physically exhausting, when the idea of shooting gives me an anxiety attack because I am sure that I will disappoint everyone involved, and all I want to do is curl up in bed for weeks until the emotions start getting under control.

I am pretty bi-polar when it comes to modeling. Sometimes, it's my favorite thing in the world. Sometimes, it's my least.

(Hug) You are beautiful and brave big_smile

Nov 28 12 04:51 am Link

Photographer

Dave Luyando

Posts: 22

Spring, Texas, US

This really got to me.  First, I am sorry you have depression...I would not wish that on anyone.  I lost the love of my life and the depression that ensued was nearly more than I could manage for years.  So many people think that depression is simply a mood...like being sad.  A friend of mine showed me a blog that described it better than I was ever able to while I was suffering from it here: http://tayluca.tumblr.com/post/35253471 … ntelligent

Photography has been one of the best therapies I could have ever asked for in my case.  While it was a lot of work on my part on a personal level that helps me deal day to day, having such a rewarding and PERSONAL creative outlet definitely helped me have something I could feel good about that was all mine.

I am glad that you feel similarly about your modeling and wish you the best in all you do.  Remember though, it is YOU that developing the strength to handle your depression and enjoy modeling...not the other way around.

Dave

Nov 28 12 05:31 am Link

Model

Alixx Rose

Posts: 225

Atlanta, Georgia, US

modeling.. much like school and my other jobs, is a nice distraction for me. When I'm on set or getting my clothes ready for a shoot I'm not focusing on all the other things.

Nov 28 12 07:34 am Link

Model

Lorayne York

Posts: 2120

Colorado Springs, Colorado, US

Modeling hasnt really had any effect on my depression and anxiety.

what it has done... it's gotten me out of the house so i'm not sitting alone in my own thoughts.

i dont have low self esteem. my depression is a little more severe than that.
i dont really talk about what i've gone through on here, but if anyone wants to have some words of advice with self esteem, or just talk about their depression and utter dislike for life, you can message me. im not promising i will be cheerful, but i will tell you what ive been experiencing, so you know you arent alone in this.

Nov 28 12 09:07 am Link

Model

Affinity Finch

Posts: 652

Bodmin, England, United Kingdom

Alixx Rose wrote:
modeling.. much like school and my other jobs, is a nice distraction for me. When I'm on set or getting my clothes ready for a shoot I'm not focusing on all the other things.

That's exactly what I see it as, it's just a distraction that has some pretty outcomes to get me through every day, I have pstd. Thats's not too fun hmm Modeling seems to help in the sense that planning shoots, outfits jotting ideas down etc all seems to pile up into this one mahoosive wardrobe (so to speak) that I happily climb into for days at a time. I feel it's like a litttle world that I don't mind getting lost into smile

Nov 28 12 09:16 am Link

Model

Autumn Rose Brightly

Posts: 1097

Crowley, Texas, US

Dave Luyando wrote:
I am glad that you feel similarly about your modeling and wish you the best in all you do.  Remember though, it is YOU that developing the strength to handle your depression and enjoy modeling...not the other way around.

Dave

Thank you for that and I am so sorry for your loss

Nov 28 12 09:23 am Link

Model

Autumn Rose Brightly

Posts: 1097

Crowley, Texas, US

I am so surprised that this thread has gotten so much feedfack. Depression and SI are very tabboo still and it takes great strength to open up and discuss such painful matters. To everyone who commented I love your bravery and am always here if you need anyone to talk to.

Nov 28 12 09:28 am Link

Photographer

JD Liddil

Posts: 98

North Haven, Connecticut, US

Depression has yet to be accepted by society as a disease like any other. I've been treated for depression long before I took up photography. Part of the process for me is the creation and putting my work out there for critique. Getting past all the self-doubt in my head stuff and staying isolated. And now that I have begun shooting people I am going through the self-doubt process all over but it forces me to utilize the tools I have acquired over the years for dealing with it and not spiraling into a depressive period.

Nov 28 12 09:43 am Link

Model

Autumn Rose Brightly

Posts: 1097

Crowley, Texas, US

JD Liddil wrote:
Depression has yet to be accepted by society as a disease like any other. I've been treated for depression long before I took up photography. Part of the process for me is the creation and putting my work out there for critique. Getting past all the self-doubt in my head stuff and staying isolated. And now that I have begun shooting people I am going through the self-doubt process all over but it forces me to utilize the tools I have acquired over the years for dealing with it and not spiraling into a depressive period.

I agree, I am much better equiped to handle critique because of skills I have learned in coping with my depression,

Nov 28 12 09:47 am Link

Model

Autumn Rose Brightly

Posts: 1097

Crowley, Texas, US

model emily  wrote:
Honestly, if I was looking for a self-esteem boost, I might join a sports team or drama club or choir or something.   Not this.

It is very counterintuitive but for some reason it works for me. I feel more beautiful and secure as a person than ever before. I know there are thousands of girls prettier or thinner than myself but to put my images out feels amazing. It's a vunerability that I can handle. I am allowing myself to NOT be perfect and have had a nice response.

