Comics launched to help better understand health conditions

The front cover from Fibromyalgia and Us, the first in a series of comics explaining common but poorly understood health conditions, Photo: PA
The front cover from Fibromyalgia and Us, the first in a series of comics explaining common but poorly understood health conditions, Photo: PA
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A series of comics explaining common but poorly understood health conditions is being launched.

Writers, comic artists and health professionals from the University of Dundee and NHS Tayside took part in the project to provide better insight into a range of illnesses.

The first edition, called Fibromyalgia and Us, will be published tomorrow and explores the effects of the long-term condition in an attempt to better explain it to the public.

Prof essorDivya Jindal-Snape said: “This comic has been designed with the purpose of raising awareness of fibromyalgia amongst professionals, families, and communities. It illustrates the ongoing life transitions of those who have fibromyalgia as well as its impact on significant others. A strong support network is so crucial to enable people to adapt to the multiple transitions triggered by fibromyalgia and flourish despite its substantial challenging consequences.”

As well as widespread pain, fibromyalgia can cause a range of issues for sufferers such as increased pain sensitivity, fatigue, as well as problems with memory and concentration.

The exact cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, but it’s thought to be related to abnormal levels of certain chemicals in the brain and changes in the way the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord and nerves) processes pain messages carried around the body. It’s also suggested some people are more likely to develop fibromyalgia because of genes inherited from their parents.

Future editions will focus on heart disease and organ donation, while it is hoped an edition on autism will also be produced.

An interactive comic workshops, suitable for all ages, at the Dundee Comics Creative Space will be held tomorrow to mark the launch of the first publication.

Professor Chris Murray, the world’s first professor in Comic Studies, said: “All of these educational comics tell first-hand experiences of these conditions by our brave and inspiring collaborators and the series aims to share valuable insight into these sadly common inflictions and diseases.

Previously, we’ve done short comics about disability hate crime in partnership with Advocating Together in Dundee as well as a comic on surviving childhood cancer called Batman Danny.”

Dr Golnar Nabizadeh, Lecturer in Comic Studies, said, “We are thrilled to launch our new comic this week. Friday will be a fantastic opportunity for everyone to come learn about the condition.”