Stacy LeFevre's 'Strange But Beautiful' Comics Highlight the Challenges of Depression and Anxiety

Depression and anxiety play such a prevalent role in illustrator Stacy LeFevre’s life that she decided to make them characters in her autobiographical comic series, “Strange But Beautiful.”

LeFevre’s comics focus on her experience living with depression and anxiety and the challenges she faces in trying to manage both conditions. “I have a fascination for autobiography comics, I love being able to peek into the lives of others. But I was sure that my own life was too uninteresting to be written about,” LeFevre told The Mighty.

Sinking into depression comic

“There was one day at the beginning of last year that I felt really anxious and so I drew this little monster bothering me, voicing all the things my anxiety would say. I posted it and got a lot of feedback on it,” she said.

LeFevre took her comics to the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival (VanCAF) in British Columbia in 2015, where the 26-year-old met a variety of other illustrators who inspired her to keep going with her comics. “The artists there [were] so humble and it really showed me that I didn’t need to be special to write a comic – I just had to do it,” LeFevre said. “I thought about what I would like to share with my teenage self, and decided on a comic about my anxiety.”

LeFevre illustrates the different things she tried to manage her depression

LeFevre, based in Seattle, is currently in psychotherapy for anxiety and depression. LeFevre has tried a number of different treatments to help manage her conditions. “Having a mental illness isn’t a choice and it isn’t something that can be completely cured,” she said. “I’m still struggling with the latter notion, that being on antidepressants and working out and eating right would ‘fix’ me and rid of me with anxiety and depression completely.” While LeFevre hasn’t been clinically diagnosed with depression or anxiety by a psychiatrist, she has been prescribed antidepressants under the care of her regular physician.

comic about starting antidepressants

Drawing her experiences has made LeFevre more comfortable taking antidepressants. “I really was on the fence about it and it feels a bit silly to admit that I took the plunge ‘for the story,’ but I really want readers to explore antidepressants should they choose to,” she said “And having an unfiltered experience that I illustrate may help them do so as I navigate through switching meds and side effects, which are totally normal and nothing to be ashamed about.”

deciding antidepressants

LeFevre posts her comics on Tumblr. So far she has posted over 40 illustrations. Of all of her comics, “I Feel Nothing,” is her favorite. “I drew it last year when I was struggling with depression and the grief of my grandmother passing,” LeFevre said. “It was difficult feeling so numb and so uninterested in life, especially when I was surrounded by friends and family and their love.”

"I Feel Nothing" comic

To see more comics, check out LeFevre’s Tumblr.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Depression

close up of sad eyes

Depression Is Not Romantic

Editor’s note: If you struggle with suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. It slowly creeps up on you. Insidious little beast that it is, it speaks its venom to you when your mind is wandering. Waiting in line at the supermarket, or… browsing [...]
a drawing of a man looking at a sunset

A Description of Depression for People Who Think I Can Just 'Get Over It'

I think people have problems relating to depression because they don’t understand it. They don’t realize clinical depression is an order of magnitude worse than the blues everyone has felt at one time or another. They don’t understand how it feels, so it’s easy for them to say things like: Just get over it. Change [...]
Woman on window sill holding a cup of tea

14 Quotes That Help Me Get Through Depression

I’ve always been a huge fan of quotes. Every time I see a quote, I like to save it on my computer for a rainy day. In my old house, my bedroom walls were covered from the floor to the ceiling in quotes, but there were always a few I liked more than others. They, [...]
Rusty old metal floor and glass

When You Can't Find Hope in Depression, Look for This Instead

A common symptom of depression is a sense of hopelessness. It feeds your mind the idea that nothing has a point. Life is futile. No matter what you do, the hopelessness anchors your outlook, which only destroys any desire to make goals and pursue dreams. So how does one find hope again? Is hope really [...]