Anxious creatures’ is an illustrated deck of cards depicting cartoon creatures having intrusive thoughts. I created them during the 2020 lockdowns, when I was also diagnosed with OCD— a condition that causes unwanted intrusive thoughts (obsessions) that a person tries to minimise by engaging in physical actions or mental rituals (compulsions), which is exhausting and interferes with their quality of life.
People who are unaware they have OCD can fear the intrusive thoughts are a reflection of their character and don’t reach out for help because they feel ashamed. On average it takes people over 10 years to receive a diagnosis because society doesn’t openly talk about intrusive thoughts and misuses the term OCD as an adjective, which perpetuates these feelings of shame.
These cards help bridge the topic of intrusive thoughts in a creative and humorous way. It is a conversation starter, helping us to collectively bring shame out into the open, where it cannot survive.