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?

Katie Burns
Community Member
5 years ago

Lookup Shawn Coss Atrocities on Facebook! You can get a link to his website to order things like original prints

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Nikolaos Stratakos
Community Member
5 years ago

The missing arms I like the most . Is the maniac depression that leaves you disabled to help your help your self helpless to fight without hands while you melting on your knees . From the other polar your other self trying to rise from this state to put yourself in default and neutralise your feelings but struggling to keep the balance and rich the opposite side of the disorder . For me it looks more than an atypical bipolar disorder, Touching the field of manic depression . (Μανιοκατάθλιψη)=bipolar disorder

Matthew Thompson
Community Member
5 years ago

It's nothing like that. Bipolar disorder is a sunny day where everything is OK, and a cloudy day where everything is sad. It is also a sunny day where the sun is misery and your skin and eyes hurt, where there is every reason to be happy but it barely impacts, and the cloud over your brain makes it hard to think. It's also the day that will come, must come if you survive, simply by the law of probability - the day someone you love is hurting and in pain, but the most negative emotion you can feel is excited agitation. Where you know you should be sad but can't, and you know it will break something important but that dosn't bother you because literally nothing bothers you. Most of all it's the days in between, when you figure out how to put a life together from the active wreckage mania leaves and the long slow erosion the depression leaves. Over 30 years of bipolar depression with an atypical response to the standard mediations give me some perspective on this.

Oliver Reed
Community Member
5 years ago

People experience it differently... That's what makes mental illness difficult to diagnose and treat...

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Virginia Gibb
Community Member
5 years ago

So I have Bipolar disorder and I am trying to figure this one out.

Kendra Pugh
Community Member
5 years ago

Spot on! The manic/mania depiction looks like he's trying to jump out of his body, and that's how I feel when I'm manic. It's like you have so much anxious and negative energy you don't know what to do with yourself. I truly want to jump out of my skin. The lows are just as terrible. You know there's no logical reason for you to feel all the hurt, pain, and sadness. It figuratively knocks the wind out of you- it's so overwhelming you can function. Having one on top of the other is brilliant too- when your depressed it feels like you're carrying extra weight, like someone is pushing you down. When you're manic it's like you're super man on top of the world with tons of energy. It's not a good feeling though- it's like a bomb with a hairpin trigger- anything can set you off

Bethany Potter
Community Member
5 years ago

The point is (I think) that there are uncontrollable highs and uncontrollable lows. As where a person' without BPD's reaction or feelings to a situation/person/experience/etc can be like a bell curve (increase, level out, decrease) ours is more a fast climb, inability to level out at the top, sort of being "stuck" and after some time, a return to normal. Same anaology for the lows. At least that'a how I've learned to explain it.

Seamus O'Donaghue
Community Member
5 years ago

Holy shit

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Nikki Hoilman
Community Member
5 years ago

If only society would truly accept mental illness just as they do other medical illnesses or addictions. There's no love or compassion, and it's sad. Pathetic really!!

Nikki Hoilman
Community Member
5 years ago

Sorry, I do love the artwork and I can relate on many levels.

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rolanda russell
Community Member
5 years ago

This represents my bipolar perfectly. Miserable and so suicidely depressed I've been brought to my knees but yet I have this insane, manic person jumping out of me in bits and bursts or rattling the inside of my rib cage.

Isis Melendez
Community Member
1 year ago

I relate to this so much

Opi Knight-Williams
Community Member
5 years ago

God, you nailed it...major ups, severe downs, and it's just impossible to plot what will happen next...beautiful!

Anton Lyubimov
Community Member
5 years ago

It's the very realistic vision of bipolar disorder. Maybe the depressive part of desease is more frustrating then one on the painting.

Anthony Watt
Community Member
5 years ago

Just remember that bi-polar has many spectrums that can be classified, personally i have Bi-polar 1 with rapid cycling and psychotic episodes when im manic

Merissa Joy
Community Member
5 years ago

I cried while looking at this for several minutes. There are days when this disorder consumes me, but that is life one day at a time. Thank you for these amazing illustrations that so clearly capture the suffering in each illness.

