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July 24, 2017

Deconstructing Stigma: A Root of Depression Is Trauma With Marlena Davis


Sometimes, there are just no words to express what you’re feeling. A year ago, Marlena stopped the antidepressant medication she had been taking for a dozen years. She had hoped to have a baby. But instead, she developed memories of childhood abuse. It happened more than 30 years ago. The perpetrator had abused other kids. The trauma had blocked it from my memory. What Marlena had remembered was the depression, irritability, and isolation. 

Marlena uses photography, drawing, poetry, and painting to express the way she is feeling. Through PeaceLove Studios in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, she honed her expressive art skills through their CREATORS program, with hopes of teaching the technique to others, including kids and teens with autism. On Facebook, she talks about her own battle with mental illness, and launched the Pix of the Day project, a series of rich, moving photos that instill emotion.

When she’s not behind the camera, Marlena surrounds herself with animals—including a 2-year-old pitbull, Kemo, and her rabbit, Penelope. She now sees her therapist of 13 years weekly to work through her childhood memories. And she hopes to revisit her dream of motherhood soon. She is committed to speaking up about her mental health, to change attitudes about an illness that is not unlike any other.

www.deconstructingstigma.com

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