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    Torn Out Pages- part III
Modern society is still very ignorant about mental illness, partly due to the stereotypes created by the movie industry and mass media. We have been led to believe that an individual with a mental illness has a weak character or is inevitably more violent or unpredictable than people without such problems. None of these beliefs have any basis in fact.              Throughout history people with mental health problems have been treated differently, excluded and even brutalized. Nowadays many of them are able to live a “normal life” out of hospitals and institutions. Still they face stigma and discrimination across all aspects of life; including work,healthcare settings, even coming from friends and family. Despite the fact that almost every one of us knows someone who has mental problems, the issue is still a huge taboo. The stigmatization of mental illness prevents people from seeking treatment and is cause of suicide for many individuals. Others end up living their lives alone in the artificial world they create for themselves, setting them apart from society.

Torn out pages is an ongoing project in which i am photographing people who suffer from different mental conditions. If there is something all these individuals have in common is that they all want to break the taboo and stigma associated to mental illness…
Autism is a lifelong brain developmental disability that affects how people perceive the world and interact with others. Parents usually notice signs in the first two years of their child's life. Deficits in communication, an exaggerated dependence on daily routines and habits, social integration difficulties and high intolerance to any changes or frustration are some of the most common symptoms.
Due to her problematic behavior, in the past few years Hester has spent more time inside mental hospitals than outside. Her enormous difficulty to communicate and interact socially are the basis of the problem, and her parents are unable to take care of it. Outside the hospital, the world seems a hostile, confusing and intimidating place for Hester.
War scars in Zoe´s wrist. She was only 14 years old when she attempted suicide for the first time. Being on the verge of losing her life, this act was interpreted by her family as normal teenage behavior. 19 years later and after a lot of suffering, Zoe received the proper diagnosis that finally gave meaning to that action and many others that came after.
These pictures were taken one week before Lisanne Herder died through voluntary euthanasia. Lisanne spent her entire life battling against a degenerative disease in her bones and borderline personality disorder.  
Borderline personality disorder is a serious mental illness marked by abnormal behavior characterized by extreme fears of abandonment, unstable relationships with other people, sense of self, or emotions; feelings of emptiness, frequent dangerous behavior and self-harm.
Lisanne´s body, same as her arm, was fully covered with self-harm marks.