This artist uses paper clips to illustrate mental health issues

Narjas Zatat@Narjas_Zatat
Friday 08 December 2017 17:15

As the taboo and stigma surrounding mental health beings to be addressed, more people are speaking openly about their illnesses and difficulties.

Depression, for example, is one of the most common mental health disorders in the world, with over 300 million people affected, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Eisen Bernardo, an artist based in the Philippines decided to use something small and innocuous as a springboard to start conversations about mental health.

He chose paper clips.

Speaking to indy100, he said:

One time in the office, I saw some paper clips in my desk. I realised it has more meaning than a simple office tool.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

A mental health condition where a person has obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.

Picture: Eisen Bernardo (Eisen Bernardo)

Before this series, I did minimalist interpretations of classic album covers using paper clips. I used paper clips as a medium to challenge my artistry.


A feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe.

Picture: Eisen Bernardo (Eisen Bernardo)

Eating Disorder

A person with an eating disorder may focus excessively on their weight and shape, leading them to make unhealthy choices about food with damaging results to their health.

Picture: Eisen Bernardo (Eisen Bernardo)

I personally experience mental health issues. And I have a lot of friends who suffer from these too. I dedicate this series to them. To remind them to #keepittogether. I maybe made some mistakes in the depictions, but that is the point of art. To have a starting point for a healthy discussion on certain issues.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful or frightening events.

Picture: Eisen Bernardo (Eisen Bernardo)

Bipolar Disorder

Previously known as manic depression, it is a condition that affects your mood, which can swing from one extreme to another.

Picture: Eisen Bernardo (Eisen Bernardo)

Substance Abuse

Harmful or hazardous use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and illicit drugs.

Picture: Eisen Bernardo

Dissociative Identity Disorder

Dissociative disorders are a range of conditions that can cause physical and psychological problems.

Picture: Eisen Bernardo (Eisen Bernardo)

I love my piece in depression. I think it truly captures the isolation, the sense of gloom and aloneness.


When you're depressed you feel persistently sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days.

Picture: Eisen Bernardo (Eisen Bernardo)

All definitions for illnesses are taken from the NHS website with the exception of 'Substance Abuse', which comes from the WHO.

You can see more of Eisen Bernardo's work on his website, here.

H/T Bored Panda

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