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I Don't Want To Be Crazy

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  5,208 ratings  ·  478 reviews
A harrowing, remarkable poetry memoir about one girl's struggle with anxiety disorder.

This is a true story of growing up, breaking down, and coming to grips with a psychological disorder. When Samantha Schutz first left home for college, she was excited by the possibilities -- freedom from parents, freedom from a boyfriend who was reckless with her affections, freedom from
...more
Hardcover, 280 pages
Published July 1st 2006 by Push
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Lilah Most definitely a 10! It's told in short poems rather than chapters and brings a realistic view of living with anxiety. …moreMost definitely a 10! It's told in short poems rather than chapters and brings a realistic view of living with anxiety. (less)

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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  5,208 ratings  ·  478 reviews


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Lauren
Mar 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who suffer from anxiety disorder or like books about tough subjects
Check out my book blog for more reviews and a full review of I Don't Want To Be Crazy!

A beautiful verse novel about anxiety/panic disorder, written by someone who has actually gone through these things, so knows what it’s like. It’s also a memoir, and I think Samantha Schutz is very brave for telling her story to the world.

Teens (or anyone really) who suffer from anxiety disorder, like me, will be able to relate to this book perfectly and feel like they’re not alone. And we all need that someti
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Amy
Jun 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have never had anyone so closely relate to my type of anxiety before. I feel like I want to hand this book to all the people I care about just so they can see what I feel like. I could relate to almost everything in her memoir. It makes me feel a little better that I'm not alone, but sad to know that there are so many people who secretly suffer so badly. It's tough always feeling like you are in and out of "remission" as the author puts it. Ever since I was 15 my life has been a series of off ...more
Tin
Apr 20, 2015 rated it liked it
I remembered the meme I hosted for the first half of April, and Samantha Schutz's I Don't Want To Be Crazy is a book that I would like to dedicate to myself. Haha. I am no stranger to anxiety and panic attacks, but mine does not hold candle in terms of gravity to Samantha's (this being a memoir of sorts).

Reading this feels like reading a normal teenage girl's journal. A normal teenage girl with anxiety disorder, to be more specific. (more than 19 million American adults and more than one in ten
...more
Mandy
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
2.5 Stars

I'm no expert on free verse,
but I'm not certain that
taking everyday sentences and
breaking them into stanzas
counts as poetry.
Perhaps I was expecting
a more eloquent voice,
and while there are gems here,
most of this memoir reads
like a shattered paragraph.

That said, there is courage in these pages. Living day to day with a mental illness such as Anxiety Disorder takes a special kind of strength, a strength that many people who've never had a panic attack might not appreciate. Samantha Sc
...more
Eva Marie
This was okay - nowhere near like what the reader gets with Ellen Hopkins or Sonya Sones but that's just dealing with the verse aspect of the book. The other authors are fiction writers whereas this is non.

I thought it was a little repetitive also but I suppose a life full of anxiety attacks might be repetitive. I will admit that I had no idea people dealt with anxiety to this degree. I've taken an anti-anxiety medicine myself and apparently barely needed it when I think about what Schutz went
...more
Suzanne
Oct 14, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: YA, Adults
This book chronicles the author's struggles with anxiety disorder, begining with her high school graduation and ending a year after college graduation. Written in free verse, Schutz clearly conveys the panic and fear associated with her disoder. Her story is gripping and powerful. ...more
Tazmyn-May (TeaBooksAndTazmyn)
A very short but poignant memoir about the struggles of a woman in her late teens to mid-twenties struggling with crippling anxiety disorder. I have never read anything where anxiety was the main focus before and it was very eye opening. I myself have mild anxiety which I can deal with alright, but my best friend has horrendous anxiety that she struggles with daily and I now feel like I can understand her a bit better.

