Mental disorders drawings

18 Disturbing Mental Illness and Depression Drawings


: Some of these mental illness and depression drawings are quite disturbing and unsettling. Do not look at these images if you don’t think it would be good for you to do so.

Every October, artists all over the world take on the InkTober drawing challenge by doing one ink drawing a day for the entire month.

In October, 2016, Ohio-based artist Shawn Coss decided to do something different with the original prompt.

He focused exclusively on personifying mental illnesses and disorders.

These illustrations are truly “must see.”

Shawn Coss manages to capture the turmoil of those who suffer with these disorders beautifully.

It is hard for those who have not really experienced psychological distress to understand what someone who has a mental illness is going through.

That’s why these images are so potent.

If you are disturbed when you look at these illustrations, they have done their job.

More compassion and understanding needs to go to those who struggle each day with their mental health.

After experiencing these illustrations, hopefully you will see these disorders with new eyes.

Social anxiety disorder (SAD), also known as social phobia, is an anxiety disorder characterized by a significant amount of fear in one or more social situations, causing considerable distress and impaired ability to function in at least some parts of daily life. These fears can be triggered by perceived or actual scrutiny from others.


Major depressive disorder (MDD), also known simply as depression, is a mental disorder characterized by at least two weeks of low mood that is present across most situations. It is often accompanied by low self-esteem, loss of interest in normally enjoyable activities, low energy, and pain without a clear cause.

This depression drawing is one of the most potent in the list, I’m sure you’ll agree.


Insomnia, also known as sleeplessness, is a sleep disorder where people have trouble sleeping. They may have difficulty falling asleep, or staying asleep as long as desired.[10][8] Insomnia is typically followed by daytime sleepiness, low energy, irritability, and a depressed mood.


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder that can develop after a person is exposed to a traumatic event, such as sexual assault, warfare, traffic collisions, or other threats on a person’s life. Symptoms may include disturbing thoughts, feelings, or dreams related to the events, mental or physical distress to trauma-related cues, attempts to avoid trauma-related cues, alterations in how a person thinks and feels, and an increase in the fight-or-flight response.


Bipolar disorder, previously known as manic depression, is a mental disorder that causes periods of depression and periods of elevated mood.  The elevated mood is significant and is known as mania or hypomania, depending on its severity, or whether symptoms of psychosis are present.


Borderline personality disorder (BPD), also known as emotionally unstable personality disorder, is a long-term pattern of abnormal behavior characterized by unstable relationships with other people, unstable sense of self, and unstable emotions. There is often an extreme fear of abandonment, frequent dangerous behavior, a feeling of emptiness, and self-harm.


Autism is a mental condition, present from early childhood, characterized by difficulty in communicating and forming relationships with other people and in using language and abstract concepts.


Paranoid schizophrenia manifests itself in an array of symptoms. Common symptoms for paranoid schizophrenia include auditory hallucinations (hearing voices) and paranoid delusions (believing everyone is out to cause the sufferer harm).


Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental disorder where people feel the need to check things repeatedly, perform certain routines repeatedly (called “rituals”), or have certain thoughts repeatedly. People are unable to control either the thoughts or the activities for more than a short period of time.


Dependent personality disorder (DPD), is a personality disorder that is characterized by a pervasive psychological dependence on other people. This personality disorder is a long-term condition in which people depend on others to meet their emotional and physical needs, with only a minority achieving normal levels of independence.


Anorexia nervosa, often referred to simply as anorexia, is an eating disorder characterized by a low weight, fear of gaining weight, a strong desire to be thin, and severe food restriction. Many people with anorexia see themselves as overweight even though they are in fact underweight.


Depersonalization disorder (DPD), is described as feeling disconnected or estranged from one’s self. Individuals experiencing depersonalization may report feeling as if they are an outside observer of their own thoughts or body, and often report feeling a loss of control over their thoughts or actions.


Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder characterized by symptoms of anxiety in situations where the person perceives the environment to be unsafe with no easy way to get away. These situations can include open spaces, public transit, shopping malls, or simply being outside the home. Being in these situations may result in a panic attack. The symptoms occur nearly every time the situation is encountered and last for more than six months. Those affected will go to great lengths to avoid these situations.  In severe cases people may become unable to leave their homes.


Dissociative identity disorder (DID), also known as multiple personality disorder (MPD), is a mental disorder characterized by at least two distinct and relatively enduring identities or dissociated personality states. These states alternately show in a person’s behavior, accompanied by memory impairment for important information not explained by ordinary forgetfulness.


