This one made me see Anxiety Disorder in a whole new light. However, halfway through, it kind of dropped and I didn't really understand the direction in which the book went. The poetry was really good in some parts and it's rather brave of Samantha to have survived this. Good luck to her!
I thought this was really good, but for some reason, it wasn't calling to me when I put it down. When I decided to pick it up and read, it went by fast and was super enjoyable (as much as you can enjoy reading about this subject matter), but once I stopped, I just didn't have the urge to start again. So that's why it's not 4 stars or higher, sadly.
When Samantha Schutz goes away to college she starts suffering from paralyzing panic attacks. Her anxiety intensifies until the she feels fearful, physically ill, and must escape (whatever the situation) at any cost. Unable to calm herself down, Samantha seeks outside assistance from a therapist and a psychiatrist who are able to help her temporarily manage her condition. Still, she is a wreck throughout her first year of college. Once she comes clean to her friends about her problem, they are very understanding – one of her friends, Ann, even suffers the same sorts of anxiety attacks, and they are able to support each other. Gradually Samantha’s attacks taper off and she is able to wean herself off of her medication – in time for her big trip to Paris, France. While she is living abroad, she rediscovers her confidence and herself, but this does not last - the panic returns, remains, and must be acknowledged as a real part of Samantha.
I can’t imagine having the sort of debilitating anxiety disorder Samantha describes. Her fear and frustration are palpable – why does she have to be this way, she wonders? She knows that her anxiety is irrational, and yet she can’t control it. How is that possible? At the end there is some hope that she can come to terms with her illness (because she is aware of it, and tracks its appearances and intensity) – perhaps one day she will be able to live anxiety and medication-free. A beautiful, but sad memoir made more intense through verse format.
I Don't Want To Be Crazy ist der erste Roman in Versform, den ich je gelesen habe (das gaukelt mir zumindest mein Gedächtnis vor). Auf Samantha Schutz bin ich durch ihre Kurzgeschichte in der [b:Push Anthology|23229|Push Anthology (This Is Push)|David Levithan|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1167393491s/23229.jpg|24214] aufmerksam geworden, auch diese war in Versform gehalten und hat mich ganz hibbelig nach mehr fordern lassen.
Der Roman (ja, das sind keine Gedichte sondern eine längere Geschichte) ist autobiografisch und handelt von Samanthas Jahren auf dem College und ihren ständigen Begleitern: Angststörungen. Diese Phobien entwickeln sich Schritt für Schritt und machen der Autorin den Alltag zunehmend schwerer, die Attacken kommen unvorbereitet, plötzlich sind schlecht beleuchtete Räume und Menschenansammlungen eine nicht zu ertragende Zumutung. An anderen Tagen hat Samantha sich wieder gut im Griff, doch die Medikamente bleiben und vermiesen ihr nicht nur Freundschaften sondern auch ihr Austauschjahr in Europa.
Durch die kurzen Zeilen liest sich das Buch sehr schnell und die Versform verhilft dem Text oft zu poetischen Höhepunkten. Mein Lieblingszitat war folgendes:
I visit him a few times downtown
while he paints.
We talk about how he's going to Spain
for the fall semester
and he shows me a painting he did
and points to this one part,
a bridge, and tells me he thought of me
when he painted it.
It is so sad
how knowing something
can make me so happy.
Check out my book blog for more reviews and a full review of I Don't Want To Be Crazy!
A beautiful verse novel about anxiety/panic disorder, written by someone who has actually gone through these things, so knows what it’s like. It’s also a memoir, and I think Samantha Schutz is very brave for telling her story to the world.
Teens (or anyone really) who suffer from anxiety disorder, like me, will be able to relate to this book perfectly and feel like they’re not alone. And we all need that sometimes.
It will also be a good read for those of you who like realistic stories about tough issues, or if you have a friend or family member suffering from an anxiety disorder, and want to understand them better. It really felt like I was reading my own diary sometimes, and I think I’m going to recommend it to some people who don’t seem to understand me at all.
I Don’t Want To Be Crazy is one of those books in which I keep underlining certain quotes because they relate to me.
Someone who reviewed this book said that the author made people with anxiety seem crazy, and I was really offended, actually. If anything, Samantha Schutz made people realise with this book that panic disorder is something medical, and you can’t help it at all, and it does not make you crazy. I just wanted to say that.
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