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Graphic Medicine Novels: Thin Slices of Anxiety

 Thin Slices of Anxiety: Observations and Advice to Ease a Worried Mind

Thin Slices of Anxiety: Observations and Advice to Ease a Worried Mind

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Bibliographic Record

 Title  Thin Slices of Anxiety: Observations and Advice to Ease a Worried Mind
 Author  Lepage, Catherine
 Illustrator  Lepage, Catherine
 Mental Illness  Anxiety Disorder
 Publication Date  2016
 Publisher  Chronicle Books
 ISBN  978-1452145792
 # Pages  104
 Color Profile  Color
 Worldcat Link  http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/947041966
 Amazon Link  https://www.amazon.com/Thin-Slices-Anxiety-Observations-Worried/dp/1452145792
 Annotator  Tina L. Hefty

Summary

Thin Slices of Anxiety begins with the question, “Are you anxious?” In the following pages, Lepage provides an insightful collection of images that creatively display what it’s like to have anxiety. Topics covered include: what anxiety feels like, potential triggers of anxious episodes, the appeal of risk, and quotes to remember.

Presentation

Thin Slices of Anxiety reads like a poem. Accompanying the author’s musings are strategic illustrations that convey what words cannot, like an athlete putting his own head in a guillotine, ready to pull the ropes, while accompanying text reads “setting goals too high.” Lepage utilizes a mixed methods approach to the artwork, including paintings, sketches, and cut-outs.

Mental Illness Narrative

Lepage provides several examples of how anxiety affects a person. She states that when she experiences anxiety, she freezes and becomes completely indecisive. In this state, she not only sees the good and bad aspects of a situation but every other nuance in between. Through images, we also get a sense of the restlessness and fatigue she must be feeling. A particularly-telling set of panels features two human faces, one healthy person, who is looking out at the world, alongside an anxious person, whose eyesight is directed back into his own brain.

Humanistic Revelations

Lepage documents habits that trigger anxiety: getting too tired, repressing emotions, setting goals too high, and accepting too much responsibility. She wonders why she keeps falling victim to these behaviors, especially as she knows they produce uncomfortable results. In this way, she demonstrates how little control a person can have over their own anxiety.

Recommendations

This book provides an artist’s interpretation of what it’s like to live with anxiety disorder. It is easily digested and will appeal to many individuals who experience anxiety themselves.

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