The Man Who Couldn't Stop OCD and the True Story of a Life

The Man Who Couldn't Stop OCD and the True Story of a Life

The Man Who Couldn't Stop OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought [PDF] ❤ The Man Who Couldn't Stop OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought By David Adam – Have you ever had a strange urge to jump from a tall building or steer your car into oncoming traffic You are not alone In this captivating fusion of science history and personal memoir writer David A Have you ever had Who Couldn't ePUB ✓ a strange urge to jump from a tall building or steer The Man ePUB ↠ your car into oncoming traffic You are not alone In this captivating fusion of science history Man Who Couldn't eBook ✓ and personal memoir writer David Adam explores the weird thoughts that exist within every mind and Man Who Couldn't Stop OCD Epub / how they drive millions of us towards obsessions and compulsionsDavid has suffered from OCD for twenty years and The Man Who Couldn’t Stop is his unflinchingly honest attempt to understand the condition and his experiences What might lead an Ethiopian schoolgirl to eat a wall of her house piece by piece; or a pair of brothers to die beneath an avalanche of household junk that they had compulsively hoarded At what point does a harmless idea a snowflake in a clear summer sky become a blinding blizzard of unwanted thoughts Drawing on the latest research on the brain as well as historical accounts of patients and their treatments this is a book that will challenge the way you think about what is normal and what is mental illnessTold with Man Who Couldn't Stop OCD Epub / fierce clarity humour and urgent lyricism this extraordinary book is both the haunting story of a personal nightmare and a fascinating doorway into the darkest corners of our minds.

  • Paperback
  • 336 pages
  • The Man Who Couldn't Stop OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought
  • David Adam
  • English
  • 07 May 2016
  • 9781250083180

About the Author: David Adam

David Adam is a Who Couldn't ePUB ✓ best selling author and an award winning journalist who covers science The Man ePUB ↠ environment technology medicine and the impact they have on people culture and society After nearly two Man Who Couldn't eBook ✓ decades as a staff writer and editor at Nature and the Guardian David set up as Man Who Couldn't Stop OCD Epub / a freelancer in Librarian's note There is than one author on Goodreads with this name.

10 thoughts on “The Man Who Couldn't Stop OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought

  1. Diane Diane says:

    I like to wash my hands a lot I admit it I prefer a tidy home and if my desk is a mess I have trouble concentrating at workI have freuently joked that I have OCD obsessive compulsive disorder usually as a way to laugh off my sudden bouts of cleaning and organizingBut after reading this book I think I shall retire that joke I don't have OCD and for that I am grateful People who suffer from OCD are living in a hellish state — they cannot control their obsessive thoughts and their thoughts fuel their compulsive actions and their actions continue to feed their thoughts It is a vicious miserable cycleWhen David Adam was 19 his OCD kicked into high gear and he became obsessed that he had been infected with HIV Any time he saw blood or had a scratch on his skin or he rubbed his eyes etc he would worry for hours that he had caught the virus I obsess about ways that I could catch AIDS I compulsively check to make sure I haven't caught HIV and I steer my behaivor to make sure I don't catch it in future I see HIV everywhere It lurks on toothbrushes and towels taps and telephones I wipe cups and bottles hate sharing drinks and cover every scrape and graze with multiple plasters My compulsions can demand that after a scratch from a rusty nail or a piece of glass I return to wrap it in absorbent paper and check for drops of contaminated blood that may have been there My rational self knows that these fears are ridiculous I know that I can't catch AIDS in those situations But still the thoughts and the anxiety come People with OCD can obsess over a variety of things it isn't just hand washing and germs Part of this book is David sharing his story about OCD but most of the text is like a psychology primer on the disorder with dozens of case studies and a discussion of how OCD has been studied and treated over the centuries Most of the research was interesting but I would have preferred details on David's experience In fact the ratio of memoir to research was so skewed that I was puzzled why my public library cataloged this book in biography when it really should be in the mental disorders section But I am a librarian and this is the kind of thing I obsess aboutFor me the big takeaway from this book is that it is common to occasionally have intrusive thoughts such as What if I jumped off the roof? What if I punched that person? What if I drove my car off the road? But most of us are able to shake away those thoughts We don't jump we don't punch and we can control our impulses But some people can't shake away those thoughts and they can lead to misery David eventually sought help for his disorder but only after living with OCD for about 20 years When he had a child he realized he wanted to change his life What worked for David was a combination of therapy and psychotropic medication But he still has intrusive thoughts — he is just better at dealing with themIt's not often possible to cure OCD in the conventional sense Even on the drugs and after behavior therapy if they work then for most people it's a bit like being a recovering alcoholic You are always a certain number of days past your most recent obsessive compulsive episode You are always one drink from disaster Most people with OCD can't be cured but they can be helped to manage their condition and they can be helped to feel better In many cases they can feel much better I feel much better But I will probably always have OCD The psychiatrists who helped me have warned that it will be a lifelong struggleI would recommend this book to anyone interested in psychology or if you know someone who suffers from OCD I found it helpful in better understanding their condition Favorite uotesI was told as a child that I thought too much But I liked to think I liked to roll ideas around my head to test some to destruction and to rehearse my lines OCD robbed me of that pleasure My thoughts became the enemy withinI can't think of a single positive thing about OCD And I've thought about OCD a lot People who live with OCD drag a mental sea anchor around Obsession is a brake a source of drag not a badge of creativity a mark of genius or an inconvenient side effect of some greater functionThe mind and the brain are not so separate after all Change the mind and you can change the brain It worked for me

