Daily Photojournalism Withdrawal Disorder


(An x-ray may not reveal this underlying condition…)


It happens to many of us. Photographers don’t talk about it much. TMI.

After we find creative opportunities that entice us to leave our daily newspaper jobs, we move on with our careers.

Then, we go through withdrawal. We’ve photographed for decades on a daily basis around a newsroom of colleagues. Something doesn’t feel right.

Your doctor is familiar with this syndrome.  You may experience the following symptoms:

A constant hunger to shoot.

Odd feelings of disconnectedness from current events. 

Restlessness in your legs.

Anxious pangs of creativity.

Your health symptoms may be exacerbated by big news events and social media posts by newspaper colleagues.

Call it DPWD. Daily Photojournalism Withdrawal Disorder.

Your doctor will reassure you this is normal. As you transition to the next phase in your career, these residual symptoms are nature’s way of saying you enjoyed daily shooting, but life is different as a freelancer.

You will have bouts of inactivity, followed by surges of projects and feelings of elation. They result in a gratitude and a lighter step throughout your day.

Your thinking will become more clear, planned and organized.

Your psychological highs may be much higher, your lows could be lower.

Your family will benefit from less daily isolation from you.

You will experience a sudden and remarkable realization of your higher creative value in the business world, accompanied by a shaking of the head.

On cold frigid days such as today, you may experience a surge of endorphins, knowing you don’t have to experience Chiberia on deadline.

Yet, lingering feelings of detachment may persist.

It’s a first world problem. They will likely recede over time.

If you suddenly experience a persistent and nagging itch in your shutter finger, however, you should definitely speak with a doctor.

Or better yet, grab a camera and call an editor.

Photography has a way of curing most ills.

Alex Garcia


  1. I am going thru this after being a news videographer for 34 years. The head wants to be there, but the body aches at the thought of flying and running around for hours in the cold and rain. Not dignified at any age……..

  2. You eloquently performed the diagnosis, Alex!
    Did I pay the phone bill? Did I miss the email-assignment-of-the-year?
    Should I sign back up for AOL?
    Let’s hope this weather doesn’t last so we don’t catch Cabin Fever on top of
    hugs and prayers of comfort till you get better!
    Stay warm,

  3. It’s not just an issue with photojournalism! Applies to most long-time career and/or lifestyle changes.
    Prognosis–you will get over it in time and be better off in the long run.

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