Anxiety PSA

The Project

Tasked with creating a public service announcement, I focused on a very personal condition that a great deal of people struggle with: anxiety. Anxiety can often be misunderstood and more and more people are feeling freerer to speak out about their personal struggles with it. I think this statistic was a sobering reminder that anxiety isn’t a catchy new word. People have always lived with it despite the suffocating effect it has on them.

To showcase how it feels, I knew I had to have the model seem very stoic. Anxiety is invisible, with so much going on under the surface. Water at an uncomfortable and claustrophobic level, hitting her nose was a perfect metaphor for how it can make you feel. You can still breathe, but it feels like you are getting close to drowning at any moment, dangers lurking all around (in the form of the jellyfish.) You feel like harm or even death is all around you during an attack, despite how calm you might appear on the outside. Creating the ad was a great test of my Photoshop skills. The lighting was perhaps the trickiest part. I really wanted to go for a more realistic look. Making the mockup on the street was a very fun challenge as well. It was all about the lighting balance and getting that reflection just right. I felt like I captured my subject well and felt proud to create something that could spread awareness and compassion towards people with anxiety like me.

(All images were labelled free for reuse.)