  2. Alyson Alyson says:

    This book took me a few months to read partly because I was writing down uotes as I read it I hand wrote 31 different uotes from the book in a notebook I keep for that purpose One of the uotes was an entire page from the bookI heard about this book from a friend who texted me to listen to NPR for a book talk with the author The interview was really interesting so I decided to check the book out from the library I have dealt with OCD most of my life I found this book to be a great comfort partly because it is nice to know that I’m not alone and also because I find the science and whys of OCD and mental health fascinatingThe following are my thoughts and insights from the book for anyone who is interested I am open and honest in this review than I have ever been before I am writing mostly for my own record but you are welcome to see some of the things that I have learnedThe author says “Like the shape of the letter C in OCD compulsions are open to the world; they offer a handle on the condition And like the shape of the letter O obsessions are sealed off” p32 I agree with this I have no trouble mentioning to people my compulsion to pull out my hair I am embarrassed by it and wish that I didn’t do it but I often share this weakness On the other hand I am selective about sharing my obsessive thoughts I really appreciated the author sharing examples of obsessive thoughts of a variety of individuals in his book Their obsessions all seemed eually ridiculous on the surface but I know that they are real to these people My obsessive thoughts aren’t something I tell many people and you will be able to see why I have had several different experiences with obsessive thoughts One of these occurred just after my older twins were born I was in the nursery feeding them soon after they were born and had a random thought of what if I killed them My reaction to this thought was immediate I was terrified and in a panic I was caught completely unaware that I wanted to do something like that The author says “Just to think these thoughts is enough to make us uestion who we are” p21 It was so real This thought led to over two years of constant anxiety and fear I was always uestioning myselfOn the outside people with OCD seem very normal but on the inside they are anything but normal The author explained “Child birth can worsen OCD in women who already have this condition The obsessions that strike new parents who develop postnatal OCD take a particularly distressing form Outside their heads none of this happens People with OCD do not act on their intrusive thoughts But the new parents who develop OCD don’t know that “p 128 9 I confided in Brad that I was having these thoughts but only when they were at their worst It was when I would be thinking just do it and get it over with that I would break down and tell him though there wasn't anything he could do Most of the time I didn’t say anything but it was always present I was always worrying about it After a couple of years Brad suggested I go and talk to someone At my appointment my first explanation wasn’t “I think I want to kill my children” but it was “I sometimes have thoughts about running my car off the road” Both were true but the second was much less difficult to admit At that appointment the doctor explained that I had OCD and then explained what happens in the brain He described thoughts in the brain as ideas that just glide by but sometimes one will get snagged and when it does it sends up red flags and you react as if it was real Once the thought was there I could not get it out The author used the analogy of broken brakes in a car The you resist the worse it becomes My doctor told me that people with OCD never act out their thoughts – ever He said I would never kill my children I can’t tell you the weight that was lifted off of me to find out that I wouldn’t actually hurt my own children It seems so illogical now but it didn’t feel that way I felt so free and so much relief The author of the book suffered from obsessive thoughts about getting HIV The author explained his moment of release from his thoughts so beautifully and very accurately He said “Boom The total perspective vortex fired up My consciousness soared above my fears as a camera draws out from a single house on a map to show the street the town and then the surrounds and countryside Previously my OCD interfered with this process No matter how much I tried to make the camera pan out the irrational fear stayed in view like a dirty smudge on the lens Now the risk of HIV from all those unlikely routes shrank as I rose above to see them in their proper context “ p 217 This is how I felt when I was reassured from my doctor that I would never act out on my thoughts I felt uplifted and freeI am no longer plagued by these obsessive thoughts but I feel a slight anxiety when Brad is out of town I know my triggers and I am careful to avoid them I know now that if I see a news article about someone who kills their children that I shouldn’t avoid it and throw up protective walls around myself Instead I glance at the article read a little bit to acknowledge it and then move on I let the thoughts pass over meThe author says “He touched also on the darker side of OCD – the terror of thoughts he cannot control He said ‘One is constantly striking deals with oneself ‘” p 246 This idea of striking deals with yourself is something I experienced when dating Brad Dating Brad was a horrible experience for me and I am amazed that we are even married Early on when we started dating I had the thought “what if he isn’t the right one for me” I reacted to this like it was revelation from God The author has a whole chapter about how religion complicates and increases OCD in people I could not let go of the thought that Brad wasn't the person I was suppose to marry yet we had only started dating when the thought first came While we dated I was constantly striking deals with myself I felt like two different people I would always tell myself that I would break up with Brad the next day just to keep the panic at bay When I didn’t break up with him the next day the cycle would start all over I met with my religious leader weekly to deal with these thoughts I believe the only reason we got married was because of trusted family and friends who pushed me to hold on I also went to counseling and eventually got on medication I wish the counselor had told me I had OCD but he didn’t It’s a miracle we are married but I am VERY grateful that we are I am happily married Yet even after nearly 18 years I am still sensitive to comments about revelation and marriage I recently finished Malcolm Gladwell’s book DAVID AND GOLIATH He talks about how people can become stronger from their disabilities I do not think this is the case with OCD The author agrees He says “I can’t think of a single positive thing about OCD And I’ve thought about OCD a lot People who live with OCD drag a mental sea anchor around Obsession is a break a source of drag not a badge of creativity” p264 I am sympathetic and understanding of those who have OCD but that is about all My OCD started in 4th grade I was terrified of going to 6th grade at the middle school I wish there had been information about OCD available at that time We had no idea why I was so afraid My parents did the best they could to comfort me and sent me to a school counselor It wasn’t until my sopho year of college that I realized where my fear came from I was visiting two friends’ home when their older brother ran in screaming for someone to call 911 because a car had hit a boy The boy who was hit and eventually died from his injuries lived down the road from my house and was in 6th grade I was at this same house not long after the accident when my fears began My realization in college was that I must have been scared I would die in 6th grade I think that is why I was afraid Even with this realization I still did not know I had OCD The author says “about half the people with OCD can pinpoint a specific trigger event a trauma that led to obsessions and compulsions” p 165 This would be the event that started mineToday I am not troubled by obsessive thoughts but I have the compulsion to pull out my hair I wonder if I pull out my hair to keep obsessive thoughts at bay? I don’t know There is still so much to learn I do know that I would rather be bald in the future from pulling my hair out than have obsessive thoughts Each has been eually terribleThere are so many uotes that I didn’t share but this review is already really long It was a fascinating book and I appreciated learning about OCD

