The link between mental illnesses and city life has been seen for quite some time now, and if you are a city dweller, there’s double a chance to develop psychosis, depression and a number of other anxiety disorders. Typically, the causes are social, such as inequality and isolation, but also physical – pollution and noise.

If you have a mental illness or know somebody who does, you might just understand, how difficult it’s sometimes is to talk about it. Not only you can feel vulnerable when disclosing such sensitive information about yourself, but also you can be left misunderstood. It takes quite a lot of empathy for another person, to get into your shoes and understand how it feels so that they can help you.

Illustrator Toby Allen, decided to deal with explaining and conquering such mental illness types as depression, borderline personality, and anxiety disorder, decided to re-create them as cute monsters. Giving such intangible illnesses some substance, makes them appear more manageable as physical entities.

“The project originated from imagining my own anxieties as inner demons and finding it to be a cathartic and healing process to draw them,” Allen told The Huffington Post. “It made them feel weaker, and I was able to look at my own anxiety comically with the help of these monster drawings.”

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“The project originated from imagining my own anxieties as monsters”

“It made them feel weaker and I was able to look at my own anxiety in a comical way”

“I hope it helps [people] see their illness in a different light, make it appear more manageable”