Inktober is a relatively new month-long challenge for artists all over the world. It was created by Jake Parker, who came up with the idea to focus on improving skills and developing positive drawing habits. For 31 days of October, everyone who wants to participate creates an ink drawing and posts it online using the #inktober tag. Each year there's a new prompt list to be used for the pictures. Shawn Coss decided to ditch the guidelines and create within a sore theme, posting new mental illness ink depictions every day of the Inktober.

Shawn's mental illness art translates sicknesses of the mind in an eerily accurate way, and his ghoulish illustrations don't end with Inktober. The artist has worked for such clients as the horror king Stephen King himself, creates Cyanide & Happiness cartoons, and even has his own clothing line.

So if you're searching for support with your mental illness or are plainly into horror, check Shawn's art below. It surely gave us the chills!

#1

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social Anxiety Disorder

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Joanne Palmer
Community Member
5 years ago

I can really relate to this one!

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#2

Major Depressive Disorder

Major Depressive Disorder

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Karolina Medina
Community Member
5 years ago

That is how I feel in my depression 😔

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#3

Insomnia

Insomnia

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Bec McEwan
Community Member
5 years ago

So many night spent like this...

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#4

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Wanni
Community Member
5 years ago

Since 5 years I've got this f... disease and I can not bring it on paper how it feels... you got it! Thank you!

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#5

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder

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Imani Allen
Community Member
5 years ago

This is beautiful. How could I get a copy?

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#6

Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder

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Pixie Dust
Community Member
5 years ago

I always find it fascinating how others see me, compared to how I see myself. While I understand the interpretation, and it is mesmerizing. I find, for me, it feels, like a perpetual black hole inside that nothing can fill, and, forever trying to decipher the reality of what is going on around me, as compared to how I feel is going on around me. People see BPD as instigatory and drama seeking, while, the few I have had the opportunity to talk to, agree, that it's actually reactionary, in a desperate attempt to keep up with the constantly shifting emotions. Chasing what can't be caught, reacting to what has already passed. Amazingly, I do see myself as naked in front of everyone. Like my emotions leave me perpetually ashamed and exposed.

Amie Okeefe
Community Member
5 years ago

My therapist is still deciphering whether I am BDP or bipolar - your post couldn't be more accurate to how I feel so often. Drama seeking, is love seeking. Anger, is a reaction to the fear of being abandoned. Frustration is the want for something more in life and not knowing what it is or how to get it. I searched and searched and am furious at the lack of sites, information and others that suffer with the condition. I wish you all well!

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Mark Romberg
Community Member
5 years ago

The facelessness and knowing that you are full of monsters...this is it.

Amanda Aguilera
Community Member
5 years ago

You put it so well... it made me tear up. As a hidden BPD (hidden to others anyways) that figured out how to "act normal".... and the child of a BPD... I haven't ever figured out how to explain it to anyone but that is perfect.

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Elune FirePanda
Community Member
5 years ago

This is me... :/

Kym Heyman
Community Member
5 years ago

This picture is awesome! I absolutely love it as a piece of art but it's too 'nice' to represent the torment and extreme loneliness bpds feel. That sheet should be around her neck with the demons pulling it to tighten it. Her body should be naked and bare with shards of glass erupting from her heart... or something like that ay

Maria Nylen
Community Member
5 years ago

A few quotes that have helped me: "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf." - Jon Kabat-Zinn “People with BPD are like people with third degree burns over 90% of their bodies. Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement.” - Marsha M. Linehan

Ash Chantelois
Community Member
5 years ago

This is something I struggle with and this is so beautiful. Are you willing to let people use your art if you're credited. Cause I'd love this as a tattoo. This is amazing

Stoen Fallen
Community Member
5 years ago

As someone who pushes through BPD, I find this to be a very subtle, and insightful depiction of the more insidious internal aspects of the disorder.. The darkness in the head, and behind the cold eyes being both a representation of the persistently dark outlook on the everything, and also deep struggle to find and maintain identity. It feels like there is no soul to gaze through the window at. All or nothing. Split between death and sensual embrace. There is nothing else.

