This Woman Created a Powerful Comic to Help Cope With Depression
When it comes to overcoming obstacles, some need a visual game plan.
And that's exactly what writer, illustrator, and media technologist, Deanna Zandt, set out to do. She created a graphic essay to catalog her own experiences with depression.
Her story focuses on the stigma she had once associated with using mental health medication, and the shame she felt when she first used it.
She knew that others experiencing the debilitating effects of depression felt a similar sense of failure when resorting to medication, so she created a graphic memoir that takes readers on her journey of coming to terms with the fact that it's okay.
In realizing that, she was able to re-access other tools to help her depression, like yoga and meditation.
Her method of using simple yet powerful images reaches people, too. A study by Oklahoma University in 2013 showed that graphic novel readers retain more information than traditional book users.
Inspired by an article in Bustle, we're sharing some other non-fiction graphic novels by women to shed more light on this creative, impactful, and diverse form of storytelling.
"Persepolis" by Marjane Satrapi
Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel is a memoir about growing up as a punk-loving teen in revolutionary Iran during the '70s and '80s. It serves as a closer look at a liberal family's life in a country that Bustle describes as "highly stigmatized and generalized in Western media."
"Drawing The Line: Indian Women Fight Back" by 14 Indian women
After New Delhi-based publishing house, Zubaan Books, set up a workshop that allowed Indian women to discuss issues that they faced, these stories were woven together to share different experiences.
"French Milk" by Lucy Knisley
A whimsical documentation of a six-week birthday trip to Paris that 22-year-old Lucy Knisley takes with her mother, who is turning 50.
"Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?" by Roz Chast
Roz Chast details her life as an only child with aging parents — revealing their personalities and experiences with wit and candor.
"Hyperbole and a Half" by Allie Brosh
This graphic memoir offers a deep, authentic look at the often mundane realities of depression through the lens of a lighthearted, poignant narrator.
"The Story of My Tits" by Jennifer Hayden
Jennifer Hayden was diagnosed with breast cancer at 43, and she tells "The Story of My Tits" from the perspective of her breasts as she reflects on the emotional journey before and after her diagnosis.
"Are You My Mother?" by Alison Bechdel
The graphic novel analytically chronicles the relationship between the author and her distant mother. It also explores the styles and writings of Virginia Woolf, and other literary inspirations for the author.
"This One Summer" by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki
Cousins Jillian and Mariko Tamaki team up for this coming-of-age story about growing up as preteens.
"One Hundred Demons" by Lynda Barry
Inspired by a 16th century Zen monk's painting of a hundred demons chasing each other across a scroll, cartoonist Lynda Barry introduces and confronts various demons from her life in seventeen colorful vignettes.
Photo Credit: Deanna Zandt/ Facebook