22-Year-Old Man With Sleep Paralysis Recreates His Nightmares In Photos, And It’s Terrifying (36 Pics)

Photographer Nicolas Bruno spends his days like the rest of us, but his nights are very different.
22 year-old Nicolas has been suffering from sleep paralysis since the age of 15.
With sleep paralysis, one experiences nightmares more vividly than that of normal regular sleepers.
Sleep paralysis is a condition that happens when we are about to enter rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.
In REM our bodies sort of paralyze themselves, to stop us from remembering the vividness of our dreams.
But Bruno’s mind is almost in an awake state during this, thus experiencing horrific hallucinations.
This condition forced the young man into insomnia and depression.
"I thought I was possessed by demons,” he said.
Everything changed when one high school teacher suggested he should document these terrors.
He has been battling his fears through photography ever since.
“This project has gifted me a sense of who I am,” he said.
“It gave me the strength to persevere in life, to create art and speak to people."
"It gifted me art, and I don’t know where I would be without it.”
In confronting the visions, and feelings of fear and helplessness, that can accompany this phenomenon, Bruno has discovered that transposing the notes from his sleep-paralysis journal to his photoshoots provides him a powerful therapeutic outlet.
"I've always been into photography, and it became my way of battering through my terrorizing sleep paralysis experiences and expressing my creative conscience in ways that I never thought I could,"
"I became fascinated with the endless possibilities of conceptual photography and photo manipulation and developed my skills accordingly."
Bruno says one of the most rewarding things to come out of the creation of the series is the feedback he's heard from people who identify with his work.
"I have been receiving numerous messages from individuals who have experienced sleep paralysis."
"Whether they knew what it was or not, (they) were able to relate to my work and share their stories with me."
"It has been an absolutely amazing experience to interact with my viewers and relate to their sleep paralysis occurrences."
Bruno describes sleep paralysis as an experience of “purgatory,” a floating, liminal state.
In many of his photographs, Bruno is the model, acting out his own visions of drowning, entrapment, and being hunted.
For him, the state is usually inhabited by eerie hooded figures.
The result is a series of symbolic images that resonate with us on a visceral level, embodying the raw experiences of fear and the will to survive.
“My sleep paralysis episodes contain repetitious characters and feelings, such as faceless figures wandering about my room or feeling a dark gravity exerting pressure that crushes my chest."
"These sinister figures torment me at the foot of my bed with taunts of static and screaming."
"No matter how hard I fight back, I buckle into a long lasting near death or fight-or-flight stimulation from being trapped in my own bed and body.”
“Each day that passes, I am able to gain more control over what happens within my episodes and begin to understand what unfolds within them."
"By translating my dream experiences into my artwork, it has lifted my spirits from a darker place than I used to reside in."
"I believe that it is important to take your experiences and make them tangible, and to manage stress carefully and calmly.”
Bruno hopes his series will help to raise awareness about sleep paralysis as well as inspire people to create art based on their own experiences using whatever medium appeals to them most.
“By studying the form and execution of these masterful works of art, I am able to directly improve the way I create the composition of my photographs."
"By merging my dreams with symbolism that I pick up in my studies or create on my own, I am able to illustrate my sleep paralysis episodes with an approach that always offers a new avenue of academic or craft based exploration.”
Bruno creates or purchases props and clothing to help convey the full effect of what he was feeling in the episode. This includes things like gas masks, a rusty bathtub, bowler hats, and even an antique diver’s mask.
Once he’s ready to start shooting, Bruno strategically takes a multitude of images on a tripod using self-timer mode or a shutter release remote while he models for each photo. He later pieces together the images in Photoshop.
Bruno has been featured in many publications including Vice Magazine, CNN Style, Yahoo Screen, The Huffington Post, and Illusion Magazine to name a few.
22-Year-Old Man With Sleep Paralysis Recreates His Nightmares In Photos, And It’s Terrifying (36 Pics) 22-Year-Old Man With Sleep Paralysis Recreates His Nightmares In Photos, And It’s Terrifying (36 Pics) Reviewed by Your Destination on January 06, 2018 Rating: 5

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