Lilia Haddab
Community Member
5 years ago

When You have To deal and manage with that disorder, Such images are much more insulting than artistic, So gore and dark.

Megan Angell
Community Member
5 years ago

That's the point. It shows the ugly that we (those diagnosed with this disorder, me included) suffer daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly. Looking at this photo truly pains me because it's what I go through every day.

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Rookie Equity Skeleton Ken
Community Member
5 years ago

Amazing, how i feel 😂😞

Katie Lile
Community Member
2 years ago

Amazing that's exactly it. Highs and lows.

Krystianosik Uno Duo
Community Member
2 years ago

This comment has been deleted.

Elizabeth Anne
Community Member
4 years ago

This is amazing, and last night I was trying to explain to my husband what it felt like and I explained just like this and today I saw it! You are amazing!!!

Ashleigh Strock
Community Member
5 years ago

I love this.

Natasha Basarab
Community Member
5 years ago

whys he got no arms mate ya gotta go to an anatomy class at some point x

Annie Kosten
Community Member
5 years ago

He has no arms because he feels powerless. Has less than nothing to do with anatomy class and everything to do with an illness you obviously don't suffer from. I do. I got the symbolism at once.

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Amanda N'est-pas
Community Member
5 years ago

Almost, but not.

Billie Lusk
Community Member
5 years ago

so much this...

Sonia Beck
Community Member
5 years ago

I get this “Totally!”

Kay Johnson
Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you for your accurate depiction of how I feel.

Kay Johnson
Community Member
5 years ago

Thank you for an accurate picture of how I feel.

Tiffany Ferguson
Community Member
5 years ago

This is me.

Jennifer McSorley
Community Member
5 years ago

When I seen this it brought me to tears.. I suffer from bipolar disorder and this is exactly how I feel. Amazing job!

Lara Haywood
Community Member
5 years ago

Exactly how this pic looks is exactly how it feels to be bipolar. I know all to well unfortunately.

Crista Conner
Community Member
5 years ago

This speaks to me

Kimberly Rushen
Community Member
5 years ago

Love this enough said how can we get copies?

Latonia Mitchell
Community Member
5 years ago

OK me

Kayla Ogden
Community Member
5 years ago

So true..i can relate

Samantha Renee
Community Member
5 years ago

Exactly

Robbie Freeman
Community Member
5 years ago

That is so cool. Love it. Would make an amazing tattoo.

Robbie Freeman
Community Member
5 years ago

That is so cool. I love it. Would definitely be an amazing tattoo.

Veronika Bačáková
Community Member
5 years ago

That's absolutelly how I feel the most of time

Nena Sangria
Community Member
5 years ago

Yes

Sheena Broussard
Community Member
5 years ago

Yes!! Its just like this!

Amanda Tucker
Community Member
5 years ago

Yeah that about sums it up. For me, anyway.

Heather Smith
Community Member
5 years ago

This. Right here.

Carol Wafer
Community Member
5 years ago

It's so accurate I am crying.

Heather Majors
Community Member
5 years ago

Can I order a print?

Hannah Pemberton
Community Member
5 years ago

As someone with bipolar II, this is hauntingly beautiful, and very accurate. Thank you.

Colleen Edwards
Community Member
5 years ago

I love reading about psychological illness. This is the main illness I have and yet, I didn't connect with it. I would love more discussion. Maybe I just suck at interpreting art.

Babbage Greenough
Community Member
5 years ago

I'm bipolar as well and was scrolling comments to find an explanation. I cant tell what is happening on the back. I'm guessing it is mania

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Jen Camp
Community Member
5 years ago

Wow...I was just diagnosed with bi-polar I. This picture is so accurate. One day I feel as I am 2 separate people on two different planes but in the same body going in a thousand different direction. That's on meds. 😨

Andrew McGill
Community Member
5 years ago

Someone really understands...

Michelle Abrahmz
Community Member
5 years ago

This is not how I experience bipolar. This makes it look grotesque and it isn't. Looking at your drawings, do you have any of these conditions? Because you seem to think they are all grotesque aand no fucked up. Perhaps the worst part is the attitudes and non acceptance of people who don't have them?

