Diese Fotografin dokumentiert die mentale Erkrankung ihrer Mutter

Mit ihrem Projekt Du musst dir keine Sorgen machen begleitet Melissa Spitz ihre psychisch kranke Mutter seit vielen Jahren. Sie teilt sehr intime und ehrliche Einsichten auf Instagram.

„Ich habe mir Sorgen gemacht, dass die Arbeit meine Mutter dazu ermutigt, schlimmer zu werden", so die Fotografin. © Melissa Spitz Screenshot Instagram

Melissa Spitz war erst sieben Jahre alt, als sie ihre Mutter zum ersten Mal in einer psychiatrischen Klinik besuchte.

Das war nur der erste Besuch von vielen folgenden. Jahre später verarbeitet sie diese Erfahrungen in ihrem Projekt Du musst dir keine Sorgen machen. Auf Instagram führt sie ein Art Tagebuch über das Leben mit ihrer psychisch kranken Mutter.

Christmas Tree, 2009 We use to have Christmas every year with my mom and her family. After her mom died we quit doing Christmas. When my parents divorced and mom had her own house she wanted to do Christmas again. So, she bought a huge fake tree and covered the house with lights. She filled this room with so many gifts I could barely see the floor. We had a great first Christmas in her new place. But the months started passing and the tree never came down. It became this embarrassing item right as you entered our home. Friends would comment, “You know it’s March right?” I came home from college one weekend in September to find Mom passed out on the couch. She told me later, “Let’s just keep the damn thing up all year round.” #YouHaveNothingtoWorryAbout #mom #holidays #merrychristmas #christmastree

A post shared by Melissa Spitz (@nothing_to_worry_about) on

Die Fotografin nimmt Menschen mithilfe sozialer Medien mit auf eine Reise zu den schönen und schlimmen gemeinsamen Momenten mit ihrer Mutter. In acht Jahren hat sie dazu mehr als 5.000 Fotos und 100 Videos aufgenommen.

Mom got the flu, 2017 Our first night in Florida was great. We had a very nice dinner and mom seemed to enjoy herself despite being totally out of it on the plane. Traveling with her is borderline impossible and brings out the worst in me. On the second night things got bad. When we picked mom up from her hotel I could tell something was off. She reeked of alcohol. We asked her if she had been drinking and she just sat silent. When she did speak she asked us to go buy a cane to help her walk better because her ‘legs were wobbly’. The next day she called me and told me she needed to go to urgent care immediately because she was so sick. #YouHaveNothingtoWorryAbout #mom #vacation #health #mentalhealth

A post shared by Melissa Spitz (@nothing_to_worry_about) on

From the middle seat, 2017 I'm a bad flyer and an even worse sleeper. I tapped my foot the whole way to the airport and thought about my personal history with airplanes. There was a time when flying meant vacation, apple juice out of plastic cups and fun but it's been awhile. I wish airplanes weren't associated with stress for me. In the last 5 years there's been one flight for a vacation, one. Everything else is work or to see my parents. Coming "home" is so conflicting and so stressful. It's exciting to see my old friends and drive without needing directions but a reminder of my absence. A reminder of the loss. That home isn't home anymore. Every time I come back I feel so different than I did the last time. I keep changing and so does this place. I have more graves to visit than friends to see and more stress with mom. Here we go. #youhavenothingtoworryabout #homeiswheretheheartis #home #mom

A post shared by Melissa Spitz (@nothing_to_worry_about) on

Auf Instagram verfolgen über 49.000 User*innen ihre Arbeit. Zu sehen sind iPhone-Fotos neben Kunstbildern, Archivmaterial und alten Kindheitserinnerungen. Bei ihrer Mutter Deborah wurden zu unterschiedlichen Zeitpunkten eine paranoide Schizophrenie, Depression und bipolare Störung diagnostiziert.

Mom doing her Make Up, 2016 I mentioned in a previous post how depressed I was this summer… the amount of comments and emails I received was unbelievable.. I did not anticipate that type of reaction and feel incredibly grateful for this community. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support. 💕❤️ . . On World Suicide Prevention Day I wanted to talk about the importance of speaking up. Whether you are suffering, or know someone who is, these impossible conversations are necessary to have. Know the warning signs. We should never be ashamed or embarrassed about mental health issues, the more we talk about them, the more we can learn and help each other. #YouHaveNothingToWorryAbout #suicidepreventionday #mentalhealth #mentalillness #mentalhealthawareness #nami #worldsuicidepreventionday If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.

