Artist Illustrates What Life With Mental Disorders Is Really About

Life with mental disorders is something many people don’t understand. Unless it is them who suffer from it. Which is why an artist decided to shed a light on it. See what is happening in the minds of people with mental disorders. 

When a person suffers from mental disorders it affects their way of life in many ways. Their ability to function are greatly affected by the way they think, feel and also by their moods. In addition it affects their ability to relate to other people. Each person’s experiences differ, even if others are diagnosed with the same disorder.




Mental disorders are not always caused by a traumatic event, as most people believe. Researchers suggest that multiple factors play a role for a person to develop one or more mental disorders. These are genetics, environment, lifestyle, and even biochemical processes. They all can play a major role in affecting the mental health of a person. Thus, a stressful job and/or homelife makes people more susceptible than a traumatic event.

For people who live or deal with a person who suffers from mental conditions, it is nearly impossible to understand what this person is going through. Shawn Coss, a professional artist, created these frightening illustrations that perfectly depict life with mental disorders. His sketches will help you understand what it feels like to go through life with mental disorders.

Life with mental disorders

Agoraphobia

People with Agoraphobia experience severe anxiety attacks. The attacks happen when they find themselves in situations where they feel trapped, helpless, or embarrassed. This can be any environment the person perceives as unsafe with no easy way out. Be it public transits, shopping places and even open spaces. Basically, anything outside the safety of the home can be a cause of panic.

Life with mental disorders.
Image-Shawn Coss

Anorexia nervosa

Life with mental disorders can be a threat to a person’s life. For instance, Anorexia nervosa is a eating disorder and it affects millions of people in the U.S. alone. Statistics show that Anorexia nervosa has the highest death rate of any mental disorder, including major depression. A person suffering from it is of extremely low body weight, but has a great fear of gaining weight. When they look at themselves in the mirror they perceive themselves as being overweight. Thus, to keep from gaining weight, they starve themselves and often exercise too much.

Image-Shawn Coss

Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder, also known as ASD, is a group of developmental disorders. It includes a wide range of symptoms and also skills and levels of disabilities. People with ASD usually have social problems like communicating and interacting with other people. ASD begins in young children and stays with them throughout their lives.

Image-Shawn Coss

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar Disorder is a manic-depressive illness. It is characterized by unusual mood swings and sudden shifts in energy levels. The person with this disorder loses touch with reality and has problems carrying out daily tasks.




Depressive episodes can last months at a time and are often accompanied with suicidal thoughts. Life with mental disorders is hard on everyone involved. While Bipolar Disorder can be controlled through medication, there is no cure for it.

Image-Shawn Coss

Borderline Personality Disorder

This is a serious mental disorder. A person with Borderline Personality Disorder is insecure with strong feelings of worthlessness. It includes emotional instability and impulsiveness. This disorder makes it hard for people to function and maintain social relationships.

Image-Shawn Coss

Capgras Syndrome

People with this syndrome strongly belief that someone they know was replaced by an imposter. Which can be any family member or a close friend. That is why it is also known as Imposter syndrome.

Image-Shawn Coss

Cotard’s Delusion

Life with mental disorders can take a creepy turn with this rare mental illness. A person with Cotard’s Delusion believes they are already dead. They think they don’t exist anymore. In other cases they are convinced that their blood or organs are gone, or that their bodies are decaying. Another name for Cotard’s Delusion is Walking Corpse Syndrome.

Image-Shawn Coss

Depersonalization Disorder

DPD causes people to repeatedly feel outside of their bodies and/or are disconnected from their own thoughts. It is described as a feeling of observing oneself almost like you are watching a movie. People with DPD often feel a detachment of emotions as well, and also suffer from memory loss. The lost memories involve anything, from actions, to places, to people.




DPD is caused by traumatic events like military combat, abuse and crime. DPD is often accompanied by suicidal thoughts.

Image-Shawn Coss

Dissociative Identity Disorder

When people suffer severe abuse they might develop multiple personalities. It is a reaction of the brain to avoid the bad memories. People with this condition have 2 or more personalities, and each has a different name and persona. While the average ranges from 13 to 15, some rare cases are dealing with more than 100 personalities.

Image-Shawn Coss

On the next page see what is happening to people who suffer from DPD, DSED, Insomnia, Major Depressive Disorder, OCD Paranoid Schizophrenia, PTSD, and Social Anxiety Disorder. To continue to the next page please click on 2 below.

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