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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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                      Ana Erkic

                      Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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                      Last Updated on January 17, 2019

                      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                      In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                      Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                      Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                      Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                      Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                      The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                      There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                      How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                      According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                      Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                      Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                      The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                      Listen carefully:

                      We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                      The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                      Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                      8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                      There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                      Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                      1. Pray Daily

                      You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                      When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                      Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                      Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                      2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                      A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                      By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                      Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                      If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                      This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                      How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                      3. Smile Often

                      Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                      Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                      Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                      The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                      4. Organize Your Working Desk

                      A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                      When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                      Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                      Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                      5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                      I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                      Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                      What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                      6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                      God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                      I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                      I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                      7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                      You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                      How do you do that? This is my formula:

                      First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                      If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                      If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                      If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                      Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                      8. Go Exercise

                      Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                      The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                      You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                      12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                      The Bottom Line

                      It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                      It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                      Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                      More Resources About Mindfulness

                      Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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