Capgras delusion is a psychiatric disorder in which a person holds a delusion that a friend, spouse, parent, or other close family member (or pet) has been replaced by an identical impostor. The Capgras delusion is classified as a delusional misidentification syndrome, a class of delusional beliefs that involves the misidentification of people, places, or objects.


Cotard delusion is a rare mental illness in which the affected person holds the delusional belief that they are already dead, do not exist, are putrefying, or have lost their blood or internal organs. Statistical analysis of a hundred-patient cohort indicates that the denial of self-existence is a symptom present in 69% of the cases of Cotard’s delusion; yet, paradoxically, 55% of the patients present delusions of immortality.

Disinhibited Social Engagement Disorder (DSED) is an attachment disorder that consists of “a pattern of behavior in which a child actively approaches and interacts with unfamiliar adults” and which “…significantly impairs young children’s abilities to relate interpersonally to adults and peers.” For example, sitting on the lap of a stranger or peer, or leaving with a stranger. DSED is exclusively a childhood disorder and is not diagnosed before the age of nine months or after the age of five. Infants and very young children are at risk if they receive inconsistent or insufficient care from a primary caregiver.


Schizophrenia (of which paranoid schizophrenia is a sub-type) is a mental disorder characterized by abnormal social behavior and failure to understand what is real.  Common symptoms include false beliefs, unclear or confused thinking, hearing voices that others do not hear, reduced social engagement and emotional expression, and a lack of motivation. 

I found the above mental illness and depression drawings to be incredibly beautiful and creative. Us humans are storytelling creatures and sometimes ideas land much better when we make a character out of something that is hard to explain.

In mythology you have characters for war and desire and peace, etc. And here Shawn created these mental illness and depression drawings in such a way that really helps people who don’t know what it’s like to experience mental health disorders to connect better with what someone might be experiencing.

Of course, this is just an interpretation, and many people may disagree with the ways the images were depicted. What’s important is that it’s at least an attempt to convey understanding of these mental illnesses through the use of a medium other than words.

View more of Shawn’s art here.

Drawing Mental Illnesses (TikTok Trend)


Part of a series on TikTok. [View Related Entries]
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Parody, Participatory Media
United States
drawing mental disorders, draw mental disorder tiktok, mental illnesses, lactose intolerance mental illness, tiktok, tiktok trends, drawing mental illness, art, illustrations


Drawing Mental Illnesses is a social media trend where artists draw their interpretation of various mental illnesses and disorders. Artists including Shawn Cee and Toby Allen helped popularize the trend throughout the mid-2010s. The trend became notably popularized on TikTok throughout 2021 and 2022, inspiring viral and ironic versions of the meme where ironic disorders like lactose intolerance and being British are drawn as if they were mental illnesses. While similar in name, the trend does not share the same exploitable format used in the Drawings Made By People With Mental Illness meme.


Artists have been sharing their artistic interpretations of mental illnesses online numerous times throughout the 2010s. On August 25th, 2015, Bored Panda[1] published a collection of artwork by illustrator Toby Allen in which he draws mental disorders as monsters, garnering over 784,000 views in seven years (example shown below, left). On October 17th, 2016, Bored Panda[2] posted a similar collection of artwork by Shawn Cee, garnering over 3.8 million views in six years (shown below, right). On October 24th, 2018, Bored Panda[3] shared another collection of art like this from Allen.

On September 4th, 2021, TikToker[4] @thementalproject posted his first video drawing a mental illness, insomnia, garnering over 2.1 million views in a year (shown below).


The trend spread across TikTok over the following year, inspiring numerous viral examples. On September 19th, 2021, TikToker[5] @whooarethey posted a video of themself drawing bipolar, garnering over 8.7 million views in a year. On November 10th, Twitter[6] user @commentsooc posted screenshots of a TikToker who ironically drew asthma as a mental illness, garnering over 260,000 likes and 17,000 retweets in 11 months (shown below).

On December 31st, TIkToker[7] @drawing_mental_ill drew haphephobia, garnering over 1. 4 million views in 10 months (shown below, left). On March 19th, 2022, TikToker[8] @lin_draws__ posted a video of herself drawing anxiety, garnering over 203,000 views in seven months (shown below, right).

