When Anxiety Attacks
This simple autobiography is straightforward and approachable, great at demystifying the condition. The thought bubble, considered an old-fashioned comic device, is perfect in this context, an elegant way to show Terian’s inner concerns while her figure is drawn engaging in everyday home activities. It really brings home how she feels, making it understandable to the reader.
There’s a well-chosen use of red in an otherwise grey-scale comic to indicate the times she feels out of control. The inciting moment gets a full red panel while following panels paint her that color and the world around her returns to normal.
Many people can identify, particularly now, with her key blocker, when she thinks, “Isn’t therapy for people with Real Problems?” But she realizes that she can’t handle these feelings by herself, and a professional isn’t going to judge her for not having a good enough reason or not trying hard enough.
That’s the significant message of this book, and why I found it so comforting. We aren’t alone in feeling overwhelmed or anxious, and there are things we can do about it. Some of the techniques Terian learns (and shares with the reader) are simple but powerful, including mindfulness, “I statements” about feelings, and taking care of basic needs.
It’s a reminder we could all use these days of acceptance and small steps to growth. Give a copy to your friend, or treat yourself.