Michelle Hileman
Community Member
5 years ago

Is it perhaps, that you dislike the dark art style more than the the way the illnesses are depicted? I have mixed bipolar disorder and I can REALLY relate to this. Depression is my grotesque monster which has tried for years to destroy me, but at the same time there's my manic state which pushes me to extreme and irrational highs. I really feel like this illustrates how I feel inside, then again that could just be my obsession with horror and dark art speaking.

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Michael Demoranville
Community Member
5 years ago

This is incredible. I've been cursed with this sickness my whole life, and this is a perfect visual representation of how it feels to have this side of you that you can't control.

Viana Gregg
Community Member
5 years ago

I can totally relate

Aliscia Glen
Community Member
5 years ago

So accurate

Jordan Artz
Community Member
5 years ago

This is how I feel every day.. put this together with insomnia, anxiety and depression.. You got a recipe for disaster. I would love to see all of those drawn As one person. I'd even pay for it to be shipped to me

Barbara Lopez-Aguilar
Community Member
5 years ago

Like a light switch. Easy on,easy off!

Taylor Mackenzie Gordon
Community Member
5 years ago

This is exactly right. Going on 7 years since my diagnosis

Taylor Mackenzie Gordon
Community Member
5 years ago

This is exactly right

Mistie McClure
Community Member
5 years ago

This is so accurate 🤔😐

Rebecca Langlois
Community Member
5 years ago

This is how my severe bipolar disorder feels espically when I lash out

Marcus Budke
Community Member
5 years ago

I see me.....

Shelley Garis
Community Member
5 years ago

Interesting.. but I don't think his describes bipolar at all.. it's happy and depression, emotions all jumbled up at once.. so many racing thoughts you feel like you'll lose your mind, yet, on the surface.. calm, still waters so many times.. no indication of what bubbles below

Emily Sauro
Community Member
5 years ago

Again, worst thing to deal with especially since its not always something one can control. Living with this and other problems makes for a serious challenge to enjoy life.

Jessica Schader
Community Member
5 years ago

Yeah feels like that on the outside of the person with bi polar doing the attacking all the time. Life isn't fair :(

Destiny Pickard
Community Member
5 years ago

This is absolutely magnificent, I relate to this more than any amount of words will ever describe..... I would love this as a tattoo!

'nat Perry
Community Member
5 years ago

This is simply amazing ❤️ And so true x

Brittany HippieLove
Community Member
5 years ago

I can relate

Rachel Ann
Community Member
5 years ago

I can discribe how this makes me feel. I just started crying. I've never seen something depict it so well. I feel this in my soul.

Jana Fuentes
Community Member
5 years ago

This is another one of my life-long buddies: Bi-Polar, PTSD, MDD-recurrent, SAD, Borderline Personality Disorder, and just a touch of ADHD & OCD thrown in to keep things interesting. One is bad enough; sometimes, you have to have 2 together, like PTSD & Major Depressive Disorder, but it took a long time for doctors to figure out what to treat me for, I was really a mess. And these drawings are amazing.

Nick Riggle
Community Member
5 years ago

Out of all of these pictures, i chose the one I'm most affected by to comment on. I don't feel they represent the conditions as much as they represent the view of an outsider who is trying to understand. Each one of these shows me an illustration of what I've heard the illness or disorder described as by people who have never directly dealt with it/them. Is it helpful? That depends on the artist's intent. Does he want to represent these feelings accurately? Or just bring attention to the struggles that so many people deal with on a daily basis? Or just draw interesting art based on a subject that has been a little under represented in the public eye? You tell me.

Tiffany Vanek
Community Member
5 years ago

Does it matter? This art is reaching people who are feeling like someone *sees* them.

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Friday Foster
Community Member
5 years ago

Mania riding high with severe depression right there looming, no choice but to eventually take its place. Yes. Like this.

Brenda Powers
Community Member
5 years ago

Exactly how it feels sometimes

Sara Kulsiri
Community Member
5 years ago

I can totally relate to this...

