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10 Dark Illustrations That Show the Struggles Of People With Mental Illness And Disorders

10 Dark Illustrations That Show the Struggles Of People With Mental Illness And Disorders

In his magnificent series of illustrations for Inktober, the artist Shawn Coss decided to portray the dark side of mental illness and disorders.

As dark as they seem, apart from shocking the viewers and drawing their attention to the severity and commonness of mental disorders, the illustrations, serve as means to address some misconceptions about mental illness and disorders. Also, the understanding shown in the illustrations, hopefully, can help many sufferers from any of the portrayed illness or disorder to feel less alone in their struggle and urge the public to help the ones in need.

1. Major depressive disorder

major-depressive-dissorder

    Depression is too often misunderstood as personal weakness manifested by a person feeling sad and unwilling to change. A depressive disorder has nothing to do with personal strength, but it can happen to anyone experiencing the trauma of any type of loss, whether it be of a loved one, or a job. Likewise, sadness is not the only indicator of this disorder, as a person suffering from it undergoes many physical and emotional symptoms that last for a longer period of time.

    2. Social anxiety

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    social-anxiety

      Social anxiety is a very common mental disorder usually misinterpreted as fear of public speaking and shyness. While people suffering from social anxiety do fear speaking in front of a large crowd, the social anxiety makes any everyday activity (such as eating in front of others or meeting new people) more difficult for the sufferer. Social anxiety is most often mistaken for shyness. Yet, most people suffering from this disorder don’t show any signs of shyness or any other visible symptoms.

      3. OCD

      ocd

        Most people regard OCD sufferers as neat freaks that are obsessed with cleaning. While in many cases of the disorder, a person is fixated on keeping things clean, it can manifest in many other repetitive routines. With the right treatment, including behavioral therapy, and in some cases, medication, the disorder can be successfully controlled.

        4. Anorexia nervosa

        anorexia

          Commonly mistaken for a conscious choice made in order to look good, anorexia nervosa is a serious mental issue that affects mostly female population. The disorder is triggered by person’s inability to cope with certain issues or traumas, or with an enormous amount of stress concerning their body image.

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          5. Bipolar disorder

          bipolar-disorder

            It is a very common misconception to consider a bipolar disorder as mood swings that can only be treated with medication and psychotherapy. People suffering from bipolar disorder undergo severe, long-lasting mood swings that are much more extreme than those a healthy person would undergo in response to certain positive or negative events. Yet, along with the medication and therapy, a sufferer could significantly improve their condition by making positive lifestyle choices that could affect their general well-being and make the initial symptoms much easier recognized and controlled.

            6. Autism spectrum disorder

            autism-spectrum-disorder

              The most common misconception about people suffering from this disorder is that they are unable to function socially and express their thoughts verbally. Although their social and language skills can be weakened in most cases, depending on the type of the disorder, autism spectrum disorder patients can actually be highly-functional and have high IQs, which can result in them leading perfectly successful and functional lives with the right support and treatment.

              7. Schizophrenia

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              schizophrenia

                Wrong preconceptions about schizophrenia make people fear the patients and regard them as paranoid and aggressive. In most cases, schizophrenia patients are much more withdrawn and prefer to be alone. Delusions and inability to process emotions and make decisions are other symptoms that are experienced by people suffering from this disorder.

                8. Agoraphobia

                agoraphobia

                  People suffering from agoraphobia are usually falsely considered as loners who never leave their home. In most cases, it is the exactly the outside where they seek relief, usually the less crowded places in nature. Agoraphobia sufferers have completely healthy social lives that include going to events and trips with their friends that make them feel comfortable and safe.

                  9. Insomnia

                  insomnia

                    Contrary to the popular belief, insomnia isn’t simply caused by taking too much caffeine or being restless. More often than not, it is related to a more serious mental condition such as anxiety and depression, and it should be treated as such.

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                    10. Post-traumatic stress disorder

                    post-traumatic-stress-disorder

                      Too often PTSD is connected to the personal weakness of the sufferer, whereas, the reality is quite the opposite. The sufferer needs to be supported to express the suppressed emotions and overcome them throughout the adequate treatment and the support of loved ones.

                      Featured photo credit: www.boredpanda.com via boredpanda.com

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                      Last Updated on May 15, 2019

                      How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

                      How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

                      As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

                      “Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

                      When we are still children, our thoughts seem to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

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                      Just imagine then how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power! We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities. We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

                      We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb. We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits. We’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head.

                      But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

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                      So…how exactly are we to achieve that?

                      It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are a few ideas on how you can get started.

                      1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

                      Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

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                      2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

                      This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

                      You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty. If you seek it, you will find it.

                      3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

                      This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what is really important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

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                      4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

                      How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking. It is like watching a DVD that saddens and frustrates you, completely pulling you down. Eject that old DVD, throw it away and insert a new, better, more hopeful one instead.

                      So, instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

                      If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

                      And remember: You are (or will become) what you think you are. This is reason enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

                      Featured photo credit: Kyaw Tun via unsplash.com

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