Celia Bonadies
Community Member
5 years ago

Painfully apt.

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Jessifer Dunkel
Community Member
5 years ago

I want to get these tattooed OMG

Öykü Teka
Community Member
5 years ago

so much missing but still tells a lot

Joan Jacobsen
Community Member
5 years ago

Yes. This. So ... much ... this ... I call them my A.N.T.s ... Automatic Negative Thoughts. That is -exactly- what it feels like.

Annie Seferian
Community Member
5 years ago

Even like this, I can't understand it...

Aaron Wallentine
Community Member
5 years ago

Yes, I'm not sure that I understand it either ...

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Pati Sievert
Community Member
5 years ago

I wish all the best to those of you who recognize that you have BPD and are struggling. My prayers are with you and your families.

Öykü Teka
Community Member
5 years ago

so much missing but still so me

Mary Lively
Community Member
5 years ago

what up inner self

Krystal Nōne
Community Member
5 years ago

I wish I connected to this... As a lifer, I know a lot of people with this disorder. I've had BPD since 8, when I was sexually assaulted by an adult. Not diagnosed until adulthood, and even then, I've gotten everything from depression, dysthymia, bipolar, PTSD... I simplify it as this... Imagine PTSD and bipolar at the same time. Depressive bits, absolutely, but that's part of bipolar. Much more frequent emotional swings, and only certain symptoms of PTSD, but that depends on the person. Most of the people I know with BPD have experienced sexual assault of varying degrees as well, which is often where the PTSD symptoms come from. I've even heard psychiatric professionals call it a complex version of PTSD, meaning it's rooted in the same defensive coping mechanisms we experience when some atrocious happens to us. Anyways... I relate much more the the depression photo, and the PTSD photo than this. Not surprising... Borderline is almost always misunderstood.

Debra Bonneau
Community Member
5 years ago

Krystal I was sexually abused as well. I didn't get a diagnosis until 3 years ago (at 50). I blocked the abuse completely. The mind is a scary place. I've lives my entire life feeling "less than". Getting a diagnosis was the best thing to happen to me. Let the healing begin. We are all warriors!!

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Kamile Orl
Community Member
5 years ago

there should be more fear in the face of the main being there. but at the same time when you are not scared of everything you are nothing just like so depicted so i wonder if they could've done both. literally the most bpd statement saying two very opposing feelings lmao

Amanda Murray
Community Member
5 years ago

I was diagnosed with BDP about a week and half ago. I've been reading about it and having a lot of moments of "well, that makes sense!" But reading your comments help me understand it even more. Most if not all of your descriptions say what I have not been able to explain ever. I am still processing this new diagnosis and swallowing the reality of it. Thank you everyone for sharing your words. I think I'm in a state of silent panic. Not many people I can talk to about this except for my therapist and psychiatrist and well I don't see them every day. My partner is trying to cope and doing her best to be supportive. So that hyper fear of abandonment is on high gears! Not fun.

Ann Richardson
Community Member
5 years ago

Mood stabilizers help with bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder. Many researchers believe the two disorders are on the same spectrum... Many overlapping symptoms. The mood stabilizers help with irritability, low frustration tolerance, reactivity, anger outbursts, hypervigilence, hyperarousal, anxiety, modulation of affect (being able to adjust the intensity of your reactions like a dial instead of just reacting similarly independent of the trigger, like a switch). Decreasing these symptoms help improve distress tolerance and resilience.

Alexandra Siarkowski
Community Member
5 years ago

Meds don't really help much. Sure they take the edge off but they only deal with symptoms and not the actual disorder. What worked best so far for me is DBT. It's been a godsend.

