The Eternal Optimist: Nightwing And The Power Of A Positive Outlook

The life of a superhero is often dangerous and stressful. In addition to protecting innocents, superheroes have to balance a secret identity with their personal life, so it’s little wonder that the pressure can take a toll on mental health. But some comic characters are able to remain optimistic no matter how bad their circumstances become. Nightwing is a perfect example.

You’d think that partnering with Batman for so many years would have left a dark mark. But Richard Grayson has been able to take everything in his stride. From his earliest years, the original Robin has maintained a positive attitude that’s stayed with him throughout his life.

From a mental health perspective, that’s pretty powerful. So, let’s take a closer look at the life of the original Boy Wonder and see what makes him such a great role model for positive mental health. Continue reading “The Eternal Optimist: Nightwing And The Power Of A Positive Outlook”

Sense Of Wonder Review: A Love Letter To Fandom And The Mental Health Benefits Of Comics

I love comics. It’s a passion that has built over the years and become a part of my everyday routine. Whether it’s reading comics, writing about superheroes, or looking forward to a new Marvel film, comics are a powerful source of positivity for me. In a mental health context, comics can infuse wonder and excitement into the mundane, which is part of why I enjoy reading them so much.

Comics massively influenced the life of the late great Bill Schelly. A comic book historian, biographer and long-time lover of fandom, Schelley passed away in September 2019. But his legacy lives on in the pages of his autobiography, Sense of Wonder: My Life In Comic Fandom – The Whole Story.

In his book, Schelley dives into the magic of comics and how they helped to keep him going through times of hardship. From coming out as gay, to tirelessly self-publishing content until he made it as a successful author, Sense of Wonder is the story of a man who never gave up on his dreams. Continue reading “Sense Of Wonder Review: A Love Letter To Fandom And The Mental Health Benefits Of Comics”

Overcoming Social Anxiety And Delivering My First Public Presentation On Comics

Living with a mental health disorder is different for every person. Whether it’s anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder, everyone’s experience is unique to them. Everyone has their own coping mechanisms. As someone who experiences social anxiety, my coping strategies revolve around surrounding myself with pop culture because it’s what I’m passionate about. It’s what makes me happy. It reminds me that there are things worth fighting for.

Comics have played a huge role in improving my mental health. They’ve inspired me so much that I decided to do the worst thing that people with social anxiety can experience: put myself in a room with complete strangers and talk openly. More than that, comics inspired me to take the plunge with my first public presentation at the Doki Doki Festival in Manchester! Continue reading “Overcoming Social Anxiety And Delivering My First Public Presentation On Comics”

Why Wonder Woman Would Be An Amazing Mental Health First Aider

Mental health has never been more important than it is now. While many people have become more comfortable with talking about their experiences, there are countless more who are still hesitant to speak out for fear of being judged. When someone takes the time to address mental health, it can be extremely powerful and help to spread more compassion around the subject.

Compassion is a core tenant of being a superhero. And few superheroes are more empathetic than Wonder Woman. Strong, brave and resolute, Diana Prince has all the qualities of a mental health advocate. That’s why she’d made an excellent mental health first aider. Continue reading “Why Wonder Woman Would Be An Amazing Mental Health First Aider”

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”

An Exploration Of Male Suicide In Comics

Male mental health is a topic that needs to be discussed on a continuous basis. There is a plethora of factors that stop men from talking about their mental health, which range from the perception of being ‘weak’, to the fear of being judged. Suicide has become the biggest killer of men under 45, and to stop this from happening, we need to create a society where guys can feel comfortable talking about their experiences with depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions.

Creative mediums like comics can help to drive the discussion about mental health and raise awareness of suicide and the reasons behind it. Several superheroes and villains have been depicted as having suicidal thoughts. Examining the motivations of these characters can help to shine a light on the thought process behind suicide. Continue reading “An Exploration Of Male Suicide In Comics”

Guest Post: 4 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Playing Video Games

Video games are blamed for many things—children learning violence, neglecting school, and being inattentive to the “real” world.” True, video games have their downsides, but that’s mostly on the person playing rather than the game itself. Although less discussed, playing video games does have its benefits (aside from the entertainment value, that is), and they’re backed by science too.

If you’re a longtime player, you may already know these advantages. If you’re not, then you may as well educate yourself to gain a better perspective. Here are four scientifically proven benefits of playing video games. Continue reading “Guest Post: 4 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Playing Video Games”