Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rae: My True Story Of Fear, Anxiety & Social Phobia by Chelsea Rae Swiggett

Rae: My True Story Of Fear, Anxiety and Social Phobia by Chelsea Rae Swiggett.
Publisher: HCI Teens.
Pages: 168.
When you're fourteen and trying to deal with the highs, lows, traumas, and humiliations that go along with being a high school freshman, having severe anxiety can become all consuming. Chelsea Rae Swiggett's anxiety has affected every area of her life—school, family, friendships, and romance—ultimately pushing her to lose her voice, withdrawal from everyday life and school, and develop an eating disorder.

The sounds of planes flying overhead could spark a panic attack and something as simple as being called on in class could push her over the edge, convinced that everyone was judging her, mocking her. Faking sickness so she could stay home became her only solution, since she'd rather do anything than face the reality of what happened behind the school's double doors. Rae tells a story all-too-many teens today relate to—what it feels like to see the world through a lens of constant debilitating fear, anxiety, and stress.
Rae is a book that I hold really close to my heart. Not just because I adore Chelsea, but because I also suffered with severe anxiety in high school. The things that I always thought were just me, routines and antics that made me feel like the only person in the world with this problem, are put into far better words than I could ever come up with in Rae.

This isn’t really a story; it’s more of a detailed explanation of her day-to-day life and how she handled living with her anxiety, but it still managed to capture me and keep me turning page after page. Chelsea is a phenomenal writer. She can go from writing a heart-wrenching description of her emotions to being quirky and sarcastic, but it works.

I think this is a book that everyone should read, along with the other HCI Teen books. I can’t even count all the times I’ve been told that I’m being ridiculous or stupid because of the limitations that my anxiety has put on my life. It’s an incredibly tough thing to explain and I applaud Chelsea for being able to summarize just how difficult and mentally painful Anxiety can be. I want to buy a copy of this book and give it to anybody who has ever rolled their eyes at me, because, despite our differences dealing with Anxiety, it’s still a wonderful depiction of how my head works.

Overall, I loved this book and I can guarantee that I will be picking it up again and again in the future when I start to feel overwhelmed with myself. I definitely recommend this book to everyone! There’s no romance or action or paranormal creatures, but it’s still intense read that will raise awareness on Anxiety and leave it’s mark on you for a long time.


  1. This book sounds so interesting and i can relate to it. So im defenetly going to read it.

  2. I don't usually read memoirs, but I keep hearing awesome things about this one. I'll have to check it out!

  3. Interesting post you have here. Social phobia is not easy to overcome. But you can learn from www.whatcausespanicattacks.comabout simple prevention methods. Can be pretty handy.

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