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Jesse Wallis
Community Member
5 years ago

Sometimes it feels like a wheel with emotions listed around it...and a spinner in the middle... just give it a flick and see how you're going to feel about any given situation. A hug from your wife? Spin the wheel, maybe you'll get lucky and hit "pleasure", but more likely you'll hit "disgust" or "sadness" or even "anger"... Unfortunately, "peace" seems to be absent from the wheel.

Katie Edmonds
Community Member
5 years ago

Need this as a tattoo

Deb Noonan
Community Member
5 years ago

I agree with Pixie Dust. For me, as someone whose upbringing and attachment injuries created borderline traits - BPD is all about the enormous unfillable hole and the inability to regulate emotion and terror of abandonment. I don't think this drawing depicts what it is like inside this.

Kendra Franke
Community Member
5 years ago

This is definitely it. Sent chills through me looking at it. That's how it feels

John Windrup
Community Member
5 years ago

These speak to me. Is there a way to buy a few of them?

Jacque Fullwood
Community Member
5 years ago

I wish you had the other cluster b's as well...

Swaybaby Soulmuse
Community Member
5 years ago

This is the only one that isn't accurate. Because there is no easy to illustrate or verbalize how BPD feels. It just feels like knives stabbing into every pore for no reason at all. And even that falls short. But the other drawings are great and pretty accurate.

Nasham Fox
Community Member
5 years ago

It's perfectly accurate to me.

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Marcin Max
Community Member
5 years ago

Thaks to everyone who just replied. I know there's no cure, and i can realize all this hell that she must going through. I help her every day, and every day I learn how to understand all this things that makes her life so unstable. Thanks again, it's good to know that I dont just fake myself about it, and there's really a chance to live in a better way someday.

Kit Hunt
Community Member
5 years ago

Make sure YOU have support. There's a comment on this page from someone who must have experienced the worst BPD can do to a relationship. While it's unfair to put all BPD people in that box, it is true that I scared the living daylights out of my ex. I actually don't believe BPD fits the definition of abusive behavior--hang on, I'm getting to a point here!--because we spend most of our time terrified, grasping for safety, overwhelmed by emotions we can't name let alone process, dissociating (and not remembering later, which can look like "lying"), and feeling abandoned. This is NOT a person who wants to control or manipulate their partner. THAT SAID, at times we do the same things that an abusive person would do. I mean, I screamed my head off on countless occasions. I slammed doors. I threw things. I said awful things I didn't remember later. And it all had EXACTLY the same effect as if I HAD been doing them consciously and desiring to control my partner.

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Claudia Priddy
Community Member
5 years ago

I love this. I have BPD, anxiety disorder and depression.

Roger Morse
Community Member
5 years ago

Yep

Rachel Black
Community Member
5 years ago

BPD has always made me feel like a shark in a tank - always moving forward but never getting anywhere. I can never seem to fill that void and activities, career choices and relationships are a vicious cycle of anhedonia. The result of this is never managing to find a sense of self. The constant emotional disregulation has always been the main factor that hinders on my life and it is a great feeling to know I'm not alone with this in the world. .

Chris Blewett
Community Member
5 years ago

What about trying dissociative identity disorder?

Nicole Anne Leon
Community Member
5 years ago

This is also me oh my god 😞😞

Quincy Rapp
Community Member
5 years ago

This is beautiful.. how can I get a copy of this

Amy Maggs
Community Member
5 years ago

This is incredible. Thank you.

Kerri Jean
Community Member
5 years ago

Can I have this tattooed please?

Christina Steiness
Community Member
5 years ago

<3 I really feel toxic sometimes. this fits 100 %

Donna Jones
Community Member
5 years ago

YES. me, too. I hate you/omgDON'T LEAVE ME.

Roxy Geall
Community Member
5 years ago

Spot on. Very moving.

Marcin Max
Community Member
5 years ago

My girlfriend have it. And we try to fight with it. Is there a chance that we can beat this?

