How Comics Can Help You Overcome Anxieties and Trauma

By BingComics are not just for entertainment. They can also be a powerful tool to help people cope with emotional trauma and mental health issues. Comics can provide a safe and creative way to express feelings, explore emotions, and heal wounds.

According to Dr. Michael Bitz, a professor of education at Columbia University and the founder of the Comic Book Project, comics can help people overcome anxieties and trauma in several ways:

  • Comics can help people visualize their experiences and emotions, which can make them more manageable and less overwhelming.
  • Comics can help people create narratives and meanings out of their experiences, which can give them a sense of control and purpose.
  • Comics can help people connect with others who have similar experiences or feelings, which can reduce isolation and stigma.
  • Comics can help people develop skills such as literacy, creativity, and critical thinking, which can boost their confidence and self-esteem.

Dr. Bitz has worked with thousands of children and adults around the world who have used comics to cope with various challenges, such as poverty, violence, war, racism, bullying, abuse, addiction, and illness. He says that comics can be especially effective for children who have experienced trauma, because they can use comics to communicate their feelings without having to use words.

One example of a comic that helps children deal with trauma is “The Adventures of Superhero Girl“, created by Faith Erin Hicks. The comic follows the life of a young superhero who struggles with anxiety, depression, and impostor syndrome. The comic is humorous and relatable, but also tackles serious issues such as mental health, identity, and self-care.

Another example is “Lighter Than My Shadow“, created by Katie Green. The comic is a memoir of Green’s experience with anorexia, sexual abuse, and recovery. The comic uses visual metaphors to depict Green’s emotions and challenges, such as a black cloud that follows her everywhere. The comic is honest and raw, but also hopeful and inspiring.

Comics are not only helpful for people who have experienced trauma themselves, but also for people who want to understand and support others who have. Comics can offer insights into the perspectives and experiences of people who have different backgrounds, cultures, or identities. Comics can also foster empathy and compassion among readers.

A comic that helps people understand trauma is “Maus“, created by Art Spiegelman. The comic is a biography of Spiegelman’s father, who survived the Holocaust. The comic uses animals to represent different groups of people, such as mice for Jews and cats for Nazis. The comic is a powerful and poignant account of the horrors of genocide and the effects of trauma on survivors and their families.

Another example is “They Called Us Enemy“, created by George Takei. The comic is a memoir of Takei’s childhood in internment camps during World War II. The comic shows the injustice and discrimination that Japanese Americans faced during that time, as well as the resilience and courage that they displayed. The comic is a compelling and educational story of history and human rights.

Comics are not only a form of art, but also a form of therapy. Comics can help people heal from anxieties and trauma by giving them a voice, a vision, a story, and a community. Comics can also help people learn from anxieties and trauma by giving them knowledge, awareness, empathy, and compassion.

If you are interested in using comics to overcome anxieties or trauma, here are some tips:

  • Find comics that resonate with you or your situation. You can search online or visit your local library or bookstore.
  • Create your own comics using paper, pencils, pens, or digital tools. You can draw your own characters or use existing ones.
  • Share your comics with others who might benefit from them or appreciate them. You can post them online or print them out.
  • Seek professional help if you need more support or guidance. You can find therapists or counselors who specialize in using comics or other forms of art therapy.

Comics are not only fun to read or make, but also beneficial for your mental health. Comics can help you overcome anxieties and trauma by giving you a way to express yourself, explore your emotions, connect with others, and grow as a person.

Below are the comic books mentioned above: