How Reading Comics Helped A Fan Overcome Anxiety & Insomnia

Sometimes, drifting away into a world of fantasy and dreams to escape from the chaotic life can be very rejuvenating for some.

Comics and characters are larger than life; they open imaginations beyond our wildest dreams. Even while they primarily serve as forms of entertainment, comic books also include several priceless lessons that may be applied to many aspects of life.

From a six-year-old mischievous Calvin to a friendly neighborhood superhero to the caped crusader, they have all given us life lessons that we can take from them.

The subliminal messages in the thinnest pages of the comics are why we gravitate towards them in times of dismay and chaos. They have given us a platform from where we can see the world from our viewpoint, a magical one.

From obsessing over a superhero to dressing up as them to hanging their poster on the wall to taking on life, with the help of superheroes – they have shown us to keep pushing forward. And this is the tale of taking on fears and overcoming them; this is the tale of how comics are more than entertainment.

Mathias Bjørnskov - Averagebeing Tales

Name: Mathias Bjørnskov
Lives In: Denmark

I'm 31, from Denmark, and I mostly compose music and make sounds for games. You might have played/heard of a game I've been working on for a while called "Who's Your Daddy?!"

So, my story is basically just that for as long as I can remember, I've struggled with anxiety and depression. It probably started when I was around 10 years old and gradually worsened in my teens, especially since I was diagnosed with a chronic, life-changing illness.

Then, for a while, after I met my wife in my early 20s, I was doing really well, but eventually, the anxiety came rushing back. At this point, it was really, really bad. I had daily panic attacks and constant anxiety. I could barely function, as the anxiety caused me to become completely insomniac, which in turn made my chronic illness worse so that I would be physically ill all time.

Unfortunately, it evolved into a fear of falling asleep because of all the stress involved with having to sleep to function the next day, which fueled my anxiety even more. I tried getting all the help I could, but the therapy and medication weren't enough.

Meanwhile, I had slowly been developing a passion for many things I cared for as a kid; toys, video games, and comics; fictional stuff that could transport me to another realm where my anxiety was nonexistent.

One day while I was desperately trying to find some comfort before trying to sleep, I was reading a Marvel comic, which I was only just getting into at that time, and at some point, I suddenly drifted off and woke up super confused the next morning.

This might seem like a small thing, but for me, this was huge. I can probably count all the times that have happened to me up until that point. On one hand, falling asleep like that was entirely new for me.

So the next night, I tried the same thing, and it worked again. And again. And again! And here I am, almost 10 years later, and it's still the way I fall asleep, and it has helped me cope with my anxiety in an amazing way.

Going to bed now feels like an exciting thing, as this is the only time I grant myself to read comics so that my body can associate my bed with something nice instead of something stressful. The feeling of comfort I get from the drawings, the stories, the characters, and the tales of heroism makes me feel safe now.

When I read Marvel comics, I feel like I get to be a part of another universe where my worries seem so small compared to the challenges someone like Ghostrider (my favorite) or Spider-Man might face, and that helps me put everything into perspective and inspire me. 

If Peter Parker can face the reanimated corpse of his former girlfriend he killed by accident, then I can surely fall asleep. Since then, I've started branching out into a lot of other comic books, but every night I still drift off to Marvel, and it's incredible. My dreams are even more adventurous instead of the nightmares I used to have.

I've come a long way since my anxiety really got a hold on me, and I feel like a lot of that is owed to the escape from reality that Marvel has provided me with, and these days I'm doing good. I'm married to the love of my life, have an amazing job, and generally just have a pretty great life. My wife and I are planning on opening a nostalgic 90s cafe with lots of toys, comics, and retro games next year (she's just like me).

Key Takeaways

#1 One Step, Everyday

When the chips were down and the odds were not favorable, Batman never let his fear of losing take control of him; he taught us to face our fears and conquer them.

Batman overcame his greatest phobia of bats and transformed it into a symbol that would terrify even some of Gotham’s most seasoned villains. Turn the tables and write your own fate, just like Batman did, and don’t allow your anxieties to win.

Mathias overcame his fear one step at a time; the difficult part of facing your fears is taking the first step – the rest will always be breezy.

#2 We Keep Going

No one has it easy; even the superheroes are not free from trauma, dilemma, turmoil, and stress. While navigating the daily challenges of being Spider-Man, Peter Parker is a teenager trying to find his place in the world. There are two very distinct sides to Clark Kent.

In addition to juggling his everyday existence as Clark Kent, he also has to deal with becoming the embodiment of all that is good as Superman. Like Clark, Peter, and many other superheroes, our lives are complicated too. Like, Clark and his alter-ego, we, too, juggle our professional and personal lives. And just like Clark, we should never stop going on with life – no matter how overwhelmed, low, or tired we are.

#3 Dream Of An Hero

“No man can win every battle, but no man should fall without a struggle.” If Batman can make Gotham a better place, if Spider-Man can make New York better, and if Mathias can overcome anxiety and insomnia, you have the power to improve your own world.

Superheroes kept pushing; while making the world better, they go through losses in battles, allies, and health. Bear it in mind. Learn from it. The future – your future – is worth the fight.

We’re glad you stuck with us to the end of this tale. We hope it inspires you to do better. Do let us know your thoughts in the below comments, and share this tale with your friends.

Got a story? Contact us at [email protected] We’re more than happy to hear you out and to read more inspiring tales from real people check out here.