Suffolk county councillor and former Ipswich mayor Jane Chambers is another of John’s subjects. Her depression was first diagnosed 25 years ago  “I think I’ve actually had it much longer than that but I didn’t recognise the symptoms at first,” she says. “When I am badly affected I just want to turn my face to the wall and not get up. Sometimes I can’t even pinpoint what brings it on".  I photographed Jane standing in shallow water with sunlight reflecting off the pool around her and clouds racing across an azure-blue sky overhead.  Jane tells me, “I remember feeling most comfortable as a child standing in a stream at my grandfather’s farm,” she says. “So water seemed the most natural place for me to be photographed.  “I found the whole experience very reflective. It took me back to my childhood in a way. I thought about my grandfather and mother and the people I miss, but felt quite at peace with myself.”

Suffolk county councillor and former Ipswich mayor Jane Chambers is another of John’s subjects. Her depression was first diagnosed 25 years ago  “I think I’ve actually had it much longer than that but I didn’t recognise the symptoms at first,” she says. “When I am badly affected I just want to turn my face to the wall and not get up. Sometimes I can’t even pinpoint what brings it on".  I photographed Jane standing in shallow water with sunlight reflecting off the pool around her and clouds racing across an azure-blue sky overhead.  Jane tells me, “I remember feeling most comfortable as a child standing in a stream at my grandfather’s farm,” she says. “So water seemed the most natural place for me to be photographed.  “I found the whole experience very reflective. It took me back to my childhood in a way. I thought about my grandfather and mother and the people I miss, but felt quite at peace with myself.”

 
 

Photo Stories

My Safe Place..Living with Depression

 

MOST of us have somewhere we like to retreat to for relaxation or to gather our thoughts. But when people are affected by depression, that bolthole from everyday life can take on a whole new meaning. I have set out to capture something of that significance, to challenge myths about the illness and remove some of the stigma that still surrounds it by photographing sufferers in their place of safety.


Words and Pictures by John Ferguson