On October 27th, 2022, TikToker[9] @ellisharshbarger22 posted an ironic version of the trend where she draws lactose intolerance as if it's a mental disorder, garnering over 4 million views in four days (shown below, left). That day, she posted another ironic version to TikTok[10] where she draws IBS as if a mental disorder, garnering over 4 million views in the same span of time (shown below, right). On October 28th, Twitter[11] user @oluwatoji posted screenshots of the lactose intolerance video, garnering over 562,000 likes and 66,000 retweets in three days.

Various Examples

Drawings Made By People With Mental Illness

Drawings Made By People With Mental Illness is an exploitable photoshop meme featuring a collection of black and white sketches depicting unsettling figures with a third image added to the lower right corner. Typically the photoshopped image is poorly drawn or funny and often references other memes. The two artists whose drawings are used in the format do not have mental illnesses despite the association with the meme.

Search Interest

External References

[1] Bored Panda – Artist Suffering From Anxiety Illustrates Mental Illnesses As Real Monsters

[2] Bored Panda – I Illustrated Mental Illness And Disorders For Inktober

[3] Bored Panda – I Illustrated Mental Illness And Disorders To Fight The Stigma Associated With Them

[4] TikTok – thementalproject

[5] TikTok – whooarethey

[6] Twitter – commentsooc

[7] TikTok – drawing_mental_ill

[8] TikTok – lin_draws__

[9] TikTok – ellisharshbarger22

[10] TikTok – ellisharshbarger22

[11] Twitter – oluwatoji

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New scary illustrations of mental illness

In 2016, the first drawings appeared on the net, such a dark visualization of mental disorders. The series instantly went viral, it is still being posted. It seemed that the topic was closed - there were 31 illustrations. But here are new ones, just as dark and no less disturbing, even scary. It's amazing that there are so many of them.
Previous drawings by Sean Kos were used to illustrate a book on psychiatry.

What the author writes:

- Mental health has become more openly discussed in recent years, but many people with mental illness are still considered "crazy" or "mentally disabled". And as long as the stigma remains, I will continue to create illustrations to continue this conversation.


ADHD is a disorder that can cause short attention spans, twitching, and almost always an inability to understand and read letters and words correctly.
Just as there are a lot of adults with ADD, there are a lot of children with ADHD, and this can be very difficult. The medicine helps, but with it comes the need to be very organized and structured because your world is falling apart. nine0004

2, Anxiety

(GAD) is characterized by constant and excessive worry about a number of different things. Individuals with GAD find it difficult to control their anxiety. They may worry more than seems justified in relation to actual events, or they may expect the worst even when there is no clear cause for concern.

3 Generalized depression

4 Antisocial personality disorder

I understand that this is a sociopath.

5 Bipolar disorder

A disorder associated with periods of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs.


Anyone who thinks being neat and organized means they have OCD has never seen someone who actually suffers from it.

7 Panic attacks

8 SVU, Periodic explosive disorder (or explosive)

Behavioral disorder characterized by explosive outbursts of anger and violence, often to the point of rage, that are disproportionate to the situation (eg, impulsive screaming)

9. NSSI Non-Suicidal Self-Injurious Behavior

Non-suicidal self-harm is a mental disorder that refers to the deliberate destruction of one's own body surface without suicidal intent. These behaviors include cutting, burning, peeling the skin, hitting and biting oneself, and most notably causing bleeding, bruising, or pain.

10. Schizophrenia

A disorder that affects a person's ability to think, feel and behave clearly. Schizophrenia is characterized by thoughts or experiences that seem out of touch with reality, disorganized speech or behavior, and decreased participation in daily activities. Difficulties with concentration and memory may also be present. nine0004

11 Social anxiety disorder (social phobia)

12 Dependent personality disorder (DPD)

Characterized by an inability to be alone. People with DPD develop anxiety symptoms when they are not around others. They rely on other people for convenience, reassurance, advice, and support.

13 Dissociative Identity Disorder

Split Personality (and more)

14 Depersonalization Disorder

Characterized by periods of feeling that the person has been disconnected or separated from the body and thoughts (depersonalization). The disorder is sometimes described as feeling like you are watching yourself outside of your body, or like you are in a dream. nine0003 However, people with this disorder do not lose contact with reality; they realize that all is not what it seems. An episode of depersonalization can last from a few minutes to (rarely) many years.

