Why so panicky? An illustrated book about panic attacks

Max Bartram's project is dealing with the sensitive topic of panic attacks. Anxiety disorders are widespread, and it is of significant relevance to further address this topic to mitigate stigmatization. He decided to approach the topic in a lighthearted way, mainly by using a vibrant illustration style and designing easy-to-understand spreads of images.

Student:Max Bartram
Department:Design, Campus Berlin
Mentors:Prof. Rasmus Giesel, Kati Szilagyi
Degree:Bachelor of Arts

Winter term 2020/21


The 86 pages contain primarily illustrations but are also accompanied by short pieces of text. The images are often arranged like comic panels, but every spread is also designed to be seen as a whole image making this a book you can flip through in a breeze.

Five Chapters are offering a diverse compilation of information. Bartram tries to keep the reader interested by building up a well-rounded dramaturgy and maintaining a balance between intense, serious, but also humorous content. The main aim is to attract people to engage in the complex topic of panic attacks and anxiety disorders.

Of course, no therapeutical, medical, or professional advice can be given in this book since this was not the purpose. The contents are based on the principles of education, but are also suggesting empathy as well as a change of perspective. On one side the books provides useful information to sufferers, but also giving the feeling of “not being alone” by showing different perspectives. On the other side it gives people who are unfamiliar with the topic a general overview without being too technical and tedious in the way of communication – for example by weaving in small comments on society and humans in general.

The project on Behance