Photography as Therapy

by Joseph Barney 4 months ago in art

Treatment for brain injury/PTSD

Photography as Therapy

I am a brain injury, repeat brain injury, survivor with PTSD and anxiety/bipolar issues. Luckily they have meds but they don't help as much as needed, but I've found that I'd forget my woes a bit, so to speak, when I was out doing photography, especially in nature. For a while it was a guilty pleasure until on a hunch I Googled if it helped with PTSD and it does. In fact, war veterans use landscape photography as therapy for their PTSD. I wasn't in the military but I've had the crap kicked out of me lots. I simply grew up in that kind of neighborhood/town but now I live in Utah which I'll say is a lot safer. I can walk around Historic 25th Street at night with my Samsung S10 and Sony A6000 with a couple of lenses, including my $1K 210mm lens and I'm fine. Yeah, there's a bit of crime in that area per news but the news is always negative. Ogden has a big of a reputation but honestly it's not that bad. The people are worth getting to know.

I used to be negative about Utah but I'm waking up or I guess my brain is rewiring with age and reading positive things online. I follow positive people on Instagram and have some supportive friends and sometimes family is supportive. I imagine someone with TBI is difficult to be around sometimes but yeah, there's a thing called flooding that makes it impossible to realize/control that and that's where photography and even videography comes in. Somehow time stops/slows down in a good way, unlike when I'm getting beat up by a large group of people in a town I won't mention in California. A biker town. However, I don't hate bikers in general. I think even in the 1% there's good, like some biker neighbors I had. I've was mean if the leaders and one was nice to me. Plus I think as far as frequency I've had more issues with members of my own Mormon congregation. 😂🤣 I've heard that's referred to as Urban Warfare. To be honest, even though I've whined a bit about Oroville—there, I named the town—I've met more nice bikers than Mormons and I don't mean to knock Mormons or Religion. There has to be an explainable reason. I do know, for example, that Utah is known to have the highest or one of the highest rates of depression in Utah as well as porn viewing in the nation and I've learned that anger is how men manifest depression. Anger and dominance and those two words describe many Mormons I've met.

So, I'd recommend nature and Photography rather than just pills. Good company and hugs rather than an hour with a stranger you have to pay to guess what's wrong with you when in reality you just hurt. I do have anger issues myself, and I'm recognizing that. I think that's the issue in Oroville. Plus on Ted Talks, I saw that up to 80% of men in jail have a brain injury and almost every single woman in jail has a brain injury. I've been to jail twice. The first time after a nasty concussion, after already suffering from a history of repeat brain injuries, I went to the ER—well, was taken there—and was diagnosed with a closed head injury. I was supposed to be under observation at home but my mother had to work. I went crazy from that concussion. I ended up cutting the power cords in many electronics in the house because I thought they were alive and out to get me. That included a freezer with a thick 220 volt plug and it took several tries to cut all the way through, like three or four at least. I remember flying back from the shock and keeping at it until I "vanquished the Enemy." It left gouges and melted burn marks on the metal of the scissors. And I'm still alive but I've recently read electrocution gives you major brain damage so that is why I ended up homeless partly, losing—well, selling—my 2001 Kia Rio in Vegas, in 2010, for I think it was $75. Crazy. I was not all there.

Anyway, it's taken a decade to get my brain to the point I'm thinking of ways to earn money that are normal. I've been doing Door Dash. I'm not making much money as the app malfunctions—they were skimming my wages for a while, and it's not always busy enough. I'm gonna try content creation. I tried IT at a wonderful company called Connexion Point but it's too stressful. I couldn't handle Deseret Industries. Too physical. I was let go from Nutraceutical because I almost passed out onto the conveyor belt doing production as the fumes affect me from some projects in the area and possibly my own as well as the cleaning solvents. Oh and I somehow thought to Google about brain injuries and high altitude and yup, I went to Mexico City which is 7000 feet. Here in Ogden, Utah it's over 4000 feet. A government report said that adding as little as 1500 feet can be bad for a brain injury for tough military men. And I grew up at about 100 feet elevation in Oroville so coming here screwed me up. And I'm still here. Plus even riding in commercial planes is bad per the report. And being sedentary and not having variety in your life or going out.

Anyway, photography is inexpensive for me since I only do digital. I partly get by on social security, though most of it goes to my mother for room and board. But I do have a Samsung S10 and Sony A6000 with kit lens and a 210mm lens, three batteries and a charger. Plus I have a 64 gig memory card in my phone and I think a 48 gig or so in my camera. If it weren't for my "mental health"—well, that's better than "mental illness" issues which makes it sound like I have a zombie virus. I get the impression people think I'm gonna eat their liver with faba beans and a nice Chianti. Lol even therapists act like I've got tentacles coming out my arse. It's so weird. A brain injury is like a broken leg, not demonic possession. Though I do swear like I have tourettes.

Haha anyway, this is a dorkumentary if you will, of my smart ass ways as well as advice on TBI. I used to be gifted and in California I was in G.A.T.E. which stands for Gifted And Talented Education. It might still be around. I was in the top 10%. I could read something once, and quicker than the smart kids, and remember it word for word. Once my teacher caught me talking to my friend and asked me to repeat her words during a lecture. I did, verbatim. I could have two convos/attention spans at once. Even here in Utah, after getting thumped hard again and needing speech therapy, memory therapy and cognitive therapy, though it was called speech pathology, I could chat and keep up with multiple people on chat boards in real time and on IRC, and type at 80WPM until I got thumped so much that is now 65 wpm. Bummer. So yeah I have a bit of an issue with racists here and did with a few gang bangers too but people calmed down and in my next entry I'll outline why I think all humans are innocent and victims of their environment. It works both if you're religious or secular.

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Joseph Barney
Joseph Barney
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Joseph Barney

I am a brain injury survivor with PTSD, anxiety and bipolar. I enjoy nature, photography, videography, animals, travel, food, video games, YouTube, Vocal, music, movies, tech and science. 

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