If you suffer from any form of mental illness — from depression and anxiety to ADHD — you know that you are living with an invisible ailment. On particularly rough days, family and friends can't see how much you're struggling and may even offer some well-meaning but terrible advice, such as "smile more," "take a few deep breaths," or "buckle down and focus!" Those words end up feeling more hurtful than helpful.
To address the stigmas, Vancouver-based makeup artist Yasaman Gheidi started the Inside Out Makeup Challenge, rallying artists and asking them to paint a visual interpretation of their illnesses on their faces and to share their stories. She kicked it off by offering her own experiences with anxiety and depression.
"So many wonderful and amazing people suffer from the same mental illnesses that I do on a daily basis. Why can't we just talk about it openly?" she asked. "Mental illness shouldn't have to be hidden away, let's start to talk about it."
Keep reading. We've rounded up some of the most awe-inspiring and empowering work from the #insideoutchallenge hashtag. Be sure to dive into the brave captions sharing the artists' experiences with illness. You may even feel motivated to share your own.