Artist Phil Wall, aka Never Stay Dead, has been working on a series that's very close to them. To educate both themselves and their followers, Never Stay Dead has been illustrating disorders and mental illnesses as monsters, following people like shadows everywhere they go.
From body dysmorphic disorder to post-traumatic stress disorder, Never Stay Dead does an excellent job of portraying just how devastating these conditions can be. It's extremely difficult to imagine what people who suffer from them have to go through every day. Maybe even impossible. That's why works like these are so important -- they teach us empathy.
"Disorders are something that we live with and are very real, but not everyone can see them or know what we are going through," the artist told Bored Panda. "I wanted to visualise it in a way that everyone could understand easily. As a monster that lives with us on a daily basis."
The series is ongoing and not complete yet, but Never Stay Dead has tried to cover the most common disorders whilst also working towards being as inclusive as possible.
My depiction of anxiety is a disorientating, chaotic, and pearlescent monster. It has many arms to grip you in fear, many eyes to watch you, and many mouths to make you doubt yourself. It is like a big parasite feeding on fear and paralysing you
The artist has done a fair share of preparation before starting the series, too. "I have and I've used my own experiences and the people around me to create the illustrations," they explained.
"It's a very complicated and sensitive subject and it's not the same for everyone. It's impossible to capture the entire spectrum of a disorder in one simple drawing. Many people find them relatable, and if not at least it’s opening up a discussion instead of ignoring them."
Autism is a developmental disorder, because it is more susceptible to mental health I decided to include it in this series
Insomnia is a Wraith that can manifest from various mental health (including depression, anxiety, OCD and PTSD). The monster chains itself to its host leaving it feeling like a ghost inside its own body. Too uncomfortably awake to sleep, but too tired to function normally. The Wraith's body is partly made of stars from all of the dreams it has eaten and it drags a heavy time piece across the ground. Constantly reminding its victims of lost time and the pressure to start a new day tired and restless
The ADHD monster is a hyperactive ball of energy, finding it hard to focus on one task and easily distracted by everything around it. A daydreamer with a chaotic galaxy of ideas and thoughts
The BDD monster warps and distorts its hosts perception of themselves. It shows them an exaggeration of any flaw they might find, this will spiral until they become obsessed with it. The Monster can also cause social anxiety, OCD and depression.
The Addiction monster seems desirable and shiny, but tricks its host by rewarding them with short lived highs that lead to adverse consequences
The PTSD monster was once a confident and strong ally. But it is left severely wounded and broken, every day reliving its pain
BPD is a Demon with broken wings, but it often thinks it's an angel. It is complex and usually misunderstood, and can completely override the mind and emotions. It has a fear of abandonment, yet struggles with stable relationships. It is more prone to act recklessly than most monsters which can result in dangerous consequences, addiction and even the suicide of its vessel