Claire Eastham: We're All Mad Here- A Review

I’ve read dozens of mental health books and for some reason, they usually tend to make me feel worse. I don't know whether it's the heavy science, or the often condescending and impersonal tones. I thought I'd just about given up on mental health related titles, that is, until I read Claire Eastham's 'We're all mad here'.

Reading Claire’s book was just like chatting to a friend, the type of friend who opens up and shares their deepest and darkest cringey moments to make you feel understood. Her funny anecdotes had me belly laughing and remembering my own anxiety fuelled experiences, but this time I felt less ashamed and less alone.

The book is a nice break away from other more information heavy titles, however, this does not compromise the amount of useful help this book actually gives you. I often found myself nodding along to Claire’s words, finally someone who understands what living with anxiety is like! Whilst I wouldn't say I suffer from the exact type of social anxiety Claire does, I do suffer with some degree of anxiety. One that makes job interviews and first days painful and cringeworthy. The book has a great balance of the sciencey stuff, the nutritiony stuff and the funny stuff which makes it an enjoyable, yet informative read.

Claire has sectioned the book into segments which can relate to a range of different people. There's a section about school and university life, a section about job interviews, a even a section for care givers to those who suffer from anxiety .Claire’s honesty in all of her experiences is what shines through, my favourite page of the book has to be the time she tells her readers about her job interview faux pas. She was so nervous moments before an important interview that she screamed she had nora virus to the receptionist before legging it home. Whilst it's a funny tale, it's this event that was the tip of her mental breakdown iceberg.

In the book Claire’s readers learn about her journey through her mental breakdown and how she has learnt to manage her social anxiety by educating herself, understanding it and being kinder to herself. This book has offered me a sense of hope, instead of wallowing in my anxiety I now look forward to a future of controlling it and hopefully being my best self.

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