When I come across comics that talk about mental illness, I always think to myself, “YES, exactly. That’s it!” This comic from Robot Hugs is one of the best comics that clearly shows the stark contrast between how people treat physical and mental illness.
As a writer I hate to admit it, but sometimes the less words the better. Comics are changing the mental health conversation. These comics create a visual moment where the audience can experience what it’s like to have mental illness in an extremely simple way. When people can relate mental illness to common physical illnesses, or can visualize the feeling of depression, or can see the thoughts that run through our heads in an everyday public situation, they can relate to it.
Graphics can be a great tool to quickly tell a story and carry the idea home when words just don’t hit the mark.
My absolute favorite artist is Gemma Correll. I think it’s a combination of her extremely relatable content, humor, and her general aesthetic that makes me love her so much (she’s into coral as much as me). The girl just gets it. She gets very honest and raw in all her work, especially these 11 Illustrations That Show How It Feels to Live With Anxiety and Depression:
Here are a couple of other awesome artists showing us what mental illness is like:
- Ruby Etc makes lots of fun sketches on her tumblr that show the quirkiness in all of us
- Haejin Park compares How People Treat Mental Illness Vs. How They Treat Physical Illness by showing how situations can look exactly the same, but when it is caused by mental illness people are not as accepting.
- Mel Tregonning sadly lost her badly and died by suicide in 2014. After her death, her family realized how much her comic work showed her true story. Her amazing family finished and published the comic book she had been working on–you can read more and see her story here.
- Hope Street Cards founders Sam and Trudy use their comic skills to make these awesome cards for anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. I would so send these to a friend/die of happiness if a friend sent one to me.