AbbVie and FCB Health New York   

Shape of Despair: Derm Animated Shorts

Dermatologists may not fully appreciate the quality-of-life impact that psoriasis has on patients. To encourage empathy, this film effort relies on exquisite animation and powerful storytelling, driving home how hard it can be to find the right treatment and how patients’ emotional health suffers along the way.

Psoriasis affects more than 125 million worldwide and often manifests as unsightly spots on the skin. Hidradenitis suppurativa, on the other hand, is an uncommon skin condition that causes painful nodules, abscesses that can rupture and leave permanent scarring around the most intimate parts of the body. Often misdiagnosed, it can gravely impact mental health, destruct romantic relationships and require hospitalization. 

These animated shorts elevate the patient testimonial format to a genuine sensitivity that is seldom seen. The films were shown to some 1,500 dermatologists at the American Academy of Dermatology 2019 Annual Meeting. The films bring the crushing stories of Dan and Bridget — real patients — to life. The work is based on difficult but essential in-person interviews that uncovered the depth of their suffering, which was then handed to illustrators who depicted those stories in an ownable, memorable way, breathing life into Bridget and Dan’s realities. 

Viewers said the films made them feel profound sadness. Some even suggested the work be shown to patients, saying they believed patients would find them validating.

Sponsored by: Outcome Health