Joan Jacobsen
Community Member
5 years ago

Borderline is a life-long condition. It's incurable. However, she can ... through therapy possibly combined with mood-stabilizing medicine ... learn how to make her everyday life work a lot better. Look into Mentalization-therapy (learning to think and act at the same time. It sounds simple. It isn't to someone with Borderline). Just remember to be patient. Someone suffering from borderline has a void inside them that needs to be filled. Self-hatred and self-doubt is -crippling- those of us fighting with this. It's no one's fault, it's just how it is. Best of luck to you both. Remember, it's the borderline causing this. She can't help it. It's not her fault, and it isn't yours. Help her get help. Hold her hand when she goes into treatment, and remind her that it's okay to be terrified. And tell her that you love her ... she'll need to hear that all the time, because those skulls in the drawing will lie to her and tell her she isn't worth it. But she is. Please remind her of that.

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Tara Williams
Community Member
3 years ago

Honestly want to get this tattooed, holy shiz. For me, I saw my BPD as a beast circling me in an empty concrete room. Instead of fighting him and ending up hurt and mentally broken, now we've embraced each other. I see BPD now as a large wolf that sits with me on the concrete floor and defends me.

Jay Merx
Community Member
4 years ago

Reading most of your comments makes me feel less alone.

Jay Merx
Community Member
4 years ago

Thank you all for sharing your experiences and being so brave.

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WhiteFox
Community Member
4 years ago

wait i am so confused about what is this?

Em Stifani
Community Member
4 years ago

I loved this depiction so much I got it tattooed on my arm.

Sioux Zee
Community Member
5 years ago

Brilliant

endelbendel
Community Member
5 years ago

Nah, where's the abandonment?

Viva Virtuoso
Community Member
5 years ago

As a BPD patient I actually find this very relatable. I am just a shadow… And I am haunted…

Viva Virtuoso
Community Member
5 years ago

I just want to say as a PPD patient I do find this drawing very relatable. Like I am a shadow...and I am haunted...

Natasha Basarab
Community Member
5 years ago

dont think that dress rly fits them x

Eloise Krisch
Community Member
5 years ago

Wow...

Eloise Krisch
Community Member
5 years ago

Wow...that's...wow

Abigail Martin
Community Member
5 years ago

Well said Pixie. I feel like I'm constantly humiliating myself when in fact no one is aware of the struggle. It can be a very lonely existence and it's inescapable.

Angela Chrysler
Community Member
5 years ago

Yes. This... This is what it feels like. Now throw in the PTSD with mine and bipolar and I'm all set :/

Porscha Pinkney-Simmons
Community Member
5 years ago

Pixie Dust I couldn't agree more!

Stephanie Stephens
Community Member
5 years ago

I have been told by a psy that I have symptoms of this disease. And now that I know... It makes so much more sense as to how I have lost so many relationships because I tend to lose myself in then when I fall in love and get attached.. I get scared. I act crazy. I can really relate to this one.

Grace Blackard
Community Member
5 years ago

I want a copy of this

Latonia Mitchell
Community Member
5 years ago

Sad me

Kyrié Wright
Community Member
5 years ago

This is what having BPD feels like to me. DSCF7013-5...290587.jpg DSCF7013-580b60f290587.jpg

Carol Wafer
Community Member
5 years ago

I have been diagnosed with and do not fully understand this aspect of my many, many disorders/illnesses and this is the best explanation I have ever gotten.

Robert Tison
Community Member
5 years ago

My mother is a full blown MPD caused by the PTSD from severe abuse as a child at the hands of her mother's boyfriends. Her personality fractured as a defense mechanism and she managed to suppress the REALLY bad part long enough to get married and raise a family. However, when our father was away at work, she would scream at the other thing inside her head and then beat us severely for what had happened to her. No doctor has been able to help her and the thing still lives in her and comes out to play still with her being 84 years old now. She destroyed any ability for me to ever trust a woman and my own marriage failed miserably because I married a bi-polar BPD that tried to have her affair partner kill me so she could get lots of attention that her father didn't give her, but did to her brother.