  3. Anne Anne says:

    How many times have you said 'Oh I'm a little bit OCD about that'? Maybe like me you like to hang out the washing using certain coloured pegs for certain garments or maybe you have to have all your Coca Cola cans facing the same way in the fridge just like David Beckham Most of us have a few little rituals that we carry out but most of us don't let the thoughts about our rituals or what would happen if we didn't do them take over our lives Most of us don't have OCD Obsessive Compulsive Disorder we just have a couple of little uirksDavid Adam is a science journalist he has suffered from OCD for twenty years He is tortured by his thoughts he is convinced that he will catch AIDS He is also a very intelligent man who realises that his thoughts and actions are intrusive and are affecting his daily life far too muchThe Man Who Couldn't Stop is a mix of personal story from David Adam the results of research from all over the world and stories of actual patients and how they have reacted to treatment The author perfectly blends the scientific the medical and the real life cases together to produce an easy to read informative at times sad and often humorous look at this peculiar illness that affects so many peopleCases of OCD have been reported for centuries some were dismissed some were treated often with surgical interventions which are recounted here in much detail and will shock Like all mental illnesses debates and discussions will rage for many years to come It is interesting to read the evidence for the scientific causes the medical causes and the possible genetic causes of this illness which putting aside the uirky and the funny really can be life changing and so debilitating for sufferersAccessible well written and fascinating The Man Who Couldn't Stop is an honest account of living with OCD combined with research and historical fact