I listened to this on Audible and Samantha Schutz excellently narrates it hers
...more
Jennifer
I'm grateful that this book exists, and that that Samantha Schutz wrote these poems and published despite the incredible sense of vulnerability that she felt. I don't have clinical anxiety disorder, much less a case as severe as Schutz's, but I'm glad that this collection has helped me better understand and sympathize with those who do. The poetry didn't pull me under, though, or whisk me away in a tide of feelings that are often difficult to put words to. That said, #representationmatters and i ...more
Brittney Fischer
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
I grabbed this book at a library book sale earlier this week where I paid a whopping twenty cents for 4 books. *sigh* I'm not sure where to start with this one. On one hand, I almost thought I was going to go crazy reading it. Become depressed or irritated. But...on the other hand it was wonderful. Wonderful in a weird, distorted sort of way. In a way that only people who have had issues with anxiety/panic attacks would understand, or only someone who has seen a loved one suffer from this would ...more
Alex R
Nov 21, 2008 rated it liked it
I checked out this book from the library after forgeting to bring my own book to our silent reading, and it actually turned out to be pretty good. It is all about a girl who is just starting college, and she realizes that she has many problems with anxiety that never bothered her before. She suddenly starts having panic attacks in class and has to start taking a bunch of meds, and decides to back off on hanging out with people for fear of having more panic attacks. I realized, when reading this, ...more
God  O'Wax
Jul 21, 2010 rated it it was ok
This was an ok book. It wasn't exceptional to my mind, but was a personal account of a young woman's life that was engaging. I didn't find that the it gained anything by being an account in verse, as it seems to me the verse is basically formatted prose and not really stellar poetry. This made it seem somewhat gimmicky to me, but at the same time, it could have just been the only/best way to get the account down on paper. It didn't particularly find a place on my shelf but I could see it being a ...more
»ƒranxine«  Bau†is†a
Sep 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
I thought this book was somehow disturbing. But I find it discomforting that the author had anxiety disorders. I thought that she was brave enough to go through her college life knowing she might have panic attacks anytime. She feels that she's alone and that no one understands her.
Before college though, she never had these fears, disorders, and she never had to take medication. I thought she was brave enough to write this memoir of the part of her life with anxiety disorders. In the end when s
...more
Shy
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
an incredibly accurate take on anxiety.

I started having panic attacks my junior year of high school. I honestly had no idea what was happening until i went to the doctor and found out that I didn't know how to cope with stress anymore. I related (on more than one level) with this author and her story. Anxiety and depression in general make you feel as though you'll be this way forever, that nothing will ever change and you will forever be stuck in this shitty cycle of SHIT. I liked this book a l
...more
Laura
Apr 20, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kristyn
Jul 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-lit, ya-realistic
This is an autobiographical story told in verse and it is very moving. Samantha Schutz takes us into her world and shows us what it is like to live with an anxiety disorder. Since it is autobiographical everything feels very real and her descriptions of the panic attacks are done well. I think the having the story told in verse is clever and shows us how the author thinks and feels about everything around her. Her depictions of the therapists were also interesting because they are very similar t ...more
Jacquelyn
Sep 21, 2014 rated it liked it
3 stars: It was an okay read.. Nothing too special.

Publisher: Push
Date Published: July 1st, 2006
Pages: 280
Source: I own this book.
Genre: YA Poetry/Mental Health
Series: No

Overall Thoughts: This book had a very interesting concept. It was a book written in verse and it was about's this author's life and her struggles with mental illness. I did have a few problems with it but it was okay.

What I Liked:

- Written in verse
- About the author
- Portrayed mental illness in a very true way that really desc
...more
Soplada
May 08, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book makes you want to puke!
you'll feel sick all the time reading this. Yes, a book that talks about anxiety disorder but won't help how to get rid of it ,but this book makes things a lot more worse even if you doesn't know what anxiety disorder is.
...more
Hannah
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Navigating college for the first time can be difficult. New people, new places, and new freedoms, can be exciting, however if you have an anxiety disorder these freedoms can become overwhelming. “I Don't Want to be Crazy,” is a memoir that follows Samantha Schutz on her journey through college and into adulthood. This book immediately grabs the reader's attention by starting in the midst of a panic attack, “I feel like a marionette—Like someone else is pulling the strings
And I have no choice but
...more
Lindsey
Book Review:

I Don’t Want To Be Crazy is a poetic memoir written by Samantha Schutz. It all starts when she leaves for the first semester of her freshman year in college. As she begins navigating life at a new school, away from friends, family, and all things familiar, she becomes easily overwhelmed. Samantha carries us through what life is like as a teenage girl with an anxiety disorder.

