In the comics Lighter Than My Shadow, Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, & Me, and “Adventures in Depression” and “Depression Part 2” from Hyperbole and a Half, the main characters are presented as a double, or split, of themselves throughout the comics. Doubling is a unique artistic choice that portrays the character as a multiplication of themselves, offering a varied perception from the familiar character. In the aforementioned comics, each main character struggles with a mental illness. The presentation of each main character as a double of themselves indicates a heightened detachment from reality, in conjunction with a worsening of their respective mental illnesses.
When multiple versions of the main character are presented, each character’s detachment from reality is emphasized on top of their already warped view of themselves. In turn, the idea of reality comes down to each character’s mental state, how they perceive the world around them, and how they…show more content… She consistently views her body in a negative light and has a very contemptuous relationship with food. Immediately following her diagnosis with anorexia, Katie’s doctor suggests a naso-gastric tube may be necessary for weight gain (Green, 150:1:1). The following panels show Katie with the proposed feeding tube in place and crying out, “No! I can’t have a tube! I can’t! I can’t let them have control. I’d rather die.” (Green 151). The doubling seen here shows her gaining weight until she becomes obese, and then withering away until she is dead. Even though the reality is that she is extremely underweight, Katie is so detached from this fact that she actually believes she will become obese from the treatment. Her detachment becomes more evident when she expresses her desire to die, implying that death would be better than being fat. This instance of doubling successfully highlights Katie’s detachment from