Month: March 2016

Mental Health and Comics 

Growing up, I loved reading comic books. I still do whenever I get the chance. Sometimes I liked reading them more than novels, because one you didn’t have too hard to imagine the characters and the scenarios. They were already drawn for you. Number two, you can see the character’s emotions. You could see their joys and frustrations, apart from the dialog that comes along from it.

Batman and Robin pic

Comics take you to another world, parallel to our own. We are in the world of our favorite heroes and villains. We see the series of events that eventually lead to the climax of series. See when you live with a mental illness, for example, anxiety or depression, you can’t see yourself or even someone else go through it. In a comic book you aware of the situation, but in your own life you can’t see the situation as clearly. In comics you understand the character and the situation. With yourself, you can’t understand your mental illness and/or yourself. Pretty much the only thing you and your favorite comic book hero have in common is wearing a mask. Except in your case, the mask is in a figurative manner.

Lately on the internet, I have been seeing a lot of independent comic book writers and illustrators “draw out” (figuratively and literally speaking) the characteristics of various mental illness. You may have seen some I  have posted on my blog in the past.I have been loving how artists describe mental health disorders! Although the symptoms of various mental illness are known,  it’s really hard to describe exactly how those illness affect you in your day to day life. And through comics you can “see” them. Why? ‘Cause you live them!

Comic book illustrations are also a good way to be entertained! Isn’t people like comics anyway? They take us into the world of characters. However in the case of comic book drawings based on mental illness, you are brought into your world…yourself. It gets a little easier to face yourself. Even better, you get to laugh at yourself…and for a moment they don’t have power over you… Anyway because you’ve lived through it, it’s more relatable. You can “see” yourself go through a panic attack or depressive episode. All in all it helps you laugh through the difficulties of living with a mental illness

Welcome to the World Panic Attacks

Anxiety…eesh… This picture I think perfectly describes what being in panic attack looks like.  As you see in the illustration, we don’t know where the character’s panic attack is happening—which was what I go through when this happens. All you see is her being surround by her thoughts and being drowned by overwhelming feeling of  this illness. But then and even during the event she tries to use things she enjoys and reminds herself to admit the problem when it happens and then learn to take life one step at a time.  Even though the comic illustration is meant for teens, I think this just as applicable for adults .