Megan Angell
Community Member
5 years ago

As a person with bipolar disorder, this made me cry. I can't cry much, but this is so true. I don't think I could ever explain it better.

Dora Crow
Community Member
5 years ago

Another mental illness that I have and this literally explains it on paper

Greer Ruddock
Community Member
5 years ago

I was diagnosed almost 5 years ago and always tried to figure out how to draw what it feels like. You were spot on with this. Incredible work!

Joy Brown-Higgs
Community Member
5 years ago

It's a rough ride when one is continuously dragged along the bottom of the roller coaster. . . . you can only imagine how it feels when you get to experience the ride.

Nati Gurman
Community Member
5 years ago

Couldn't see the bipolar here at all..

Julie Atwood
Community Member
5 years ago

Really? I can. You're always carrying it with you. No matter how far you've come, how high you've lifted yourself out of the depths of depression or how carefully you've brought yourself back down to earth, no matter how long you've been like everyone else, it's still there. Clinging to you, making you wonder about every little thing: am I relapsing, is this what other people do, is this appropriate? That's what I see when I look at this picture: the fact that the disease is ALWAYS there with us, even when we can't see it, it's clinging to us, just waiting...

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Louise Elif Şen
Community Member
5 years ago

oh wow

Gabrielle Hosler
Community Member
5 years ago

It's like the maniac and depressive have complete control over you... that's what I got from it, because that's how I feel... like, you never feel normal...

Nisha DeAnda
Community Member
5 years ago

This reminds me of someone I know

Michelle Alford
Community Member
5 years ago

My 14 year old son is bipolar autistic with psychosis.

Susana Cardador
Community Member
5 years ago

I hope you have the strenght and love to help him.

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Michelle Alford
Community Member
5 years ago

My 14 year old so is Bipolare and Autistic with psychosis

TiaLisa Madupoju
Community Member
5 years ago

❤️

Corinne Dahl
Community Member
5 years ago

My fucking life!

Judi Tucker
Community Member
5 years ago

Things are so depressing that I typed a comment and it didn't record.

Anita Bosneva
Community Member
5 years ago

I like the picture. For me it is the excrutiating low of the depression, self-doubt and self-torture masked by the mania on the surface. I was diagnosed 7 years ago. I was unlucky enough to change 6 doctors, the only thing they were doing was stuffing me with all kinds of pill coctails. A time came when I got sick of it, the treatment was incapacitating me and I quit my meds (I was on 600 mgs of olanzepine per month, two injections every two weeks + mood-stabilizers). Yeah, I know what you will say - you must never do that. But guess what? Thanks to my self-reflection, self-awareness and strong will I am doing superb without the pills! I have a decent life, I am an overachiever at work, I have a strong and loving social circle. I learnt how to manage my condition and sometimes even turn it into my favor, because I refuse falling victim to it! I work for Google for the past two years and I became a top performer eversince I got rid of the dreadull medications.

Cheree Williams
Community Member
5 years ago

Exactly like that!

Jolan Horvath-Rodriguez
Community Member
5 years ago

Calling my name

Ilsa Beauchamp
Community Member
5 years ago

Wow, this is me.

Jackie Pike
Community Member
5 years ago

That's how it feels to a t

Bronwyn Rose
Community Member
5 years ago

Waves of sadness consistently do splash Dragging me down beneath the icy dark The thick fog breaking my soul’s numbing crash A match blown out then lit without a spark Depressive shadows dashed by manic light My body’s drug my mind so dearly craves Taking nothing, yet addicted in spite Flying too high above the drowning waves Dreading the cycle I know will return Aching pain of sadness growing stronger Icing over mania’s dang’rous burn Knowing this heaven can’t last much longer Enduring depression for manic bliss Embracing grey hell for the devil’s kiss

Donald Adams
Community Member
5 years ago

Beautiful! <3

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Ellister Bertin
Community Member
5 years ago

This doesn't represent bipolar disorder in the slightest. It is a mood disorder, not multiple personality.

Laura Fox
Community Member
5 years ago

If you have it, you know it's different for everyone.

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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.

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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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