These sweet and funny cartoons say a lot about living with mental health problems

Bethan McKernan@mck_beth
Thursday 21 January 2016 14:20

Illustrator Gemma Correll knows first hand what it's like to live with anxiety.

More than one in four of us experience mental health problems such as anxiety or depression in any given year - and yet the subject is still taboo.

In an effort to break down and explain what living with anxiety is like, Correll has created cartoons that chronicle what the condition can feel like:

Correll told i100 that she'd been drawing since she was old enough to hold a pencil, and her art had often sustained her as a way of coping with anxiety.

Drawing and writing help me to process my feelings in a productive way - if I feel anxious, it's very soothing for me to get a sketchbook out and just draw. It's distracting and cathartic.

But for a long time, Correll kept the drawings under wraps:

I didn't have the confidence to share [my work about anxiety] for some time. I was scared of the reactions that I might get and what people would think of me.

Correll said she hopes that using humour and straightforwardness when dealing with the taboo topics is helpful for people.

Humour can be a powerful weapon against painful experiences and feelings.

Sometimes, when everything seems to be going wrong, or you feel bad, all you can do is laugh.

Gemma's illustrations are collected in The Worrier's Guide to Life and you can check out more of her work on her website.

If you think you or someone you care about is in need of support for a mental health problem, there is someone to talk to at The Samaritans 24 hours a day on FREECALL 116 123 and advice on where to get help at

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