Allyson Wilson
Community Member
5 years ago

You put so accurately into words what I've been trying to express to people my whole life. Thank you for this <3

Tina Tolson Pugh
Community Member
5 years ago

Yes, this is a a perfect illustration of how I feel all the time and for as long as I can remember. Never good enough...

Quincy Rapp
Community Member
5 years ago

This is beautiful how can I get a copy of this

Lacey Adams
Community Member
5 years ago

I don't even know how it makes me feel. Struggling to understand it all and take it in but out of all I've been diagnosed with this is my worst.

Karly J Yager
Community Member
5 years ago

That's perfect

Norman Austill
Community Member
5 years ago

I was diagnosed with BPD in 1981 I was in a clinical trial that included a 5 year follow up interview. By then I was sober in a 12 step program. At the end Dr Sokoloff told me that those of us who had gone into 12 step programs were doing the best.

Share Rashchupkina
Community Member
5 years ago

Anyways it won't let me paste anything and im not writing it out. It's the how it's like we're an emotional 3rd burn victim. A lot of these seem apt, this one not so much.

Share Rashchupkina
Community Member
5 years ago

Hmmm. What are you trying to show here? Im curious....I've had BPD my whole life and im not getting what's being shown. It's such a complex and extremely hard to treat & corral the symptoms. I think the best way I've ever heard to describe what ITS LIKE to live with it is this...

Summer Smith
Community Member
5 years ago

To me the darkness is the constant self doubt and fear, and the other figures are all of the negative things we hear all the time.

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Maylee Nebreiska
Community Member
5 years ago

This is me!

Amy McCuiston
Community Member
5 years ago

I have severe depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder and let me tell you this artist did an excellent job portraying each type of mental illness.

Nicole Vargas
Community Member
5 years ago

beautiful !

Mikey Vella
Community Member
5 years ago

We know this to be accurate. Beautiful illustrations.

Mariah Leigh
Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you

Samantha Godsey-Meehan
Community Member
5 years ago

This is so accurate oh my goodness, and I'm in love with the style of art. So fluid and dark!

Tiana Fuller
Community Member
5 years ago

My problem

Tiana Fuller
Community Member
5 years ago

My life

Randi
Community Member
5 years ago

I have BPD..it's hell. This is haunting and accurate.

Justyna Sowińska
Community Member
5 years ago

Yup, exactly how I feel...

Matilda Walsh
Community Member
5 years ago

This is my disorder

Stephanie Leonard
Community Member
5 years ago

Really feels like that

Andrew Perotti
Community Member
5 years ago

they only one i cant understand ( Never heard of it)

Krista Drumm
Community Member
5 years ago

So me :/

Krista Drumm
Community Member
5 years ago

This is so me :(

Cecilia Reyes
Community Member
5 years ago

Perfectly depicted how bpd feels for me. Well done and thank you.x

Claudia Priddy
Community Member
5 years ago

I love this. I have BPD, anxiety disorder and depression x

Tabei Price
Community Member
5 years ago

This is so me, it hurts so much.😟

Fun Hulster
Community Member
5 years ago

Yep..

Magda Jędruszczak
Community Member
5 years ago

exactly :<

Cilou Laloutre
Community Member
5 years ago

<3

Jana Fuentes
Community Member
5 years ago

Just the name given this particular illness: Borderline Personality Disorder. When you first hear this, you don't know what it means, and you start wondering, "Do I have a borderline personality? Does that mean I'm not a real person, just part of a person, or at least my personality it wrong somehow?" Nobody explains anything, they just give you a label and leave it at that.

Sarah Milford
Community Member
5 years ago

I may be assuming too much, but it sounds like you or someone you love may have been given this diagnosis with too little information or follow up, for which I am sorry. A lot of mental health professionals agree that the name is misleading and inappropriate, but as yet there isn't another one. I encourage anyone who is struggling with a label to do some research into the condition themselves, and to seek out a medical professional who can help them break down the disorder.