A post shared by Melissa Spitz (@nothing_to_worry_about) on

Mom and Dad, Wedding portrait, 1979 Like most kids I grew up thinking my parents were unbelievably in love. My dad frequently brought home flowers, chocolates and jewelry for my mom. He would plan extravagant vacations and then make traditions of them. For instance we used to ski every year in British Columbia, Canada, and every year he would buy my mom a new fur. Luxury everything for my mom, I remember my dad purchasing a piece of jewelry once and saying “It’s nice to have nice things”. My dad grew up in a two-bedroom house, sharing a bedroom with 2 brothers until he was 15. He went on to be a successful businessman who worked his ass off, for lack of a better term. He always tried his best, even if it backfired. My parents’ divorce could be described as heinous, and that is still a tame word for what happened. I never knew my mom could have or would do the things she did to my dad, his friends and our extended family. Their divorce was finalized in 2006 and I am still trying to dissect all the pieces. They haven’t spoken in 8 years… #youhavenothingtoworryabout #mom #family #dad #love

A post shared by Melissa Spitz (@nothing_to_worry_about) on

Die Fotografien beeindruckenden mit zum Teil schockierenden Aufnahmen und ihren zutiefst ehrlichen Bildunterschriften.

Live with mom – Mom's xanax #youhavenothingtoworryabout #mom #xanax

A post shared by Melissa Spitz (@nothing_to_worry_about) on

Die 29-jährige Fotografin wurde für ihre Arbeit von der Time zur Instagram-Fotografin des Jahres 2017 gekürt.

Evidence Photos (3 of 3), 2006 In the fall of 2006 I was starting my senior year of high school. My parents were in the middle of their divorce and things at my mom's house were beyond unstable. She never left her room. She would sit in the dark, abuse pills and alcohol and cry. She would ask me to bring in these giant file cases, full of documents from the court. She never went through them but I did. My mom always bruised easily and I knew she was saying my dad was physically abusive in court (he was not)… I had to testify against her…But when I found these photos, my heart sank…They were not even processed correctly, they were blown out, showed no detail of her skin and were submitted as evidence against my dad. She made these photographs with her sister. This was the first time I understood how manipulative photographs could be. Ten years later I am still learning, these photos always hurt to look at. #mom #youhavenothingtoworryabout #photography #power #family #familycourt #divorce #evidence #abuse #false #life #manipulation

A post shared by Melissa Spitz (@nothing_to_worry_about) on

Spitz hatte während ihres Projekts Bedenken, dass ihre Arbeit ausbeuterisch wirken könnte. „Ich habe mir Sorgen gemacht, dass die Arbeit [meine Mutter] dazu ermutigt, schlimmer zu werden“, erklärte sie der Time. „Es gab Zeiten, in denen ich nach Hause kam und wusste, dass sie mehr Pillen nehmen würde, weil sie wusste, dass ich mit der Kamera vorbeischaute.“ Es habe aber auch Zeiten gegeben, in denen sie sich moralisch verpflichtet fühlte, die Kamera nicht zu zücken.

Melissa Spitz hat sich mit ihrem Projekt dazu entschieden, intime Momente aus ihrem Familienleben mit der Öffentlichkeit zu teilen. Die Fotografin sagt, dass sie oft weine, wenn sie lese, was Leute geschrieben hätten. Für sie fungieren die Kommentare ihrer Follower*innen als eine Art Therapie. „In meinen Träumen gibt es eine Non-Profit-Organisation, in der ich meine Anhänger unterstützen kann“, sagt sie.

[Außerdem auf ze.tt: Psychische Erkrankungen – auf der Arbeit ansprechen oder verschweigen?]

Die Arbeit habe auch die Beziehung zwischen ihr und ihrer Mutter verändert, erklärt Spitz unter einem Foto, das sie selbst auf ihrer Ausstellung zeigt: „Meine Mutter hat mir heute Morgen nur gesagt: ,Deine Bilder haben mein Leben gerettet.'“

Mehr Fotos sind auf dem Account Nothing_to_worry_about und auf dem privaten Profil der Fotografin zu finden.