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Thread: Nihilism, suicide and B&W prints

  1. #1

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    Nihilism, suicide and B&W prints

    Morbid, I realize, but the recent thread that brought up Woodman's suicide made me think about this and I wondered what your thoughts might be-----
    Is there anything you could recognize in a photographic print which would indicate that the photographer is in need of immediate suicide intervention?
    Health professionals on MSM provide us with endless lists of warning signs (heart attack, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, depression, cancer, suicide, etc...) that list not only physical warnings but also mental which manifest in verbal communication (denial, as an example.)
    Since photographers communicate visually is there anything visually observable in one's photography that might indicate a serious, pressing problem?
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  2. #2
    (Shrek)
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    Re: Nihilism, suicide and B&W prints

    Hdr?

  3. #3

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    Re: Nihilism, suicide and B&W prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Jody_S View Post
    Hdr?
    eh?
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  4. #4
    I live in Connecticut now.
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    Re: Nihilism, suicide and B&W prints

    Probably, but you wouldn't be able to prove it and it wouldn't count, you can only speculate. There certainly someone on this form in particular whose work took a very strange shift and you can definitely tell that the personality both by their entry and buy their way of speaking at reacting indicates that they are having some kind of mental breakdown, but there's no way to prove it, you need actual facts to intervene, that's the main problem with suicide prevention is the person has to actually have said point blank that they are planning to harm themselves, but those who really want to do it and aren't just looking to get attention, they are silent about it and you would never know.

    This stuff is hard.

  5. #5
    (Shrek)
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    Re: Nihilism, suicide and B&W prints

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    eh?
    I was making a joke about depression and suicide.

    Unless you score high on the psychotic side, most depressed and suicidal photographers stop making photographs, or may continue with some aspects but will stop finishing their work. A person might still shoot thousands of shots but stop developing them or printing them. Whenever I'm personally feeling down, I force myself to go out and shoot, scan and edit a bunch of pics, because that's my therapy. Could you tell from the finished product? I doubt it.

    As for those with a strong psychotic side (not a bad thing, in the arts, and no I don't mean mentally ill), I think they don't generally gravitate to photography because it doesn't lend itself well to that kind of work. I've known exceptions, of course (excellent photographers whom I personally knew to be psychotic), but I didn't 'get' their work. And even they (well, the one person I knew well) took a multi-year break from photography in favor of meth when she was at her lowest.

  6. #6
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Re: Nihilism, suicide and B&W prints

    Trying to guess at people's feelings and intentions from their art is dangerous business. A lot of kids, especially, get hit with interventions because they've drawn something someone found disturbing. By the same measures, the writers of half the things in hollywood should be locked up for their violent intentions.

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    Re: Nihilism, suicide and B&W prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Jody_S View Post
    Hdr?
    Jody, I think you are getting depression mixed up with schizophrenia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia

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    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Nihilism, suicide and B&W prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Jody_S View Post
    Hdr?
    good one

  9. #9
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    Re: Nihilism, suicide and B&W prints

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Gales View Post
    Jody, I think you are getting depression mixed up with schizophrenia.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia
    No, I don't think so. Psychosis is not an on/off binary construct. You can have a strong psychotic vector to your personality but be a perfectly healthy, happy, well-adjusted person. You can also be bipolar, schizophrenic, substance abuser, religious fanatic, etc. But simply having a psychotic side to your psyche is not sufficient to label someone as mentally ill, much less schizophrenic.

    Given the original topic, I should point out though those mental illnesses on the psychotic spectrum do tend to have astronomical suicide rates.

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    Re: Nihilism, suicide and B&W prints

    Quote Originally Posted by paulr View Post
    Trying to guess at people's feelings and intentions from their art is dangerous business. A lot of kids, especially, get hit with interventions because they've drawn something someone found disturbing. By the same measures, the writers of half the things in hollywood should be locked up for their violent intentions.
    In technical terms: the sensitivity, specificity and predictive value of any of this stuff is very low. In lay terms: you'd place a large number of innocent/basically healthy people under unjustified suspicion for every person you identify who is genuinely on the way to catastrophe.

    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    This stuff is hard.
    Yes!

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