  4. Paul Paul says:

    O C D Not only are the letters in the wrong order but this condition is one of the biggest mental health issues affecting people after depression Adam has suffered from this illness for a very long time now and in this book he uses all his journalistic skills to write an honest account of how it has affected him with his obsessions and compulsionsTo understand what makes people do the strangest thing he meets with other sufferers of the illness There are all sorts of sufferers in the book the hoarders those that think that have passed on a terminal disease to others by just the merest touch and spend frantic hours decontaminating by washing Others have to ensure that certain rituals or routines have been carried out before they can leave the house and others again imagine that they have inadvertently run someone over whilst driving home The thoughts that permeate the minds of these suffers can cause them to be caught in this vicious circleAdam meets with the latest experts and explains the most recent findings and treatments for those that suffer He goes into some detail on the thoughts that made his OCD such a nightmare to live with He describes the earlier treatments like lobotomy and electric shock therapy and brings us up to date with how they help suffers now The writing is simply honest and uncomplicated Even if it doesn’t help those suffering he is hoping that it will bring some glimmers of light into the darker corners of the minds of those that suffer to those that have to care for them There is humour occasionally but it is an enlightening book on this horrible mental illness

  5. Jonathan Mills Jonathan Mills says:

    I gobbled up this book in less than a week which is speedy for me I'm a slow reader after a friend gave it to me for my birthdayHaving suffered to a greater or lesser extent from OCD since I was a teenager I fully recognize the peculiar and terrifying nightmare or nightmares it can suck you into and as a sufferer himself Adam is unflinching about his own OCD which in his case takes the form of a crippling fear of catching Aids and also brings to bear the objective eye of an experienced science journalist he has written for the Guardian and for NatureMost importantly of all he emphasizes that OCD is than just keeping an overly clean kitchen or having the occasional intrusive thought though such feelings can be seen to be on a spectrum of OCD like patterns of behaviour and explains cogently how unpleasant and distressing thoughts can spiral out of control and ruin people's lives Imagine that you can never turn it off he asks of anyone who's ever described themselves as being a little bit OCD but like another excellent book on mental illness Andrew Solomon's The Noonday Demon this is a far from bleak account and Adam accepts that his OCD is a permanent part of him albeit one which has to be managed and importantly encourages sufferers to seek help As he writes here we know so little of how the brain works and OCD remains a frightening and mysterious condition even to many medical professionals

  6. Ellie Ellie says:

    A lot of people have misconceptions about what OCD is Often they are confusing it with OCPD where we think of people being overly clean and keeping everything in order Those with OCPD don't see it as irrational behaviour OCD on the other hand is obsessing over intrusive thoughts and using compulsions to counteract them Sometimes those compulsions are cleaning or order but often not The book goes into the difference and similarities between anxiety and OCD which helps put it into context However awful anxiety gets there’s a logic to it an immediate threat that our fight or flight instincts respond to OCD is usually completely illogical the sufferer’s obsessing over thoughts that contradict who they arePicking this up I thought it was going to be of a memoir than it actually is David does cover his own story in part but there’s a lot of science and history of OCD It’s the kind of non fiction book I am drawn to and enjoy The book shows varied cases of OCD throughout history and many of the treatments used some which did harm than good Freud is rather amusingly dismissed on several occasionsThe stuff about intrusive thoughts was really interesting You know when something pops into your head and you’re horrified by it? How on earth could I think that and does it make me a bad person? Well if you don’t get them the chances are you’re a psychopath or lying Most people manage to shake these thoughts free but OCD sufferers latch onto them and can’t get them out of their headsDavid is both a science journalist and an OCD sufferer He knows what he’s talking about both from personal experience and the research mentality his work gives him He isn’t judgemental but he sets everything out straight It’s a very accessible book to read too His obsessive thoughts were focused on catching HIV not through risky behaviour but just through everyday contact He couldn’t shake the thought that there could be infected blood lying around No matter how slim the chances his brain wouldn’t be at peace This was apparently a common OCD obsession in the 90s when HIV was considered a horrible death sentenceThere’s some repetition in the first half but somehow it feels appropriate for the subject matter I found the section on the history of lobotomies morbidly fascinating Then there’s a great part that explains how drugs gets into your brain after taking a pill Overall an enlightening and entertaining readReview copy provided by publisher

  7. Amanda Patterson Amanda Patterson says:

    Dr David Adam a writer and editor at Nature the world's top scientific journal has written an accessible book about Obsessive Compulsive behaviour The book is part memoir – David has suffered from OCD and part observation with many case studies and stories of other OCD sufferers included in the bookThis book is easy to read well written and interesting enough The problem is that it meanders into medical territory explaining possible reasons for the condition and discussing different trials and treatments without giving the reader any aha moment I still don’t understand OCD I don’t feel that I am any closer to after having read the book I have merely observed David Adam giving a history of the conditionI think this is a Malcolm Gladwell wannabe book It falls far short of the engaging interesting style that Gladwell uses to get readers to think about problems I am not sure who the target audience is for the book It certainly was not me