I Don’t Want To Be Crazy is written in free verse which makes for an easy read. Also, being a teenager with a
...more
Creya
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I liked most about this book is that it told Samantha’s true story. There were aspects that all individuals, even those who have not been diagnosed with anxiety disorder, could relate to. She speaks about the trails and errors of medications, getting your first job after college, and how important it is to find a friend who is your constant. Well done.

“I am scared that the only reason I am getting better is because of these little yellow pills, that nothing has really changed except biology
...more
Priya
I don't want to be crazy is an auto-biography about Samantha Schutz and how she handled her anxiety disorder going through college. For the most part, enjoyed this book and thought that it displayed problems that many people go through but many don't aswell. But the big letdown for me is that numerous years pass in a very quick 280-page book and I wish that it wouldn't go by as fast so I could enjoy it more. You definitely could read this book in one sitting and, I would recommend. ...more
Khushboo Mathuria
Jan 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
This one made me see Anxiety Disorder in a whole new light. However, halfway through, it kind of dropped and I didn't really understand the direction in which the book went. The poetry was really good in some parts and it's rather brave of Samantha to have survived this. Good luck to her! ...more
Kayla
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was hoping I would be more into this then I was... It was okay, but not something I would read again.
Anne Oftedahl
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
I know this is a memoir, but the way it is written makes it feel like a novel.
A narrative of the struggle with mental health, so similar to what I myself have felt, despite the experiences being different... This isn't really a story of recovery, but rather a ringing statement, telling us all that it is okay to not be okay!
Whether you have problems with anxiety or depression or some other mental health illness, or you just know someone who does, or even if you simply just don't really understand
...more
Emily Housworth
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cloud-library
“This was supposed to be one of the best time of my life but instead it has been a nightmare that only pills can stop.” A very short and relatable memoir about what it’s like to live with an anxiety disorder. It was engaging and informative and beautifully written. My only two complaints: 1. The ending felt rushed. Where is she now? Still struggling with anxiety? How is she coping? 2. I didn’t understand why it was written in poetry form. Pressing enter in the middle of a sentence doesn’t make i ...more
Susan
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very realistic portrayal of anxiety. I give a lot of credit to the author for being brave enough to be this honest. I've had very similar experiences, and enjoyed being able to relate to this book. Some stanzas read like poetry, some more like prose. Overall, if you have anxiety and want to feel less alone, or know someone who struggles with it and want to understand, I think this is a great resource. ...more
Christine
Mar 17, 2018 rated it liked it
It was really good, but it triggered me really badly and I almost had a panic attack because I couldn’t find my toothbrush while I was reading it. It gave me a lot of anxiety but it was good enough to make me that anxious, I guess?
Jasminerosales
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Name of book:I Dont Want To Be Crazy
Author:Samantha Schut
Pages:280
Genre:Biography and Autobiography, Poetry and Rhymes, Young Adult
Reading Level:9.4
Exposition:Samantha Schutz is exited for her first year of collage and it exited to go away from her parents for some time. She has always had an easy going life her parents werent divorce she was loved her family was really happy and humbled. She had always been really smart and was send to like specliazed kindergraden she has always been advvance
...more
Destiny
Oct 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Personal Response:
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was written in poem form, so that made it more interesting for me to read. As I read about the many panic attacks the main character suffered from, I felt the exhaustion and annoyance which she expressed. This book ass a biography about anxiety. Normally, to me, biographies are boring books just containing facts which I wouldn't find interesting. This book, however, did a great job as it combined a great story with real situations about an
...more
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I am a writer and children’s book editor living in Brooklyn, NY. My first book, I Don’t Want to Be Crazy, is a memoir about anxiety disorder written in verse. My second book, You Are Not Here, is a verse-novel about grief and loss. I am currently working on my third book for young adults.

News & Interviews

Twists, turns, red herrings, the usual suspects: These books have it all...and more. If you love mysteries and thrillers, get ready for dozens...
133 likes · 31 comments
“I crave broken men.
When I try to save other people
am I trying to save myself?
Am I covering up for my lack of strength
by putting people back together?
I am tired.
I want someone to save me -
build an intricate web
and place it beneath me in case I fall.”
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“I am not happy. I am not unhappy. I am frozen somewhere in the middle that is so much worse. I am nowhere. Nothing is happening and I am getting more and more sad.” 60 likes
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