Nov 28 12 09:51 am Link

Model

LisaInLondon

Posts: 707

London, England, United Kingdom

For me, it also works both ways. Sometimes I get more confident, seeing pictures of myself which I actually like. Sometimes less, seeing how others look way better and have done far better work than I have. I would say in general it's bad for my selfconfidence. You're being judged in every single way. People choose to like you or dislike you, for some reason people often dislike me.

Nov 29 12 01:33 am Link

Model

Miroslava Svoboda

Posts: 555

Seattle, Washington, US

Fotografica Gregor wrote:
The "answer" for me is a process not a destination

I have never had self esteem issues. For me it's something to look forward to, something to plan, something to occupy my mind instead of what it could be occupied with. Helps me not to dwell on some things.

Nov 29 12 01:51 am Link

guide forum

Model

Damianne

Posts: 15975

Austin, Texas, US

It can be helpful, but I would warn against putting your self esteem in the hands of others like that.

Half of llamaling is getting great photos of yourself and being told that you're beautiful and amazing.


The other half is getting not very good photos of yourself or being told that you look like crap, you're too fat, you're preforming terribly, and that you're stupid if you thought standing around was gonna get you paid.


Take the good feelings but keep in mind that you're working, and you're working for people that don't care about you and want something from you, whether that something is a llama or a whore or someone to act like THEY are amazing so that THEY can feel good about themselves. llamaling isn't personal. If you give llamaling the power of your self esteem, you're gonna get manic depressive.

Nov 29 12 05:41 am Link

Model

Autumn Rose Brightly

Posts: 1097

Crowley, Texas, US

LizaK wrote:
People choose to like you or dislike you, for some reason people often dislike me.

I honestly don't know why that would be. You are adorable smile

Nov 29 12 06:17 am Link

Model

Autumn Rose Brightly

Posts: 1097

Crowley, Texas, US

Damianne wrote:
It can be helpful, but I would warn against putting your self esteem in the hands of others like that.

I try to keep that in mind. For every one person who likes my image there are hundreds who won't. Modeling is like anything: if you make it your everything then you are nothing without it. I don't allow anything to be my 'everything' anymore. I learned that lesson smile

Nov 29 12 06:21 am Link

Model

Raina Noel R

Posts: 549

Rio Vista, California, US

Modeling and photography are my anti-depressants. It can pull me out of the worst depression. I went to a therapist through the summer and it did no good, as soon as I started shooting again and modeling things in my head fell into place and I started to feel good. Still battling but not having to fight as hard.

Nov 29 12 06:31 am Link

Model

Autumn Rose Brightly

Posts: 1097

Crowley, Texas, US

Raina Noel wrote:
Modeling and photography are my anti-depressants. It can pull me out of the worst depression. I went to a therapist through the summer and it did no good, as soon as I started shooting again and modeling things in my head fell into place and I started to feel good. Still battling but not having to fight as hard.

(Hug) big_smile

Nov 29 12 06:52 am Link

Model

Jen B

Posts: 3295

Hopkinsville, Kentucky, US

Autumn Rose Brightly wrote:
I have found modeling to be very helpful in lightening my depression. I have had a massive boost in self-esteem and have been given a reason not to SI. Any other models have similar stories? How has depression affected your modeling?

Hello,

While I have no depression, (clinical or non) I have found that modeling has improved my self-esteem in a huge way. I feel like I've found an expressive outlet and discovered that in all honesty, I do have a tough self-esteem and do NOT take criticism personally. This has been such a lovely bonus.

There is a situation and opportunity for each type of model and even though someone may not want to shoot with me or do trade, or even to shoot with me if I pay, (yup, that was a reality check,) it doesn't really matter. It has totally helped me just accept that it is NOT about me but, about a concept and if I fit it, then wonderful. If I do not fit the concept then, there may be another one later.

Plus, meeting some wonderful creative photographers who are individuals of depth has been amazing for me too.
Jen
p.s. I also really enjoy knowing in the back of my mind that in 20 years these photographs are going to be a major highlight to me, in my near 70's of my mid life activities!

Nov 29 12 07:30 am Link

Model

_Rei_

Posts: 124

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

One of the very best things I've ever read about modelling, self-esteem and trying to steer yourself away from conflating success as a model with success as a person is this:
http://jezebel.com/377056/whenever-i-fe … n-sugardoc

It's a piece from a runway/editorial model who used to write anonymously for Jezebel website. Although it's not the sort of modelling I do, I felt I could really relate to it.

Success as a model seems to have nothing to do with how worthwhile/beautiful/whatever a person you are, so I try not to measure myself against it, even when I'm doing really well. What modelling does do, however, is provide me with a creative outlet that I really appreciate if I'm having a tough time and struggling with anxiety. I appreciate that time outside my own head :-)

Nov 29 12 01:12 pm Link

Model

_bri_

Posts: 286

OTTSVILLE, Pennsylvania, US

I guess it's somewhat helped with my depression. It has kept me busy, even if it's just me looking for people to work with. It's way better than sitting at home all day wondering what the heck I'm going to do with my life, lol. Even though right now it's mostly a hobby it has made me a bit more happier, except for the drama and stress that comes with it, but that's going to happen with anything.

Nov 29 12 05:42 pm Link