  8. Stephanie Stephanie says:

    I picked this book up because I have always found mental disorders an interesting topic and I feel that I have finished this book having achieved exactly what I hoped I would; to have learnt something new This book has given me a huge insight into the world of mental illness as well as OCD in a personable way that provided scientific understanding that was never divorced from the human aspectOne aspect that I loved about this book was the fact that the author offered additional reading and references at the back as well as pages to help talk to family friends and health professionals if you felt you did indeed have OCD It could be the university eduction but I greatly appreciate an author who explains and shows their researchIt was certainly an interesting insight into intrusive thoughts that I didn't realise were as common as they apparently are and this gave me an insight and a level of relief about my own thoughts However this did come with a downside One of the reasons that it took me so long to finish this book was not because it wasn't enjoyable but rather it made me overly aware of my own uirks I in no way claim to have OCD but I do have certain things I use to push away thoughts I don't like and this book made me aware of them than ever and made it harder to ignore them It may sound silly and ridiculous but I almost feel that anyone who reads this should be prepared to have their own uirks highlighted almost uncomfortablyI read this book with barely any knowledge of OCD and I do believe it is a brilliant book if you would like to understand it due to the way it marries the basic science and the human aspect I do not know what it would be like for someone with knowledge but I found this an interesting and insightful book

  9. Beau Beau says:

    The Man Who Couldn't Stop was an eye opening experience OCD is something I've aways wanted to learn about at least to a greater depth to what I know of the constant hand washing mental deficiency portrayed in Hollywood films which of course is so far from the reality of OCD it's almost embarrassing that I've even uttered the words 'a bit OCD' in a variety of contexts They say ignorance is blissAdams himself a long term journeyman with OCD writes about the history 'causes' research and rationale that man has directed towards OCD and OCPD for that matter which combined provides a great contextual overview of what the disorder is and how we came to acknowledge it Additionally fascinating real world accounts of people who have endured the anguish of severe OCD are described with great depth and empathy giving the reader a thorough understanding of the complexity and variety of forms in which OCD hijacks the mindIf you're interested in mental dysfunction or the psychological thought behind the numerous attempts at understanding and treating OCD specifically then this book is for you

  10. Aurélien Thomas Aurélien Thomas says:

    Here's a first hand account of what it's like to live with OCD A sufferer himself the author in fact openly and bravely tells of his fear terror of catching HIV AIDS and all the lengths he goes to in order to battle such fear The pain he has to go through is harrowing If he rationally knows that all his rituals are unnecessary he cannot but feel compelled to perform them Over And over And over Again And again And again It's a mental torture and even harrowing his way to battle his intrusive disturbing and silly thoughts always turns into failure OCD surely has a good press It's actually uite often turned into a joke the label used as a mere synonym for being over peculiar Yet there is nothing to laugh about for whose having to endure a fate into its grip 'what must be resisted in OCD is not a physical craving but the mental pull of your own consciousness In the grip of a compulsive urge there is nowhere to hide and nothing to reason with To resist the compulsion with willpower alone is to hold back an avalanche by melting the snow with a candle'I truly loved this book David Adam's stunning testimony is than a window open into a different mind; it is also a vast and intelligible overview of the history research and treatment of such a baffling condition He breaks the silly prejudice still going around to suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is not having an Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder so much for the confusion entertained by the mass medias He shows how OCD comes in all shapes and forms; and revises how it was described in the medical literature from Esuirol to Freud He retraces the various treatments that had been offered from the behaviourists to leucotomy and electroconvulsive therapy to medications and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy the crucial importance of Richard Solomon's experiments with dogs is fascinating He discusses the Yale Brown test as a tool for diagnosis Calling in the neurosciences evolutionary anthropology and psychology he also tries and shed light upon the root causes of this bewildering condition both 'a social handicap and a societal burden' Particularly interesting too were his comparisons of OCD as a spectrum with other impairments such as autism and even schizophrenia The Man Who Couldn't Stop is a fascinating very accessible and far ranging book on a condition too often dismissed as being just a silly uirk Courageous cleverly entertaining instructive Here's a read providing not only a better understanding of what is feels like to live with OCD but also is very educative when it comes to the science behind it Highly recommended

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