14 comics that honestly depict what mental illness feels like

Samantha Grasso

Samantha Grasso

Sometimes it’s hard to explain what anxiety or depression feels like to someone who has never experienced them, especially when that someone asks, “Are you sure? You don’t look like anything is wrong?” or “Don’t worry, it’s all in your head.”

Artist Gemma Correll knows the feeling and tried to capture this struggle in 14 #reallife comics.

For Mental Health Awareness Month in May, she partnered with Mental Health America to create the art, taking suggestions from people living with mental illness on social media.

America Paredes, senior director of partnerships and community outreach Mental Health America, told Revelist that they developed the campaign in order to get people to engage in understanding that mental illness can feel similar and different to different people.

“Ultimately MHA wanted individuals to know that sharing one’s experience is critical in increasing awareness and reducing stigma,” Paredes said. “I reached out to Gemma based on her openness in addressing anxiety in her life.”

With Correll’s illustrations, Mental Health America’s campaign was able to reach 22.3 million people. The below is what they, we, wish everyone else knew.

When you feel like you’re battling yourself.

When you feel this constant, dreaded cycle.

When everything is draining you.

When you feel completely and utterly alone.

When you just want to have some semblance of normalcy.

But you truly can’t escape your mental illness.

When you’re looking like a duck just to keep yourself afloat.

When pain is more than emotional.

When you wish you could just find your passion again.

When you keep hearing BS like this.

When the emotional pain manifests in physical ways.

When you feel like no one is there.

When your appearance is just a shell covering how you really feel.

When you have trouble even understanding who you are.

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