Review Detail

Young Adult Nonfiction 1723
A Personal Struggle
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
0.0
I Dont Want to Be Crazy is Samantha Schutzs autobiography, written as free verse poetry. This novel is the story of a young woman battling her panic attacks. I can only imagine how hard it must have been for Samantha to write a memoir and share such a private part of herself with the world. I have so much respect for Samantha, and I feel like she has done everyone with anxiety disorders a great service by publishing her book, which helps readers to better understand the physical and emotional effects of panic attacks.

As Samantha first arrives at college, so many opportunities await her, and her newfound independence is both exhilarating and a little bit frightening. Having just been diagnosed with anxiety disorder at seventeen, Samantha is forced to rely on different medication to keep her panic attacks in check. Samanthas writing style is concise and powerful and really made me feel the pain, discomfort, and fear that she experienced during each panic attack. Panic attacks can come at any time, and there is nothing she can do but to wait them out, often in a bathroom with her head between her knees. Her panic attacks caused Samantha to walk out of countless classes, parties, dinners, and miss out on many social aspects of college life. Imagine having to plan your life avoiding situations that might trigger a panic attack. Even then, Samantha often had unpredictable panic attacks at some of the worst possible moments. Her family and friends are remarkable, waiting out her panic attacks with her, even though they could not always understand what was happening. Their support was key to helping Samantha through this rough time in her life.

Anxiety disorders are caused by a rush of hormones, often thought to be associated with the fight or flight response. Samantha does a wonderful job of showing how little control she had over her disorder, and how it tightly controlled her life for many years. Having an anxiety disorder is not shameful, and hopefully, I Dont Want to Be Crazy will encourage readers to try and better understand anxiety disorders, as well as encourage readers with anxiety disorders to come forward and not be afraid to seek treatment. I must applaud Samantha Schutz for revealing her own personal story, a story that needs to be told for the millions who suffer from anxiety disorders.
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