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Thread: Nihilism, suicide and B&W prints

  1. #71

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Carterville, Il

    Re: Nihilism, suicide and B&W prints

    Quote Originally Posted by View Post
    As of January 2014 it was 35.5 percent. See summary here, and from that page you can find links to the authoritative SS reports.

    What is 'secondary diagnosis', and is it meaningful?

    ...or is this getting into politics? I will stop here and defer to the moderators.
    Jac: Nothing political about this at all. I should have pointed out that the 60% figure was passed down to our Illinois disability office by the Chicago Regional Office or Baltimore HQ of Social Security around 2002, which is the year I retired. All official disability evaluations have blocks for a primary and secondary diagnosis. Most, but not all individuals, would have a secondary diagnosis, be it mental or physical. I could not tell from the link that you provided if they were considering both categories, or just primary.

  2. #72
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Re: Nihilism, suicide and B&W prints

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    There shouldn't be any need for political discussion nor the merits of different schools of Psychological theory. The issue is the possibility of being able to identify colleagues who indicate, in visual language they could be at risk, and reaching out to them in a timely and appropriate way?
    Or at least that's the question I hoped to ask
    The reason I brought up psychosis and people who live with this every day is that artists with this ability (for lack of a better word) tend to be the ones who express themselves with metaphors, abstracts, surrealist pieces, etc. No I don't have a citation for this, should anyone ask, let's just call that my personal experience. Those of us without any experience of alternate realities or sensations, even in extreme circumstances, tend to view the world much more literally and might struggle to create a visual metaphor. That's why I take pictures of rocks and trees, they're real, but I'm leaving myself open to impressionism. I digress. Those who do express themselves with visual metaphors might very well leave clues in their work about their state of mind, or even intentions of suicide, and you might be able to analyze their subjects and other choices and be able to pick up on that. My initial point is that these people don't gravitate to photography as an artistic medium, much less B&W photography, because as a medium, it does not lend itself well to that sort of expression. You're more likely to find them drawing or painting or creating music.

    So, again in my personal experience, a B&W photographer going through a major depression and possibly contemplating suicide, is more likely to stop taking photographs, or might focus on the parts of the craft that bring him satisfaction (in my case, shooting), while neglecting the parts he finds dreary (like darkroom work). So you might find someone who has simply stopped, or shot hundreds of sheets of film, but hasn't developed or printed any in months or years. I would take this as a much more reliable indicator of mood than the content or style of most B&W photographs.

    But it is certainly possible that someone has used photography as his primary means of communicating, and therefore uses the medium to express his emotions in this instance. You would need to be close enough to the person to know this to be able to pick up on it. And I do believe that those persons who are communicating their distress and hopelessness are less likely to be planning suicide (due to depression, not necessarily if it's due to real-life circumstances like a terminal illness).

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