15 Avoidant personality disorder

A disorder characterized by social discomfort and avoidance of interpersonal contact. Someone who avoids a personality disorder avoids intimate and social contact with others. People with this condition can be very shy, fear ridicule, and be overly concerned about looking stupid. nine0004

16 Delirium

This is severe confusion due to rapid changes in brain function. Delirium is not a disease in itself, but rather a group of symptoms that may result from a disease or other clinical process. It is shorter in duration than dementia and is often the result of a treatable physical or mental illness. The underlying causes must be investigated. Confusion can be a side effect of some medications. nine0004

17 Borderline personality disorder

Mental disorder characterized by unstable moods, behaviors and attitudes. Symptoms include emotional instability, feelings of worthlessness, insecurity, impulsivity, and disturbed social relationships.

18 Pick's disease

Pick's disease is most common in people with developmental disabilities such as autism and intellectual disabilities, and in children aged 2 to 3 years. People with pica often drink and eat non-food items such as dirt. nine0004

19 Separation anxiety

A disorder in which a child becomes overly agitated when separated from parents. Children with the disorder cannot think of anything other than real fear. They may have nightmares or regular physical complaints. They may be reluctant to go to school or other places.

20 Stockholm syndrome


Tags: illustrations

13 psychological disorders: in pictures and explanations

Artist Sean Koss depicted 12 psychological disorders in drawings. Zozhnik's editors have collected the artist's works over a couple of years and decided to show them to you, as well as briefly talk about each of the disorders.

1. Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD)

Increased feeling of helplessness, incompetence and lack of vitality without the support of other people, which is needed most of the time.

According to the DSM-IV Manual of Mental Disorders, Dependent Personality Disorder is classified as an anxiety and panic disorder. A person with this disorder feels as a need for excessive self-care from others, which leads to increased submissiveness and affection, fears of separation. Five or more of the following characteristics must be present in early adulthood (18 years of age or older) in a variety of contexts for a diagnosis to be made:

  1. Has difficulty making day-to-day decisions unless he receives an inflated amount of advice and approval from others.
  2. Is in need of people who would take responsibility for most of his (her) life.
  3. Has difficulty expressing disagreement with others for fear of losing material support or approval.
  4. Has difficulty in taking initiative or acting independently. nine0104
  5. Goes far in an effort to get guardianship and support from others - he may even volunteer to do things that are unpleasant for himself.
  6. Feels uncomfortable or helpless due to exaggerated fear of not being able to take care of himself.
  7. Urgently seeks new relationships to serve as a source of help and support if previous close relationships break down.
  8. Experiencing an inappropriate amount of fear and anxiety about the prospect of taking care of themselves

2. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

In OCD, obsessive, disturbing or frightening thoughts (so-called obsessions) involuntarily appear in the patient. He constantly and unsuccessfully tries to get rid of the anxiety caused by thoughts with the help of equally obsessive and tedious actions (compulsions). Sometimes obsessive (mainly obsessive thoughts) and separately compulsive (mainly obsessive actions) disorders are distinguished separately.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder most often begins between the ages of 10 and 30. In this case, the first visit to a psychiatrist usually occurs only between 25 and 35 years. The mean age of hospitalization was 31.6 years.

The prevalence of OCD is also related to the level of education. The frequency of the disease is lower in those who graduated from a higher educational institution (1.9%) than in those who do not have a higher education (3.4%).

3. Paranoid schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a type of personality disorder associated with the breakdown of thought processes and emotional reactions. Paranoid schizophrenia is the most common type of schizophrenia, characterized by a predominance of hallucinations and/or delusions, with speech rupture, affective flattening, and catatonic symptoms (comorbidities, including depression and anxiety disorders; risk of alcoholism and drug addiction being about 40 %). nine0004

The overall risk of disease, according to studies, is 0.4-0.6% (4-6 cases per 1000 people).

4. Autism

Autism is a brain developmental disorder characterized by severe and pervasive deficits in social interaction, as well as limited interests and repetitive activities. All of these signs begin to appear before the age of 3 years.

According to data from the USA, 2% of schoolchildren were officially diagnosed with autism and autism spectrum disorders in 2011-2012, which is much more compared to 1.2% in 2007. nine0004

5. Borderline personality disorder

Borderline personality disorder is characterized by impulsiveness, low self-control, emotional instability, unstable connection with reality, high anxiety and a strong level of desocialization.

Occurs in 1-3% of US adults, of which 75% are women. 50-70% of patients with this disorder are seen in the abuse of alcohol or drugs.

