Depression and anxiety are extremely common mental illnesses, but they’re very poorly understood by society in general.
Because of social stigmas and misconceptions, suffering from these conditions can be lonely, confusing, and emotionally exhausting.
In some ways, anxiety and depression can feel like your mind is stuck in a prison that no one can see.
The In’s And Out’s of Mental Health
Depression isn’t a feeling that comes and goes, it’s a constant state of despair that affects your emotional and physical health. People suffering from depression may have a hard time finding the positive side of everything or feeling hopeful that better times will come (1).
Depression is perhaps more challenging for children and adolescents because parents can have a hard time understanding their children’s problems, which can seem small and insignificant to them and cause their child even more loneliness and despair.
Anxiety can be just as debilitating as depression, but rather than feeling exhaustion and apathy, sufferers feel nervous or worried for hours or even days on end. This anxiety can be a serious handicap in regards to your health, career, and relationships (2).
Neither disorders is a result of personal weakness, a character flaw, or poor upbringing. Instead, mental illness can be triggered by traumatic events, genetics, medication, and underlying medical conditions like anemia and thyroid dysfunction (3).
In hopes of fighting the stigma against mental illness, British illustrator Gemma Correll dedicated a whole cartoon series on anxiety and depression. She pairs her personal experience with the illnesses with humour to help her readers feel understood (4).
She also hopes to spark an open conversation on the subject: “I honestly think that humor can be a savior at times of distress or if you just live with a constant level of anxiety and depression like I do. I do think that people should speak more freely about anxiety. I know that I would have felt a little better as an anxiety-ridden teenager if I knew that I wasn’t completely alone in my fears” (5).
If you like the pictures below, feel free to visit Gemma’s website for more adorable illustrations. You can also visit her facebook page, where hundreds of sufferers have gathered to share their struggles and offer support.
1. The Perils of Chronic Overthinking
2. Real Life Horror Movies
3. Decision-Making Dice for Social Life
4. The Worrier’s Guide to Life
5. A Map of the Introvert’s Heart
6. Depression Land
7. Inferiority Complex
8. Keep Calm and Carry On? Nah.