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Tormenting Thoughts and Secret Rituals: The Hidden Epidemic of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Paperback – Apr 13 1999

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Dell; 1 edition (April 13 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440508479
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440508472
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 281 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #329,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Booklist

As many as six million Americans may suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), making it one of the most common mental diseases. Osborn had a bout with it while in medical training, and he narrates the unfolding understanding of the disease and its treatment informatively and readably. In medieval times, many felt that the disorder had a religious basis. Later, puritanism imputed it to sinning, and psychoanalysis "proved" that it had deep psychological roots. Osborn shows that OCD is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain and that behavior therapy and drugs, preferably together, can take care of it for most patients; Osborn personalizes this part of the discussion with case histories of individuals rather than stick-figure textbook abstractions. He also mentions new research, such as that which finds a possible link between OCD and childhood streptococcal infections; brain injury and stress may also play causative roles. He concludes with a long list of OCD support groups and other helpful information. William Beatty --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"A truly wonderful, compassionate book."
--James W. Broatch, executive director, Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation

"A splendid book on OCD--lively, lucid, informative, and scholarly."
--Ronald Pies, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry, Tufts University School of Medicine

"A marvelous achievement--an excellent and very practical overview of OCD and its treatment."
--Jeffrey Schwartz, M.D., associate professor, UCLA School of Medicine

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Inside This Book

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First Sentence
OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER can now be understood on a neurobiological level, yet its symptoms still seem altogether mysterious. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on Feb. 12 2004
Format: Paperback
This book focuses on symptoms and not solutions. If you want real solutions, buy Jonathan Grayson's book called "Freedom from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder." That is the best book on OCD I have ever read.
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By A Customer on Sept. 5 2003
Format: Paperback
Dr. Osborn does a great work with this book. In the early chapters he provides case histories that let us see first hand what OCD is. Then he provides a diagnostic test for self-evaluation. Then he cuts loose with the definitions. OCD thoughts fall into four categories, fear of contamination (filth), fear of hurting others or oneself (harm), fantasies of impulse (lust) and fear of hurting God or one's relationship. (blasphemy). He does not cover hoarding or collecting behaviors in detail, but mentions the possible relationships.
Dr. Osborn's principle insight is that OCD is neurobiological in origin, and that it is successfully treated with serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Zoloft and Prozac. He argues that it should be renamed "basal ganglia" disorder, since this is the brain center implicated (along with the thinking trail to the frontal lobe). I hope this proposal is adopted.
The author uses four criteria to establish an OCD thought, and its matching, anxiety reducing behavior, which are the obsession and the compulsion respectively. Such thoughts have four properties which can be remembered by the mnemonic 2IRU. OCD thoughts are inappropriate, intrusive, recurrent and unwanted. This is what distinguishes them from addictive thoughts.
This book unlocked for me an understanding of a multigenerational difficulty and for Dr. Osborn's many insights I am grateful.
- Van
www dot wdv dot com
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Format: Paperback
Tormenting Thoughts and Secret Rituals is the most comprehensive book on OCD that I have come across. It provides in-depth information on the biological and psychological roots of OCD, treatment methods, medications, and related disorders (hypochondria, body dismorphic disorder, etc.) that are readily accessible to the layman and the typical OCD sufferer. I read this book after being diagnosed with an OCD-spectrum disorder, Hypochondria, that made me obsess about contracting Rabies from a friend's housecat so much that I feared I was becoming psychotic, or that God was punishing me for some imagined sins. This book dwells more on the causes and affects of OCD, and refers the user to other books for self-help treatment, but the overview of treatment options was immensely helpful (without it, I may have wasted valuable time in psychoanalytic therapy, which is at best useless and at worst harmful for OCD victims).
If there is a second edition of the book, however, I'd like to see the neurological sections expanded to include Stuttering in its list of neurological disorders with an affinity to OCD. (Osburn may have felt the section on Tourette's included Stuttering by extension.) I have both Stuttering and obsessive-compulsive behavior, and for months after my initial diagnosis of OCD, I was unable to find any resources that talk about the link between Stuttering and OCD - finally, I found a highly-technical article in a neurology journal that noted that OCD happens to Stutterers at approximately the same rate it happens to Tourette's victims (about half to two-thirds of stutterers will develop obsessive-compulsive behavior at some point, as well as ADD/ADHD symptoms). Even many psychologists are not aware that Stuttering predisposes a person to OCD. That seems odd, since Stuttering is a fairly common affliction (there are more stutterers than there are Tourette'ers). If Osburn reads these reviews, I hope he makes a note for the next edition.
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Format: Hardcover
Dr. Ian Osborn knows OCD literally inside out. He should; after all, he has it!
There are many self-help books available on the subject of OCD, and many are helpful. But I have never read one which rang quite so true. There are no cute and easy to remember steps here; simply an understanding of the experience and dynamics of OCD which will leave those who struggle with the disorder feeling understood as never before. Many fine physicians have quite a bit of expertise on the subject of OCD. But Dr. Osborn is something more than an expert. He is a seasoned warrior, who knows the enemy with an intimacy which can only come of first-hand experience. If you have OCD, or love someone who has it, and read only one book on the subject, let this be the one. If you have OCD, you will meet yourself in its pages, and know yourself better for having read it. If you love someone with OCD, reading this book may be your best opportunity of learning what this invisible enemy is like without developing it yourself.
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Format: Paperback
I'm not one quarter through this book and I just had to take this time to recommend it to all OCD sufferers, like myself. Being reluctant to read any books on OCD (I once picked up "The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Washing", but it only made me feel worse), I'm so glad I decided to buy this one. At first I didn't think I was going to read anything more than what I already knew, but I was wrong. It is informative, professional, compassionate, and candid. There's no holding back in this book-Osborn truly tells it like it is. He details one case from each category of OCD-filth, lust, harm, and blasphemy boldly, not withholding details due to the embarrassing nature of OCD.
Osborn speaks not only as a medical professional, but as a sufferer himself, so I guess that's why he is able to make me feel understood for the first time ever. Maybe it will help you, too. Pick it up, it's worth it!
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