hidden features

Lyailya Turlybekova


Lyailya Turlybekova was born 1989 in Kazakhstan. Working as an artist in different media, her interest in photography started in 2009. After graduating with a Civil Engineering degree in 2012 from the University of Manchester, she focused on her passion on fine art, freelancing as a graphic designer and an illustrator. In 2016 and 2017 Lyailya exhibited her work in Almaty and Astana. In 2016 Lyailya participated in International Organization for Migration photo project “Migrants: An Invisible Force in Central Asia”.




Many people think that I am an attractive, nice, smart, funny 28 year old person. If you see me you would never think that I could be unhappy, scared and terrified of my condition: sensitive, aggressive, unsociable, hyper sociable or everything at the same time. While there are many people like me, not many talk openly about it. I am labeled with convenient definitions to identify and “diagnose” my personality – depressive, aggressive, angry, etc. Normally no one wonders what has caused such mental state, to see or understand that there is a legitimate reason behind it.


I want to end the taboo around talking about mental health, depression and the ongoing perception that depression is a sign of weakness. This project is about my way out of depression without antidepressants; through therapy, understanding myself, my history and my soul.

August 2017
I don’t want to use psychiatric terms since I don’t believe that my condition could be understood via symptoms listed in the medical books and healed with antidepressants and tranquilizers.
September 2015.
I was 24 (October 2013) when I went to a psychologist for a first time. I felt anxiety, fear, and despair. At that time, I thought that everyone faced the same issues and I was ashamed to complain. 
I visited different psychologists only when my state was unbearable. Each time was more and more difficult to deal with. 
After 4 years I snapped. I went to psychiatrist. I started taking antidepressants and tranquilizers. 
Six months after I started therapy with a psychologist and quit pills. 
It took me 4 years to understand what my condition was about and how dangerous it was.
August 2017. Diary notes.
I cry. Feeling of hopelessness, fear. As if I was shaken. Everything turned upside down. Feeling of enthusiasm is getting replaced by feeling of hopelessness, apathy, unwillingness to wash, cook, do a manicure. Work, office keep me in shape distracting me from my condition.
There is always a reason behind such state.