One woman's drawings depict everyday life for people with anxiety and are resonating with many social media users suffering from mental illness.
Illustrator Maureen "Marzi" Wilson wrote on her website that she started the series Introvert Doodles to embrace being an introvert by nature, and her drawings also tackle what it's like to live with mental illness, she posted on BoredPanda.
"My doodles are a way for me to understand my own feelings and experiences," Wilson told ATTN: via email. "Drawing helps me make sense of a disorder that often feels irrational. Conversations about mental health are sometimes difficult to initiate. It's challenging to find words to describe how you feel, especially when the other person hasn't had similar experiences. I hope my doodles will open the door to these discussions, and lead to greater understanding and compassion."
Wilson's illustrations show how relatively low-key situations — such as taking a pet to a restaurant — can bring a lot of anxiety to someone suffering from a mental illness.
One captures a person's fear that her pet might not even be allowed in a restaurant:
Wilson created another image that shows how shopping can be a socially awkward experience for people with anxiety:
Another image highlights how the simple decision of whether to go to a party can consume an anxious person with conflicting thoughts:
One drawing touches on the reality that mental illness can keep you up at night:
Wilson also embraces the value of claiming small victories as a person with anxiety:
Wilson has nearly 64,000 Instagram followers and regularly receives supportive comments for her artwork.
Many of her fans say they can relate to the drawings.
"I'm lucky to have a very supportive community online, especially on Instagram (@introvertdoodles)," Wilson told ATTN:. "It's been a safe and welcoming place for me to share my ideas. On Facebook, the images spread further, and there are occasional negative comments about how people with anxiety need to 'toughen up.' In those cases, I'll try to share information about what anxiety really is, and include a link so they can learn more about it. I think education and conversation are the best tools we have against stigma."