When Anxiety Attacks

Terian Koscik's graphic memoir shares her experiences of living with anxiety, finding the courage to see a therapist, and learning strategies to manage it, eventually coming to terms with her anxious feelings.

Koscik’s anxiety has been with her from a young age. However, she never felt that seeking professional help was for her and concluded that her problems such as, being terrified to answer the phone weren't "real" problems. Koscik describes how the anxiety eventually overwhelmed her and she sought help from a therapist.

Koscik uses graphic form to depict the different coping techniques she learnt through her therapy sessions. She shares how mindfulness strategies helped her observe anxious thoughts without criticizing them, and how "I" statements encouraged her to express feelings more openly in relationships. But perhaps the most important thing she learned was that there really is no "right" way to feel.

The graphic comic expresses how, for those of an anxious disposition, deep distress and loneliness can arise from seemingly mundane exchanges. And while an all-encompassing cure is not on offer, Koscik emphasises there are methods of communication and control that have put her on a path to self-acceptance, and that they might well prove effective for others who are facing similar problems.

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