Artist Toby Allen lives with severe anxiety and instead of letting his anxiety get him down he has decided to take his curse and create images that represent different mental illnesses. He started with drawing out what his own anxiety would look like in monster form and he found that it helped him a little in dealing with his mental issues. From there he created a whole series that includes: depression, sleep disorder, selective mutism, and PTSD just to name a few. Allen writes on his site, “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.” Check out his beautiful work.
Borderline Personality Disorder: The borderline personality monster is one of the most delicate but perhaps the most sinister of monsters. They gather in small swarms around their victims and use pheromones to heighten the emotions of their victim before feeding upon the emotional energies. They feed upon any emotion but tend to favour feelings of depression. The monster is made almost completely of a clear ice, rendering it invisible. Only the maple shaped leaf on its tail is visible to the naked eye and looks like a falling leaf. At times when the monster gorges itself too much on any given emotion, it can overwhelm them and they shatter like glass.
Dissociative Identity Disorder: The dissociative identity monster (also known as multiple personality disorder) can be characterized by its ability to alter its form into whatever it likes. As well as changing itself physically, the creature also takes on different personas of itself each with their own personality. The monster’s constantly altering form reflects its victims alternate personalities. If many different personalities exist, the monster and victim can become confused about their original identity and multiple personas can play out in the same form. No ‘DID’ monster looks or acts the same as another.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder: As a monster of deception, Body Dysmorphic Disorder loves to work in concert with other monsters such as OCD, Anxiety, and Anorexia, amplifying their effects. With broken glass-like shards on its abdomen, it acts kuje a distorted mirror, reflecting a false view of whoever looks into its reflective surface. This mirrored monster then weaves a web to trap its victim like a spider, and slowly eats away at their self-esteem and overall wellbeing. This causes the victim to become increasingly worried or preoccupied about a particular part of their body or overall appearance. They begin to believe that their distorted version is the truth. Victims will often try to conceal what they think is a defect, or worse, actively seek to change it themselves.
Anxiety: the anxiety monster is small enough to sit on its victim’s shoulders and whisper things into their unconscious, eliciting fearful thoughts and irrational worries. the anxiety monster is often seen as weak in comparison to others, but it is one of the most common and is very hard to get rid of. They often carry small objects linked to their victim’s anxieties such as clocks which represent a common but irrational fear of things that might never happen. No one has ever seen the face of the anxiety monster for it always wears a skull as a mask.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: The post-traumatic stress monsters were once part of a race of benevolent guardians who became corrupted by a painful and unknown malady. Left a twisted shell of their former selves, the monsters began to crave the intense rush of fear and trauma to dull their own pain much like a drug. The monsters can be found stalking battlefields or lurking near traumatic events and natural disasters, feeding igg the collective trauma and fear. They will then seek out individuals involved and stalk them, becoming a constant reminder of their pain. Victims are forced to relive the terrifying moment over and over again while the monster feeds on the destructive energy. The PTDS monster is part of the same family as the anxiety monster.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: The obsessive compulsive monster is a cruel and manipulative puppeteer that uses fear to control its victims. It repeatedly pounds its staff on the ground and uses its patterned feathers and many eyes to hypnotise its victims, creating intense and frightening obsession often linked to the safety of themselves or people close to them. Victims develop compulsions to carry out repetitive tasks or mental acts to prevent the obsession from coming true or to attempt to temporarily reduce the fear. The monster is almost never seen but its presence is almost always there. Anxiety and Depression monsters are often used by the OCD monster to keep a hold on its victim.
Paranoia: the paranoia monster uses its tall ears like a radar, scanning the area for any activity. In fact, the monsters ears are almost useless due to the tight curled cartilage and thick fur, so the sounds often get confused and muffled meaning paranoia almost often hears the wrong thing, which it then passes onto its victim. They feed upon feelings of anxiety of fear which they unintentionally create within their victims and they work with other monsters such as schizophrenia and anxiety, of which they share a similar biology.
Selective Mutism: The selective mutism monster isn’t an inherently evil creature and is seen more as a mischievous scavenger. The monsters live in a loud and noisy community of fellow creatures, but are born without the natural ability to speak. To fit into their society, they steal voices and keep them in a hollowed out acorn that they wear around their necks. The monster can then speak by using the acorn much like a whistle. They favour stealing the sweet and high-pitched sounding voices of children but will sometimes seek out more mature voices and try them out. They don’t usually keep hold of a voice for too long and will pass it back to its original owner in favour of a new, fresh sounding voice.
