Norwegian title: Den usynlige angsten: Livsglede er min terapi
I might have found my top read for 2023 already during the first week of the new year! I believe that books of this nature are really important. Linnea is young and she has already been through quite a bit in her life. Like many other people I’ve «met» her through social media but during the last couple of years I’ve discovered that reading influencers’ books is rather eye-opening for what kind of people they really are. Linnea is no different and I must say I rather like her. There is something about her honesty that is very refreshing, especially when it comes to such topics as mental illness. The synopsis is borrowed from Goodreads and translated by me:
The Invisible Anxiety is about anxiety, the restlessness that comes with it, and the darkness no one else can see or feel, and it puts into words the challenges surrounding mental health issues that a lot of people can identify with. Young adults who suffer mentally get too little help often too late, and during the last couple of years there has been a great increase in anxiety and other mental illnesses within this group of people.
TikTok psychologist and influencer Maria Abrahamsen contributes throughout this book with useful facts and practical tips surrounding mental health and life skills. The Invisible Anxiety is a book for everyone who during periods, or often, experiences their life as overwhelming and chaotic. This book serves as an important reminder of why we must take mental health and its issues seriously.
Linnea Løtvedt is one of Norway’s biggest influencer profiles and has become known for being open about her anxiety and spreading her vision of a healthy body image. In The Invisible Anxiety, she tells her personal story and shares her private experiences surrounding mental illness openly.
When I read books like this I truly appreciate my own childhood to its full extent. I appreciate that my parents didn’t have to worry (beyond the normal range of worry I think) about my mental health. I am one of those lucky people who’ve never struggled with my mental health. A few days here and there have been blue but we all have those. My stuff has been ‘normal’ within the range of growing up and developing into a grown (at least I pretend) human being. However, that’s why it’s even more important for me to read books such as this. It makes me, in a tiny way, better at understanding what people close to me might experience and, hopefully, it helps me broaden my horizons in terms of understanding my fellow human beings. I know that anxiety is becoming fairly common in Norway and thus it is important that we have influencers such as Løtvedt who brings real experience to the table and puts herself out there. Understanding anxiety for someone who’s never experienced it themselves I believe is very difficult, however, the tips from Abrahamsen comes in very handy. Since Løtvedt and Abrahamsen have partnered the themes this also creates a good reading flow. First Løtvedt tells her reader about her experiences and then Abrahamsen explains, defines, and provides context to what Løtvedt has just told us. Mental illnesses are a jungle and I was surprised when I studied psychology and how many umbrella definitions there were. ‘Anxiety’ is such an umbrella definition for a lot of varieties of anxiety and this is a fact I believe that people forget. This book highlights also the importance of understanding what’s under the umbrella and not just the umbrella itself.
What I really loved about this book, besides its content, was how easy it was to read. This could be a book loaded with heavy messages, which it is in all seriousness, but it is explained in a very down-to-earth way. You don’t have to have studied psychology or practice within psychology in order to understand what Løtvedt and Abrahamsen are presenting in the book. Further, there are also a lot of pictures and emojis that take some of the edges away. It familiarises the topics in some ways and brings it out to the readers who know Løtvedt from before. For those who don’t follow her on SoMe, I believe it shows a great deal of her personality when she has chosen this way of presenting her story. Just like SoMe, there is the good and the bad all right there staring you in the face. This provides a raw message of what anxiety can be like. I believe that anxiety is a greater issue than society realizes. I know that Norway outside of its border is known for having a good mental health offer to its inhabitants. However, in this book, we’re met with the hard reality of how difficult it might still be to get a spot in the system. Even when it’s needed in order for you to function as a proper human being. I think it is great that this point gains a greater platform within the discussions of mental health and how to treat it in Norwegian society. Thus, I applaud Løtvedt for this presentation of her past and current reality!
This is a book that is good for all ages to read. Teenager? Yes. Preteen? Yes. Parent? Yes. Grandparent? Yes. No children? Still yes. It might help someone unexpected around you to know what this book can teach you. Pick it up and be ready to learn something shocking, sad, and enlightening because even in the richest country in the world we’re not good enough to help those who really need it. A lot more research and work are needed and it can’t wait.
Theme: Mental health, SoMe, anxiety
– The Book Reader