Chelsea Barry from Dublin has described how cosplay, short for "costume play", helped her to cope with anxiety and depression.

Cosplayers are a staple of comic and gaming conventions in Ireland and abroad.

Cosplayers transform themselves into their favourite characters from comics, video games, films and television. But for Ms Barry, this is more than just dress-up.

Ms Barry, whose cosplay name is War Panda Cosplay, said finding cosplay has changed her life.

She has become more confident and has a warm and supportive circle of cosplay friends, she said.

Ms Barry said her anxiety can sometimes lead to panic attacks, saying "it feels like your drowning".

"The whole point of cosplay is to just have fun," she added.

Cosplayers, including Ms Barry, spend hours creating their own costumes and props in intricate detail.

"I use loads of different tools especially when I a making my props," Ms Barry said, adding that she uses "a lot of glue, duct tape and a good chunk of hope".

Chelsea Barry is a guest at the upcoming Shurikon Convention in Dublin on 10 February and would love to make cosplay her career.