An important feature of the disorder is suicidal or self-injurious behavior, the percentage of completed suicides is about 28-30%. nine0004

6. Bipolar disorder (manic-depressive psychosis)

Bipolar disorder is a mental disorder that manifests itself in the form of affective states - manic and depressive, and sometimes mixed states, in which the patient experiences a rapid change in symptoms of mania and depression, or symptoms of depression and mania at the same time (for example, melancholy with agitation, anxiety, or euphoria with lethargy - the so-called unproductive mania - or others). nine0004

A variety of "mixed" states are possible.

7. Post-traumatic stress syndrome

Post-traumatic stress syndrome - (aka "Vietnam syndrome", "Afghan syndrome", etc.) - a severe mental condition that occurs as a result of a single or repeated psychotraumatic situations, such as, for example, participation in hostilities, severe physical injury, sexual assault, or the threat of death.

A group of characteristic symptoms - psychopathological experiences, avoidance or loss of memory of traumatic events and a high level of anxiety persist for more than a month after the psychological trauma. nine0004

The effectiveness of cognitive psychotherapy in post-traumatic stress syndrome has been proven: the use of cognitive therapy in women who experienced severe stress, clinical improvement was observed in 85% of patients and, in particular, was manifested by a significant decrease in depression scores - even in those women who experienced stress in childhood age.

8. Insomnia

Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by inadequate sleep duration or poor quality sleep, or a combination of the two, over a significant period of time. nine0004

There can be many reasons for insomnia: from depression to regular consumption of tea (which contains caffeine), and in 15% of cases, as Wikipedia says, “it is impossible to determine the cause of insomnia”).

Sleep hygiene is recommended (detailed here in the infographic) and here is another tip from our interview with a somnologist: “if sleep has not come within 20-30 minutes, you should not stay in bed and try to force yourself to fall asleep, it is advisable to get up and try do something relaxing until drowsiness reappears. ” nine0004

9. Depression

Depression is a mental disorder characterized by the “depressive triad”: a decrease in mood and loss of the ability to experience joy, impaired thinking (negative judgments, a pessimistic view of what is happening, and so on), motor retardation.

Depression is currently the most common mental disorder. It affects every 10th person over the age of 40, two-thirds of them are women. Depression is 3 times more common among people over 65 years of age. Also, depression and depressive conditions affect about 5% of children and adolescents aged 10-16 years. nine0004

Read the recipes for depression in the text “Depression Canceled”.

10. Social phobia

side observation.

People who suffer from social phobia experience real horror at how they will be judged by outsiders. They are almost always too focused on themselves, on how they look, how they behave. Such people also, as a rule, make increased demands on themselves. nine0004

In most cases, social phobia starts at an early age. 50% of those with the disease developed symptoms before they were 11 years old, and 80% before they were 20 years old.

11. Increased anxiety

There is still no consensus on the causes of anxiety in people. The prevailing view is that anxiety is partly innate, partly acquired. Having some genetically determined tendency to anxiety, a person, as a result of incorrect actions of parents, teachers, internal conflicts (primarily of a self-evaluative nature) and other socially determined reasons, acquires it over time. nine0004

Neo-Freudians believe that the main cause of anxiety is a dysfunctional early relationship experience, due to which basal anxiety develops (according to Karen Horney). Such anxiety accompanies a person all his life, greatly affecting his relationships with other people.

Behaviorists view anxiety as a result of learning. In their opinion, this is a learned reaction to threatening situations, which, subsequently, is transferred to other circumstances associated with them.

( excerpt from the book “Anxiety” // Clinical Psychology. Dictionary / edited by N. D. Tvorogova. — Moscow: PER SE, 2007 ).

12. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a disorder that occurs in about 5% of children. In urban areas - more often than in rural areas, in boys - 4-5 times more often than in girls.

From a neurological point of view, ADHD is regarded as a persistent and chronic syndrome for which no cure has been found. It is believed that some children, namely 30%, "outgrow" this syndrome or adapt to it in adulthood. nine0004

The existence of ADHD is questioned by a number of health professionals, teachers, politicians, parents and the media. Some believe that such a disease as ADHD does not exist at all, however, their opponents believe that there are genetic and physiological causes of this condition.

13. Panic attacks

If we try to describe what panic attacks are in words: excruciating bouts of severe anxiety, accompanied by causeless fear, combined with vegetative (somatic) symptoms.

Learn more