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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 September 20, 2018

                      How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                      How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                      Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

                      If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

                      1. Breathe

                      The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

                      • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
                      • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
                      • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

                      Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

                      2. Loosen up

                      After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

                      Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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                      3. Chew slowly

                      Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

                      Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

                      Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

                      4. Let go

                      Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

                      The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

                      It’s not. Promise.

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                      Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

                      Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

                      21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

                      5. Enjoy the journey

                      Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

                      Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

                      6. Look at the big picture

                      The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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                      Will this matter to me…

                      • Next week?
                      • Next month?
                      • Next year?
                      • In 10 years?

                      Hint: No, it won’t.

                      I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

                      Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

                      7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

                      You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

                      Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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                      8. Practice patience every day

                      Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

                      • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
                      • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
                      • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

                      Final thoughts

                      Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

                      Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

                      Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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