Depression comes like a moonless night. You don’t notice it’s arriving at first, but as the light begins to fade, you notice. Not all at once, but you can feel it coming, from dusk to full darkness. And then it consumes you.
In when darkness comes, metal artist Angela Ridgway explores her own experiences with depression. “When my darkness comes, I can sense it approaching. Sometimes I can take actions to move away from it, but other times, I can’t. For many people, depression can be present while they go through the routine of day to day life. Or it can be completely debilitating. For me, either way, it consumes my thoughts and actions.”
Angela hopes that by opening up about her own depression through her art, others will learn more about the illness and become aware of it – maybe in themselves, maybe in others. “Through education and conversation, we can lift the stigma of mental illness, making it easier for people suffering to get help. When I was first diagnosed, I tried to hide it from others. But now, I talk more freely so others know it isn’t something to be ashamed of. And there is help.”
Angela Ridgway has dealt with depression most of her adult life, but didn’t really understand it until she was diagnosed in her early 30’s. Many people have helped her through her dark spells, including friends, family, doctors, and therapists. And modern medicine has helped to keep these episodes at bay most of the time. Still, she is always on the lookout for the signs in her own life, and others, and tries to take action when she sees them.
May is Mental Health Month…in support of this and mental health services, Angela will donate 15% of her show sales in May to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Oregon (www.NAMIOR.org).