Thursday, August 25, 2011


Rae: My True Story of Fear, Anxiety, and Social Anxiety
Chelsea Rae Swiggett
156 pages
Publisher: HCI Teens

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

I first heard about this book through the Goodreads giveaway program and when I didn't win it immediately went on my PBS wishlist.  I had to read this book, which follows Chelsea Rae as she starts attending a new high school and learns that her anxiety is so bad, she needs professional help.

Although Rae and I have different triggers for our anxiety, I could totally relate with her story.  Rae fears death and thoughts of dying trigger panic attacks for her.  I fear anxiety in general and that triggers panic attacks for me in a terrible feedback loop.  While she thinks people are mocking her every move during a school day, I sometimes think that people are just mad at me all the time.  Despite our slight differences I saw a lot of myself in Rae.  I hope that writing her memoir was therapeutic for her and helped her realize that she's not alone.

One of the most interesting parts for me was when Rae talks about her "old house" being haunted.  I've learned in my research of both anxiety and the paranormal that those with anxiety issues are more prone to seeing ghosts and experiencing the supernatural in general.  Rae's experiences with the old man are spot on with an experience I had myself when I was young and three ghosts showed up in a hotel room I was staying in on vacation.

If you have anxiety or social phobias, or know someone who has it, I definitely recommend this book.

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