Guest Post: Creativity As A Superpower, Creativity As A Curse

A friend once told me, “your greatest strength is your greatest weakness… and conversely, your greatest weakness can also be your greatest strength.” This is a phrase that has stuck with me for decades, ringing true in both personal and professional settings. I myself was labeled a creative person at an early age.

In middle school I had a strong visual aesthetic, producing compelling photographs with just a tiny 110 camera and no training. I later began writing plays, doing documentary photography at a professional level, and eventually writing comics. But it was a long journey to fully embrace my creative side.

Due to societal pressure, I sought a ‘traditional’ office job. During my school years, creativity was not seen as a gift. It was something that was useful to children but not fully embraced by society, and certainly not something that could be marketed and turned into a million or even billion dollar business. Continue reading “Guest Post: Creativity As A Superpower, Creativity As A Curse”

The God Of Self-Worth: Thor And Depression

Mental health is a complex topic that affects people on different levels. While some are happy to talk about their struggles with disorders like anxiety, others continue to suffer in silence for fear of being perceived as weak. Within the world of comics, humans aren’t the only beings to suffer with their mental health. Gods are just as vulnerable, and even the mighty Thor has fallen victim to thoughts of depression, anxiety and low self-esteem.

The God of Thunder’s quest to improve his mental health has been the source of many recent Thor stories. Having lost the ability to wield Mjolnir and then fighting to prove his worthiness again, Thor’s struggles are relatable when filtered through the lens of emotional vulnerability. Continue reading “The God Of Self-Worth: Thor And Depression”

Guest Post: The Mental Health Benefits of Reading Comics

There has been plenty of discussion recently about mental health and how it impacts people. Everyone is always looking for ways to improve their mental health, whether they want to cheer up, help their kids grow, or just to entertain themselves. Comic books may be a good solution to all of those problems. Why? Find out! Continue reading “Guest Post: The Mental Health Benefits of Reading Comics”

Glass Explores The Notion That Superpowers Are The Result Of Mental Health Disorders

I’ve always found the psychology of superheroes to be fascinating. What motivates them to save the world? Did they gain their powers for a reason or was it simply an act of chance? Are superpowers merely a delusion? Those questions form the heart of M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass, which portrays superheroes as mentally ill people with delusions of grandeur. I’m taking a closer look at the subject matter of Glass to see how mental health and superpowers are linked together. Continue reading “Glass Explores The Notion That Superpowers Are The Result Of Mental Health Disorders”

The High-Functioning Depressive: How Batman Copes With His Mental Health

Tragedy is a common theme in the life of a superhero. A traumatic event provided the motivation to become a crimefighter and Batman is the ideal character for representing the struggle. Everyone knows the story of Bruce Wayne and the promise of a lonely boy who lost his parents in Crime Alley. Bruce turned his grief into a reason to fight. It gave him a singular goal: to wipe out crime in Gotham City.

Batman’s bravery and intelligence makes him one of the most capable superheroes in the world. For all his talents, Bruce is a man who suffers with depression. He’s displayed all the signs of a high-functioning depressive, someone who can live a fulfilling life, but still be trapped in a cycle of despair. Batman provides an interesting take on the nature of depression, so I’m looking into how the Dark Knight copes with his mental health. Continue reading “The High-Functioning Depressive: How Batman Copes With His Mental Health”

Coping With Anxiety: Jessica Cruz And Her Identity As A Mental Health Role Model

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders, affecting people all over the world. Whether in social situations or not, it can leave a person feeling worthless and paralysed. A superhero that’s needed to fight anxiety everyday is Jessica Cruz. As Earth’s first female Green Lantern, Jessica has a big role to fill, but her anxiety has made it difficult to fight crime. Her mental health struggles have been presented in an authentic way and I believe Jessica is a role model for people who suffer with anxiety. Continue reading “Coping With Anxiety: Jessica Cruz And Her Identity As A Mental Health Role Model”

Acknowledging CTE As A Serious Illness With Luke Cage And His Superhero Identity

Superheroes are relatable because they struggle with their health. Whether it’s a physical or mental disorder, some characters find it hard to come to terms with what they’re experiencing. A disorder that needs to be talked about more is chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). This illness is associated with head trauma and causes aggression, memory loss, depression and dementia.

CTE is a disorder that affects athletes and soldiers because of their exposure to high impacts. Luke Cage was diagnosed with CTE and he struggled to accept it. I’m examining the nature of CTE and how Luke’s diagnosis helped to shine a light on a disease that needs to be taken seriously. Continue reading “Acknowledging CTE As A Serious Illness With Luke Cage And His Superhero Identity”