FANTASTIC READ: 18 Brutally Honest Illustrations About Struggling with Mental Illness

‘I cried when I discovered I was not alone in this and when I received emails thanking me. I’ve never imagined I could be of any help to anyone’

By Kashmira Gander@kashmiragander


This article has been re-shared from it’s original source,


“I’ve been dealing with anxiety for as long as I can remember,” says Sow Ay, an illustrator who sketches brutally honest cartoons about his ongoing struggle with mental illness.

“A few days ago I was diagnosed with panic disorder. It took a lot of time because I was scared to talk about it. But I could no longer live with it, so I’m glad I did talk about it,” he tells The Independent.

Sow Ay, who is in his twenties but prefers to keep his identity secret and “hide behind” his characters, lives in Auvergne, France, and runs the Forsaken Studio graphic design firm. A golden star often comforts his anxiety-riddled characters in his work.

Although he was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder, social anxiety and depression “after a burnout” in 2016, he has been dealing with anxiety for as long as he can remember.

Drawing has been an outlet for him since childhood, but his artworks weren’t always so serious. “At school, I loved drawing to make my friends laugh,” he says.


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