Rajiv's Reviews

Anxiety is Really Strange by Steve Haines

201801Jan08-AIRSSHAnxiety is Really Strange by Steve Haines
Release: Janary 18th 2018
Format: PDF
Publisher: Singing Dragon
Source: NetGalley


What is the difference between fear and excitement and how can you tell them apart? How do the mind and body make emotions? When can anxiety be good? This science-based graphic book addresses these questions and more, revealing just how strange anxiety is, but also how to unravel its mysteries and relieve its effects.
Understanding how anxiety is created by our nervous system trying to protect us, and how our fight-or-flight mechanisms can get stuck, can significantly lessen the fear experienced during anxiety attacks. In this guide, anxiety is explained in an easy-to-understand, engaging graphic format with tips and strategies to relieve its symptoms, and change the mind’s habits for a more positive outlook.


A BIG Thank You to NetGalley and Singing Dragon for providing me a copy of “Anxiety is Really Strange” by Steve Haines in exchange for my honest review.

This was a fun and informative book. It gives a high level overview as to what anxiety is, the symptoms causing it, researches done in the area, followed by the methods to overcome and control it. All of these areas are described in a graphic novel manner with cute illustrations.

I consider myself as someone who gets highly anxious at times and tends to react rather than act during tough situations. Not my best trait, I admit, but this book really made me feel positive after finishing it. I found the whole section of nature vs nurture particularly fascinating. It is the age old question which we ask of ‘is someone born a hero or is it an attribute they acquire?’ The author has provided facts and listed experiments done by various researchers to support both sides, but I personally feel that our environment and other external factors adapt us to who we are.

Anyway, I digress. The main reason I liked this book was because it is told in a simple and concise manner with the information organized perfectly. I am not a researcher or a scientist who is going to take a 500+ page information book on anxiety and read about its cause and effect. Providing a “dummy” version of the same in a graphic novel format is a very creative way of sharing the same views to everyone.

Another reason I enjoyed the book was because it covers various forms of anxiety, such as the one that a person would face after encountering physical abuse, or someone who is stressed at home or in the workplace. The author also provides various pointers to overcome each of them specifically. Some of the notes are very simple yet effective, and one of my favorite ones is the below phrase:



I also loved the selection of color palette used for the visuals. They are not glaring to the eye, but at the same time make the messages stand out, and give the simple illustrations a vibrant spark.

The only reason I gave it 4 stars and not 5 is because at times it got too descriptive for me to understand, especially the part about existentialists (my new word for the day) and how they studied behavior during the Second World War. However, for the most part, it is useful for a layman like myself to learn about the symptoms of anxiety and how to overcome it.

I hope the author decides to release these kind of books for other symptoms such as depression, anger etc.


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