These Illustrations Will Show You What Mental Illness Feels Like

Known for her charming illustrations of pugs and cats, British illustrator Gemma Correll has produced a series of eye-opening illustrations that depict what mental illness really feels like, from the eyes of people who have them.

Very often, the clinical diagnostic criteria and symptoms of mental illness can leave you feeling confused if you haven’t experienced it yourself, and unable to identify with sufferers. It’s hard to know what things like insomnia, anhedonia, disassociation, flat affect and such feel like, but how about something like this?

By collecting and illustrating responses over social media to the question of what #MentalIllnessFeelsLike, Correll vividly brings the reality of living with mental illness to life. This is the second year in a row she’s doing this for Mental Health Awareness Month, which aims to raise awareness and understanding of mental illness while also breaking the stigma that usually accompanies it. And Correll is doing just that by depicting the varied effects of mental illness in a human, relatable way.

Here are some of her pieces:

The entire album can be viewed here.

In Malaysia, experts estimate that 4 in 10 Malaysians will suffer from a mental health issue in their lifetimes. That’s a lot more than the 1.8% estimated by the National Health and Morbidity survey, and psychologists believe the discrepancy is due to the lack of education and the negative stigma that prevents Malaysians from discussing mental health and seeking help or a diagnosis.

But the more we understand mental illness and decrease its surrounding stigma, the easier it will be for people to reach out for treatment. And that will save lives.

For more information on mental health in Malaysia or if you’d like to seek help for yourself or a loved one, visit the Mental Health Association of Malaysia, RELATE Malaysia, and MENTARI Malaysia.