Kagoshima-based essay manga artist publishes her first book, depicting her struggles

PUBLISHED Sep 29, 2022

Yuka Tsukushi’s autobiographical comic book in the new release section of a bookstore in Kagoshima City

On September 20, Kagoshima-based essay manga artist Yuka Tsukushi published her first autobiographical comic book, “I Suffer from Extreme Worry, I Have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder! (Japanese title: 極度の心配性で苦しむ私は、強迫性障害でした!!).” The publisher is Sanzansha in Kagoshima City.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) affects daily lives of many people. They cannot stop worrying or thinking about things such as whether they locked the door, if they left the pot on the fire, or their hands are clean, and so on, even though they know these things are trivial. The prevalence of the disorder is said to be 1-2% of the population, and it is estimated that 1 million people in Japan suffer from OCD.

Tsukushi was diagnosed with the disorder at the age of 19. She worked as a nurse at hospitals and nursing homes, but due to her condition, she lost her job and even contemplated suicide. She began publishing her experiences of her 16-year battle with OCD in four-frame comic strips on Twitter and her blog. “I received more sympathetic comments than I expected, and many people wanted to see it published in book form,” says Tsukushi, which led her to approach the publisher with the project.

For the book version, she took on the challenge of creating a story manga that was not composed of four frames for the first time. She recalls: “The panel layout and presentation were so difficult. Since OCD is an invisible mental illness, it was challenging to find a way to convey the emotional changes and struggles to the reader. For the serious scenes, I tried to be creative by adding jokes and making the illustrations more pop-like.”

Tsukushi hopes people with OCD and their families and friends, as well as people with other mental illnesses, will read her book. “Even if they don’t have the same disorder, I think there are many aspects that they can relate to. Hopefully, it will give comfort to those who are struggling. I’m hoping to publish more works in the future, and next time, I want to collect stories from people and create a comic on a different topic,” she added.

A5 size, 180 pages, priced at 1,430 yen. The book is available at bookstores in Kagoshima Prefecture, major bookstores nationwide, and on the publisher’s website.

  • Example pages