It’s hard to explain: a mental illness is something that you’ll only understand when you’ve experienced it for yourself.
However, U.K.-based artist Toby Allen is trying to make it just a little easier on everyone (including himself) to understand what mental illnesses like anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder are like by illustrating them as monsters.
“The project originated from imagining my own anxieties as monsters and finding it to be a cathartic and healing process to draw them,” Allen told the Huffington Post in an email.
“I want to make people aware of how damaging these illnesses are and how much of a burden they can be to those who suffer from them. The project also highlights conditions that some people may have never even heard of, so the work aims to raise awareness for these. I hope that people can relate to the work and that it helps them to see their illness in a different light, make it appear more manageable,” he said.
And he’s done just that. The incredible images have inspired many to reach out to Allen and tell him how touched they were, according to the Huffington Post article.
If Mental Illnesses Had Faces, These Would Be Them.
Check out a few of the images below and see then whole collection: