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Every picture tells a story: Magali’s story


It wasn’t till after she was identified with bipolar dysfunction that Argentine photographer Magali realised that the signs of her psychological well being situation had all the time been there to see – in her work

Once I was a child, I learn rather a lot, wrote tales, and drew a bit of. It was my dream to publish a novel, or a group of quick tales.

After which in 2008, after I was 14 years outdated, I found images – with out realising that taking photographs would turn into like respiration for me. And really, way more, as a result of the bipolar disorder I used to be identified with in 2017 was all the time seen in my photographic work.

4 occasions, I took {a photograph} per day for a complete yr. I completed two of those tasks, and two remained unfinished. They grew to become a sort of intimate diary and a register of my temper swings, however I solely found this after I used to be identified.

Within the final yr of highschool, in 2011, I had a disaster, sparked as a result of I used to be so invested in images that I began to fail my exams. I used to be additionally in a toxic relationship, and had different troubles. However I believed it was an remoted episode. I didn’t know at the moment, however my bipolar dysfunction had began to present itself.

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Images| Taken by Magali in 2016. A number of months earlier than her analysis

After ending college, I had a sort of sabbatical yr, the place I began working as a photographer, taking footage in pubs. I additionally began my first ‘365’, however ended it after 222 days as a result of I wasn’t feeling proud of the outcomes.

In 2013, I ended my relationship and commenced a profession in illustration. I grew to become stuffed with power, slept little, had associates, went dancing, and dated folks.

The subsequent yr I began my second ‘365’ picture mission, which I completed and later exhibited. Additionally, I had a number of work and exercised rather a lot. I additionally began a wide range of hobbies, however dropped them fairly quickly as a result of I might lose curiosity – having spent a number of pointless cash on them.

I assume I used to be low generally in these years, however I principally keep in mind the highs, as a result of I assumed that was the ‘actual me’.

I used to be doing so nicely in my life that I used to be even capable of pay for a go well with of medieval armour for my subsequent photographic mission! I additionally found my true ardour: instructing images, and had my first college students.

After two years as an illustrator, I stop as a result of I discovered that drawing was not my factor.

Then 2016 was the yr when every little thing began to collapse. I began my third ‘365’, however all of the sudden started to really feel so low. I used to be drained on a regular basis, and dropped actions I appreciated. It was onerous to get away from bed to take the picture of the day. I even closed my eyes in the midst of instructing, not from boredom, however as a result of I couldn’t assist it. Some weeks had been like this, after which in others I had power and concepts once more. Large concepts – I even thought I could possibly be a photographer for Marvel, or begin to promote pictures at ridiculous costs.

However then the lows reached some extent the place it was untenable. And the bottom level for me was after I began to have suicidal thoughts. I keep in mind the week I began planning what to ‘prepare’ for after I was gone.

However after I considered my pets (my three canines, my cat, my rabbits, and my hamsters) and what would turn into of them, one thing clicked on my head. It harm me extra not realizing what their future could be, than did how I used to be feeling. It was then that I advised my accomplice what was taking place in my head, and he instructed that I see a psychiatrist.

I didn’t need to go, as a result of I assumed that going would simply get me despatched away with remedy. However I couldn’t bear it anymore.

I went to some classes, and was identified with dysthymia (persistent depressive dysfunction) and was prescribed an antidepressant and a temper stabiliser. And I started to dwell once more. I couldn’t consider it. However 5 months later I had an episode, as a result of I used to be with out my antidepressant for one weekend. I received’t overlook it, as a result of I missed a very powerful day of my largest exhibition to date. I used to be having withdrawal signs and I didn’t comprehend it.

“Informing your self and others is without doubt one of the first steps to eradicate the myths round bipolar dysfunction”

I went to see one other psychiatrist to get a prescription, however he truly requested quite a lot of questions after which mentioned that he thought I had bipolar dysfunction.

Bipolar dysfunction? I didn’t assume so. However after the analysis, I acquired new remedy and began to really feel modifications. I’m self-taught in a number of issues, so I began to learn rather a lot about bipolar.

The extra I learnt in regards to the dysfunction, and the way it works, the much less afraid of it I grew to become, and the extra instruments I acquired, together with the best remedy. I learnt to distinguish “me” from the dysfunction – that’s why I by no means say “I’m bipolar”, I say “I’ve bipolar dysfunction”, as a result of it doesn’t outline me, it’s simply one thing I dwell with.

I learnt the issues that triggered me, and was capable of keep away from them or work by means of them in remedy. And I seen there have been so many myths and a number of stigma round bipolar, so I began to dedicate myself to informing folks. I gave speeches to establishments or media, and generated content material for social media.

Finally I reached stability. I’m aware that I may have a relapse at any time, however I’m additionally extra assured that I’m higher ready.

The curious factor was what my photographs confirmed. After analysis, I noticed my work in a special mild, and it was wonderful what number of of my signs had been current in my tasks. How fatigue was so seen, or how hypomania colored my footage, with vibrant characters and concepts. I’ve began to compile them into one mission, known as ‘Symptom’, which you’ll find on Behance.

I’m now at a stage in my life the place I’m how I need to be. And my dream from after I was a toddler has truly come true… I’ve printed my first e book. Not quick tales, however a compilation of images – which might be like quick tales in spite of everything.

I’m sharing my experiences, and my artwork, with others so that they really feel much less alone, and might find out about this dysfunction. It may be an extended and scary path, in fact, however informing your self and others is without doubt one of the first steps to eradicate the myths round bipolar dysfunction and to assist each identified particular person to have the life they need.


Graeme Orr | MBACP (Accred) counsellor says:

Magali’s story displays her wrestle, and that of others’, to get a analysis. However in lastly receiving this, she gained a greater consciousness of herself, her triggers, and signs. Slowly, she rediscovered herself, her ambition, and was capable of utilise her creativity to replicate her true self, to assist and inform others. It’s this deep understanding of ourselves, and our well being, that may make all of the distinction in how we deal with a situation.


To study extra about bipolar, or to attach with a counsellor, go to counselling-directory.org.uk



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