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Dennis Snider
Community Member
5 years ago

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Borderline personality victims are most often self-mulilating and are expert manipulators, who try to pit people around them against each other (splitting).

Sarah Milford
Community Member
5 years ago

"Self-harm" is the preferred phrase for most clinicians and patients. Additionally, I am not sure where you got the idea that people with BPD try to "pit people against each other." Please take the time to read up on BPD before disseminating false information. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/borderline-personality-disorder/index.shtml

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Jacob Svetlik
Community Member
5 years ago

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I just. Got a boner from this pic

Twila Craddock
Community Member
5 years ago

How nice that you get off on a depiction of others suffering

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#7

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Traci Johnston
Community Member
5 years ago

I think it's beautiful and perfectly shows the sadness from not being heard or understood.

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#8

Paranoid Schizophrenia

Paranoid Schizophrenia

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Kayleigh Liddell
Community Member
5 years ago

My husband is schizophrenic and I must say mostof these images really show the torment of the disorders, but this one could be more so I think. It doesn't show how horrible and degrading schizophrenic delusions can be. It's like torture.. it's like having your entire being torn apart and eaten alive by demons that no one else can see. His voices torment him 24/7... Sometimes his hallucinations keep him from sleeping... Besides it always being like he's in a room full of people judging and putting him down, he also hears explosions and smashing noises that will keep him up all night. This disorder permeates every part of our lives. Of all the seriously mental health disorders I think this one is the most extreme and debilitating BY FAR. Now a days, 2 years into him being a full blown schizophrenic, caring for him is like taking care of an old person with dementia.. he doesn't cook for himself, he barely cleans.. and doesn't remember anthing we talk about.. lots of notes and alarms...

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#9

OCD

OCD

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Loretta Lockhart
Community Member
5 years ago

My OCD is also not to do with cleaning, but it brings the point across. Have to do it else you can't get comfy and it destroys you. Mine's to do with routine, I have routines with routines, and timings. It's pretty bad and pretty much ruins my life.

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#10

DPD

DPD

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over opinionated
Community Member
5 years ago

I didn't even know this was a thing. I've never been able to be alone I have to have someone close by. I looked at this picture a very long time. I have never seen something describe me so clearly.

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#11

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa

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rachelgators
Community Member
5 years ago

The shadow on the floor - very well depicted.

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#12

Depersonalization Disorder

Depersonalization Disorder

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Kimi Lewis
Community Member
5 years ago

Absolute 100% accurate depiction. Depersonalization is what triggers my panic attacks, particularly nocturnal panic attacks. I'm 34 and have dealt with pretty severe mental illness since 18. Although managed on meds, it's impossible to ever be 100% again. Thank you for your incredible drawings. I appreciate these so much. ❤️

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#13

Agoraphobia

Agoraphobia

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Petra Jahnke
Community Member
5 years ago

Always getting worse in the darker seasons...

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#14

Dissociative Identity Disorder

Dissociative Identity Disorder

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Anna Shields
Community Member
5 years ago

This is an amazing illustration for the insidious disease that I have. Your work just surpasses words...keep up the good work

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#15

Capgras Syndrome

Capgras Syndrome

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Jo Sheppard
Community Member
5 years ago

Hadn't heard of this one either! Very interesting. "Capgras Syndrome, also known as Capgras Delusion, is the irrational belief that a familiar person or place has been replaced with an exact duplicate — an imposter (Ellis, 2001, Hirstein, and Ramachandran, 1997)."

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#16

Cotard's Delusion

Cotard's Delusion

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SSBRocks3
Community Member
5 years ago

Had to google this: It is a rare mental illness in which the affected person holds the delusional belief that he or she is already dead, does not exist, is putrefying, or has lost his or her blood or internal organs.

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#17

DSED

DSED

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Notchimine Mette
Community Member
5 years ago

Bloody hell! This is what my cat has!!!

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#18

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia

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Branka Đokić
Community Member
5 years ago

This one reminds me of Carpenter's "In the mouth of madness". Good job!

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