Title: Calm the F*ck Down
Author: Sarah Knight
Genre: Nonfiction, Self-help, Mental Health
Source: Free ARC from Little, Brown and Company
Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Little, Brown and Company via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
“The no-f*cks-given guide to taming anxiety and taking back control of your life, from the bestselling author of The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck and Get Your Sh*t Together
Do you spend more time worrying about problems than solving them? Do you let unexpected difficulties ruin your day and do “what ifs” keep you up at night?
Sounds like you need to CALM THE F*CK DOWN.
Just because things are falling apart doesn’t mean YOU can’t pull it together. Whether you’re stressed about sh*t that hasn’t happened yet or freaked out about sh*t that already has, the NoWorries method from “anti-guru” Sarah Knight helps you curb the anxiety and overthinking that’s making everything worse. Calm the F*ck Down explains:
The Four Faces of Freaking Out–and their Flipsides
How to accept what you can’t control
Productive Helpful Effective Worrying (PHEW)
The Three Principles of Dealing With It
And much more!”
Why this book? I am nothing if not anxiety-driven. Anxiety-riddled. Anxiety-plagued. You get the drift. After a lifetime of struggling with it, I finally went to therapy a couple years back, was diagnosed with Major Depression and Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and figured out how best to deal with it (for now; these nasty beasties transmogrify, and then new battle plans must be devised). While my depression ebbs and flows, my anxiety is a part of daily life. Medication helps a LOT, but it is not the end-all-be-all. Healthy coping mechanisms are an essential weapon in my arsenal, and I’m always on the lookout for something new to try.
This book appealed because of the snarky title. Recently, I saw a clip of Mila Kunis on a talk show, with a bottle of liquor in her hand. When she was offered a glass, she said “No I’m not a lady, I don’t need a glass,” and then she sips from the bottle and THAT is so my style. Kind of what I was expecting from this book.
- This book might be useful to those who are anxious people, but not necessarily clinical. Definitely not for anyone who has read anything about ways to cope with anxiety. Essentially, there is nothing new here. Just a different presentation. And you’d have to have thick skin to get anything out of this. Thick skin and anxiety don’t tend to go hand in hand. Just sayin’.
- It wasn’t just snarky. It was pretty heavy-handed style-wise. At no point was I offended (that would take a LOT in terms of profanity, etc.), but it just got tiresome. At some point, it started to feel like shtick. So much so that the style distracted from the content.
- The author is a fellow anxiety-sufferer but has zero credentials in mental health. Her “expertise” is limited to her own experience. These are tools that work for her and based on the fact that she has no training in the field, I’d guess they are techniques she learned from her own therapy, and has repackaged in her own unique style for the benefit of others. While I appreciate her personal experience and the attempt at delivering sound tools in a less dry package, it didn’t really work for me.
- There were quite a few sections that started with caveats, along the lines of “I don’t mean to be critical or discount your experience, but…” Experience has taught me that anytime someone starts a sentence with a disclaimer like that, they are about to do exactly the thing they are saying they aren’t going to do. And the last thing people struggling with anxiety need is to feel criticized or have their feelings minimized.
This book was not for me. I’d be hard-pressed to recommend it because the tone and mood are unlikely to appeal to most readers – even those of us who enjoy snark and a bit of profanity, and it simply isn’t new territory. Truthfully, there were times when I was seriously pissed off. In fact, I’m finding the more I write about it, the less I like it…