Cornish artist creates mental illness monsters

A Cornish artist has attempted to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness by characterising eight common conditions as small monsters.

Toby Allen has drawn visual representations of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, social anxiety, avoidant personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, dissociative identity disorder and paranoia, in an effort to raise awareness of how these conditions effect people.

Allen, who has previously suffered from social anxiety himself, says that he felt characterising these illnesses could make them seem more beatable.

In an interview with, he said: "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 and make them appear more beatable as physical entities."

Each of the drawings, feature two short paragraphs explaining various elements of the monster's personalities. These are intended to reflect the symptoms of the illnesses they reflect.

For example, the anxiety monster "is small enough to sit on its victim's shoulder and whisper things in to their unconscious, eliciting fearful thoughts" whilst the depression monster is "floats around endlessly covering its eyes to hide itself from the outside world".

Each of the drawings is available to buy in poster form from