Advertising
Advertising

Artist Suffering From Anxiety Shows What Mental Illnesses Would Look Like as Monsters

Artist Suffering From Anxiety Shows What Mental Illnesses Would Look Like as Monsters

Let’s be honest: mental illness is not a conversation topic people want to address. If someone gets cancer, undergoes a heart transplant, or falls sick with the flu, people see it, understand it, emphasize with it, and are compassionate. Yet when someone has a mental illness, people don’t “get it.”

Illustrator Toby Allen wishes to change that. From anxiety to bipolar disorder, Allen puts a face to these illnesses and shows the world just how tangible—and haunting—they can be.

Allen’s “Real Monsters” series is a collection of illustrations that anthropomorphize mental illnesses like depression, social anxiety disorder, and schizophrenia. He hopes his art will raise awareness to those who are unfamiliar with mental illness, and offer some relief and encouragement to those who are suffering.

“The project originated from imagining my own anxieties as monsters and finding it to be a cathartic and healing process to draw them,” Allen told The Huffington Post. “It made them feel weaker and I was able to look at my own anxiety in a comical way.”

Right click on any photo below to view large scale.

Advertising

3018089-poster-p-real-monsters-gives-nightmarish-face-to-mental-illness

    “I hope to draw attention to mental illnesses that often get ignored or aren’t taken as seriously as they should.”

    —Toby Allen

    article-2449864-189A216E00000578-531_634x410

      mental-illness-monster-15

        mental-illnesses-disorders-drawn-real-monsters-toby-allen-16

          “I want to make people aware of how damaging these illnesses are and how much of a burden they can be to those who suffer from them.”

          —Toby Allen

          Advertising

          mental-illness-monster-07

            mental-illness-monster-02

              monster-illness-monster-04

                “The project highlights conditions that some people may have never even heard of, so the work aims to raise awareness for these.”

                —Toby Allen

                mental-illness-monster-11

                  Toby-Allen-The-Real-Monsters-mental-disorders-art-pictures-5

                    Advertising

                    toby-allen-misophonia-monster

                      “Yes, I have Anxiety. It affects me every day of my life and can be a real burden but I have learnt how to keep it mostly at bay.”

                      —Toby Allen

                      ocd

                        mental-illness-monster-10

                          mental-illnesses-disorders-drawn-real-monsters-toby-allen-12

                            “As for the other mental illnesses in the series, I either know someone who is personally effected by the illness or am very familiar with it because it is something that I find interesting to research.”

                            —Toby Allen

                            mental-illnesses-disorders-drawn-real-monsters-toby-allen-11

                              Advertising

                              mental-illnesses-disorders-drawn-real-monsters-toby-allen-3

                                3018089-inline-s-6-real-monsters-gives-nightmarish-face-to-mental-illness

                                  anxiety-toby-allen

                                    “I research each illness extensively to be able to create a design that works for most people. I try to research real life case studies and incorporate people’s first hand experience into each designI have a list of illnesses that I would like to tackle.”

                                    —Toby Allen

                                    Check Toby Allen’s page for new “Real Monsters” artwork and help share awareness.

                                    Featured photo credit: Anxiety/Toby Allen 2013 via zestydoesthings.tumblr.com

                                    More by this author

                                    Foods That You May Not Know Could Kill You Dog Love Letter A Love Letter to Myself 9 Hidden Life Lessons In Star Wars That You Need To Know! Numerous Messages Behind “I Love You” Artist Suffering From Anxiety Shows What Mental Illnesses Would Look Like as Monsters

                                    Trending in Communication

                                    110 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks 2When You Start to Enjoy Being Single, These 12 Things Will Happen 321 Best Tips On Making A Long Distance Relationship Work 4The Skill That Most People Don’t Have: Active Listening 518 Signs You’ve Found Your Soulmate

                                    Read Next

                                    Advertising
                                    Advertising

                                    Last Updated on August 16, 2018

                                    10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

                                    10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

                                    The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

                                    In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

                                    Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

                                    1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

                                    What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

                                    Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

                                    2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

                                    Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

                                    Advertising

                                    How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

                                    Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

                                    Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

                                    3. Get comfortable with discomfort

                                    One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

                                    Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

                                    4. See failure as a teacher

                                    Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

                                    Advertising

                                    Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

                                    Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

                                    10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

                                    5. Take baby steps

                                    Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

                                    Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

                                    Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

                                    Advertising

                                    The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

                                    6. Hang out with risk takers

                                    There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

                                    Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

                                    7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

                                    Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

                                    Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

                                    8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

                                    What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

                                    Advertising

                                    9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

                                    Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

                                    If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

                                    10. Focus on the fun

                                    Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

                                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                                    Read Next