An artist has brought mental illnesses to life through his artwork.

Toby Allen, from the UK, has released a series of “monsters” that depict various mental illnesses.

He posted the images to Tumblr and said the response to his work has been largely positive.

Although, he in no way intends to “make light” of conditions, but rather make them seem more “beatable” to sufferers.

He wrote on his blog ZestyDoesThings:


“The artwork is not at all intended to make light of these conditions but instead is intended to give these intangible mental illnesses some substance, raise awareness and make them appear more manageable as physical entities.”

He depicts such mental illnesses as Anorexia Nervosa, Body Dysmorphia, Depression, Anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.


In an interview with Suvudu, he spoke of how he came up with the ideas:

“The Anxiety monster was the first one that I designed and it came quite naturally, as I have dealt with general Anxiety and Social anxiety for most of my life and they are both something that I am very familiar with. For a long time, I imagined my anxieties or fears as little monsters that could be overcome and drawing them as physical entities became a really cathartic process. I begin each monster design by researching the condition or disorder extensively, sketching ideas as they come. I try to incorporate many different elements of the disorder into the monster’s character or look which are then reflected in the descriptions.

“Looking at the Anxiety monster in particular, the dark colours reflect the heavy and oppressive feelings that I associate with being anxious and the shock of bright pink represents the intense rush of fear or anxiety that occurs when I have an anxiety related panic attack.

“With all of the monsters, I try to incorporate other people’s experiences with their own disorder or condition to help develop a character that people can relate to.”


You can see the full gallery here and here.

If you or someone you know is suffering a mental illness, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

H/T Daily Mail

Photos: Toby Allen via Tumblr

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