Tormenting Thoughts and Secret Rituals: The Hidden Epidemic of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Paperback – Apr 13 1999
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
www dot wdv dot com
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.
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.
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!
Most recent customer reviews
This book is fabulously informative and written in such a kind manner, you'd want the author for your own therapist. Read morePublished on Nov. 15 2003
This book is great for history and sharing insights, but to imply in any way shape or form that talk therapy has no place in treating OCD is absurd!!! Read morePublished on March 5 2003
This is probably the best book on the subject. It tells you everything you wanted to know about OCD and related issues, including some rarely-discussed topics (e.g. Read morePublished on Sept. 7 2002 by eugene
Very good book for OCDers. In my opinion, there are only 2 valuable books available on the market today for OCDers. One is titled "STOP OBSESSING!", the other... Read morePublished on April 23 2002
I recommend this book to those who are plagued with symptoms of OCD or who have family members with OCD. Read morePublished on Nov. 12 2001
I have read several book on OCD that dealt mainly with checking rituals. However, I've suffered from obsessive thoughts all my life. Read morePublished on Sept. 29 2000
This book is as close to a personal appointment with the best psychiatrist that one could have. It is a wonderful support resource for anyone already making the journey toward... Read morePublished on March 3 2000 by corneille
I have been in talk therapy for many years (with different therapists) and I've always wondered why I didn't feel 'normal'. Read morePublished on Dec 4 1999 by lovestoread