Mental health has become one of the most important topics in the world. Anxiety, depression and poor self-esteem are all issues that need to be talked about and destigmatized. Comics have helped me to feel more comfortable about my anxiety. They’ve made me passionate about wanting to promote positive mental health. Comics have the power to improve mental health and here are six reasons why.
1. They have relatable characters
The traditional image of a superhero is an invincible juggernaut that can overcome any challenge. That perception couldn’t be further from the truth. There are lots of superheroes who suffer with mental health issues, ranging from Superman to Sentry. They have to juggle saving the world with balancing their own personal problems.
Reading about these characters is a good way to remind yourself of positive mental health representations. After all, superheroes are meant to be role models.
At the same time, comics don’t try to romanticize mental health. They show it as an ongoing process that can’t be fixed overnight.
2. Comics are inspirational
Some people may feel they can’t accomplish anything, but comics offer a different perspective. Superheroes with mental health disorders show us what we’re capable of achieving.
For example, Hank Pym is considered to be one of the smartest people in the Marvel Universe. He’s invented brilliant machines and developed Pym Particles. He also battles with bipolar disorder and depression, but it never stopped him from making something of his life. Just because you suffer with a disorder, doesn’t mean you can’t live a good existence.
3. Comics help to build relationships
We’re living in a golden age of pop culture right now. Superhero films are being put out every year and more people are getting interested in comic cons. For people who struggle with their mental health, comics can provide a talking point. I’ve spoken to loads of people at comic cons because I’ve felt relaxed enough to initiate a conversation. Comics are great for building friendships!
4. Cosplaying is awesome
Cosplaying is a popular way for people to express their love of comics. It gives someone the chance to dress up as their favourite character and feel confident about the way they look. You’re likely to receive compliments and requests for photos, which can help to improve self-esteem. Also, if you find it hard to talk to people, cosplaying will bring the conversation to you.
5. Graphic novels will encourage you to read
Reading is one of the best ways to relax. If you’re feeling stressed then you can pick up a graphic novel and wind down after a long day. You’ll also be able to appreciate the art that’s found within a graphic novel.
6. You’ll be exposed to a different way of thinking
Life is all about growing and moving forward. The best way to do that is to broaden your horizons, to take on fresh perspectives. Comics provide a window into a different world, which could help you learn something new about yourself. If reading a Batman story helps you to come to terms with your greatest fear then embrace the feeling. If you find yourself relating to a character in an X-Men graphic novel then hold onto the connection. Never be ashamed of being who you are.
Comics have helped my mental health by making me want to be more open. In this Comic Curators video, I talk about my experiences with social anxiety and how characters like Daredevil and Scarlet Witch have battled with their disorders.
I’m going to be talking a lot about positive mental health on Comic Curators. Please subscribe to the channel if you’d like to watch more in future.