Depression: The depression monster floats around endlessly, always covering his eyes to hide itself from the outside world. Because of this it always bumps into people or other monsters causing more distress to itself each time. It’s only relief is to wrap its fluid tail around a victim and share its depression with them. The victim is unaware of the monster but will register a heaviness and will develop a state of deep depression. Meanwhile the monster absorbs any positive emotion from its host until it has had its fill and move onto another host.
Sleep Disorder: The Sleeping Disorder Monster is a playful creature that never rests. It will seek out a playmate, or victim in the middle of the night and keep them awake to satiate its eternal boredom. Most often, the victim will gt very little sleep, if any at all, stressing the victim and encouraging other monsters to join in with its games. If the monster finds its playmate already asleep, it will become enraged and will play a variety of nasty or harmful tricks on its victim. It can induce nightmares or night terrors by burning incense from its tail. It can cause sleep apnoea by wrapping its tusk around the victim’s neck. It can even sit on various body parts to temporarily paralyze its unwilling playmates. Those are just a few of the many tools at this monster’s disposal.
Anorexia Nervosa: As a parasitic assassin, Anorexia Nervosa slowly kills its victims from the inside. This monster is almost invisible, thanks to its translucent body, but it casts its shadow on those it inhabits, causing its victims to see a warped image of themselves. It manipulates and control its victim, convincing them to maintain a minimal body weight by restricting food intake and encouraging excessive exercise to lose what it perceives as “extra” weight. The ultimate goal of Anorexia Nervosa is to make its victims destroy themselves through starvation and other health complications that arise due to its manipulation. The main powers of this monster are control and secrecy which cause its victims to try and hide their extreme habits. In order to defeat Anorexia Nervosa, its existence must be acknowledged, only then can its powers be rendered useless. It is common for Anorexia and Body Dysmorphia to work together.
Misophonia: This small and seemingly harmless monster, Misophonia, just wants to cause annoyance or feelings of disgust and anger. With its large dome-like ears, it picks up on certain sounds, like slurping, crunching, tapping or even breathing and reflects them into the ears of its victims. These intense, amplified sounds can cause the receiver to react irrationally and cause fight or flight symptoms such as sweating, muscle tension and an increased heartbeat. It can also gather visual stimuli with its specially-patterned wings, and then heighten the reaction of its victims by mimicking the movement. Misophonia can encourage is victims to become more and more secluded, forcing them to actively avoid places or events where this plethora of sounds or even images can occur.
Schizophrenia: The schizophrenia monster is a vile creature that manipulates its victims into doing its bidding. It uses hallucinogenic gases secreted from the pores on its underbelly to control and influence others to do what it wants. Its victims relate to the monster as a powerful and controlling voice inside their subconscious. It is often accompanied by other monsters such as Paranoia, with Schizophrenia taking up an authoritative role much like a mafia gang leader. They are rarely seen and like to hide in the shadows.
Social Anxiety: the social anxiety monster spends most of its life underground or in secluded sheltered areas. Because if this their skin appears pale and anemic apart from hard plates that serve as an unnecessary means of defense. They are from the same biological family as the anxiety and paranoia monsters but due to their extreme way of life they have evolved to look quite different. The monster spends most of its time in hibernation but will project their auras into human hosts in the hope of living out he ordinary lives they can never have. In the process, the monster passes its own anxieties to its victim so both monster and the human host experience similar irrational social fear or worries.
Avoidant Personality Disorder: the avoidant personality monster is similar to social anxiety but much smaller in size and prefers to live above ground. They spend most of their time hiding in trees, using their leaf-like wings to camouflage and hide from anyone or anything that is around them. They have an unsightly appearance to ward off contact with other monsters but are in fact gentle and kind creatures, having a delicate beauty about them that even the creature is mostly unaware of. They interact with their victims innocently, only wishing to be friendly, but they unintentionally pass on their own anxieties or fears to the victim with contagious spores excreted from their tails.
Bipolar: The bipolar monster is in fact two opposing consciousness fighting for control over one body. One consciousness expresses a constant state of mania, feeling very excitable and overactive, while the other is forever in a low and depressive state. Only one consciousness has control at any given time while the dormant side fights to take over the body. They use gaseous pheromones to dominate and attempt to take over their shared body, influencing anyone that is in close proximity to the monster and passing the dominant state over to the victim. The victim will the experience alternating states like the monster itself. This monster is extremely quick and agile, making it very difficult to identify.