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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders: A Complete Guide to Getting Well and Staying Well [Hardcover]

by Fred Penzel
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

October 19, 2000 0195140923 978-0195140927 1
Morbid obsessions with sex, germs, or with one's appearance, and uncontrollable compulsions to hoard objects, to check and recheck locks, or to pull one's hair are just a few of the symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, which afflict over ten million Americans. Many suffer in isolation, not knowing that their disorder has a name, how to seek help, or how to help themselves.
Dr. Penzel discusses the entire spectrum of these disorders, from the classic form characterized by intrusive, repetitive, and often unpleasant thoughts, to body dysmorphic disorder ("imagined ugliness"), trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling), compulsive skin picking, and nail biting. He takes the reader through each step of the most effective behavioral therapies, detailing how progress is made and how to avoid relapse. He also offers a completely up-to-date discussion of medication--how it is used as part of the overall treatment, its effect on pregnancy, how to choose the best medicine, and how to know if it is working. In addition, Dr. Penzel discusses the treatment of children with these disorders, offers helpful advice for the families of sufferers, and lists sources of help and information (including the latest sites on the Internet).

Frequently Bought Together

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders: A Complete Guide to Getting Well and Staying Well + The OCD Workbook: Your Guide to Breaking Free from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder + Brain Lock: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior
Price for all three: $57.56

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Editorial Reviews


"Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders is the most comprehensive, yet highly readable, book out yet on the group of tormenting disorders that includes OCD, Body Dysmorphic disorder, Trichotillomania, and nail biting. These disorders are dealt with collectively, chapter by chapter, as theory, psychotherapy, medications, childhood cases, family involvement, self-help, and recovery are discussed. The richly detailed material on behavior therapy for the OCDs is worth the price of the book by itself. Dr. Penzel takes the reader into his office for an in-depth, sympathetic discussion about a subject he knows from start to finish. This book will be treasured by professionals and patients alike, all those who want a comprehensive, clinically-oriented resource on OCD and OCD-like disorders. A terrific achievement."--Ian Osborn, M.D.

"Working in the vastly under-recognized and misunderstood arena of the Body-Focused Disorders, such as Trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling), Skin Picking, Nail Biting and Body Dysmorphic Disorder, I am deeply pleased to see Dr. Penzel's book go to press. It will be a turning point for many, not only the sufferers of these OCD spectrum conditions, but for the therapeutic professionals that struggle to heal them. It's clarity, applicability and compassion are a refreshing approach to disorders that have caused such depths of suffering few can imagine. In my own life, if I had access to this book many years ago, it well could have helped me realize my teenage goals of becoming a doctor, instead of dropping out and hiding from society, desolately trapped within a behavioral prison with bars forged of compulsion." --Christina Pearson, Founder and Executive Director of the Trichotillomania Learning Center, Inc.

"Dr. Fred Penzel is a colleague whose work I have appreciated for almost two decades. He is always willing to help patients in need and will go the extra mile, and I often refer patients to him knowing that they will get excellent care. His book represents a comprehensive summary of OCD and related disorders. Topics include modern treatment aspects as well as discussions of biology, genetics, coping with these disorders, recovery and acceptance, family issues, rating scales, and many other pertinent subjects. Since he is a very experienced behavior therapist, this part of the book will be exceedingly helpful to patients and their families. I highly recommend this book to patients and their family members, and professionals who do not have Dr. Penzel's vast experience will find his discussions and recommendations useful as well."--Michael A. Jenike, MD

About the Author

Fred Penzel, Ph.D., has been dedicated to the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorders since 1982. He is a frequent contributor to the newsletters of both the Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation and the Trichotillomania Learning Center, and is the only psychologist to sit on the Science Advisory Boards of both organizations. He is the Executive Director of Western Suffolk Psychological Services in Huntington, New York.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; 1 edition (October 19, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195140923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195140927
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
71 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Obsessive Compulsive October 6, 2000
By A Customer
This is a true masterpiece. Not only is this book readable, interesting, packed with facts and informative, but it is also full of positive talk. I have done much research on this topic and by far this book is the most uplifting. It is non judgemental, full of hope, and leaves the reader with a new understanding of the disorders discussed. This book is excellent for sufferers, family members and professionals. Surely worth reading. If I could recommend one book on this topic this would be it. Thank you, Dr. Penzel. I am sure this will help many people.
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45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book written by an expert August 22, 2000
By A Customer
Knowing that Dr. Penzel specializes in OCD, I ordered the book immediately and the book was just what I expected: An authoritative, complete study of OCD and its subcategories, its accompaniements (as Dr. Penzel calls them), its possible causes, therapy, and medication. It is a very professional guide for anyone suffering from OCD or their relatives, even for psychologists and psychiatrists who want to learn about the latest diagnostic and treatment techniques.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Contribution February 5, 2001
Obsessive compulsive and related disorders are difficult but not impossible to treat. In this comprehensive and highly readable book, Dr. Penzel covers all of the most important aspects of these conditions. As a nationally recognized expert, the author uses his vast knowledge and experience to assist sufferers, relatives, and clinicians as they confront these challeging problems. I highly recommend this book for the knowledge that it imparts as well as for the author's optimism and compassion, which are evident throughout the book.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Supportive and realistic January 23, 2005
This book is exactly what it says - a complete guide. Very informative, practical help is given, with a strong element of understanding supportiveness at the same time. You can take this book, design a program for recovery, and implement it. Or, if you just want to understand more about the world of an OCD sufferer, you will find plenty of information here. I especially liked the sections covering realistic expectations in recovery, acceptances the sufferer needs to make in living with the disorder, and how to maintain a recovery over the long term. A lifeline to those suffering from OCD or their families, this book is hopeful and realistic at the same time.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars That's a lengthy one October 23, 2006
There's no doubt that the author knows a lot about the subject. The book is full with anedoctal examples. They are so many that I sometimes kept wondering if just one psychologist could ever see them all. It's really a complete work, as the title claims, except that it's more a lengthy review than a self-treatment guide. Patients and families will certainly benefit from information, but for recovery they'll have to rely on real therapy - Penzel doesn't deny it, of course - or, at least, obtain a more appropriate "guide".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books on the topic March 29, 2010
By Beth A.
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is them most comprehensive book I've read on the subject. It includes many types of obsessions/compulsions not mentioned in other books (many books always talk about hand-washing, but many ocd sufferers don't do that). There is also a section on skin picking and hair pulling, often not covered in other books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book on this subject March 6, 2008
This is probably the most thorough book on the subject I have seen. The powerful misconception that accompanies Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: "No one would believe I think and/or act this way..." is refuted because he comprehensively mentions so many different ways this disorder manifests itself. Anyone who suffers from OCD will surely have many of their symptoms mentioned, identified and addressed. I know for me it was reassuring. I wish I had found it years ago.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book highly met my expectations. It is a self-help guide with deep insight of compulsions and the reasons behind them. It also warns users about the tricks which their brain might play to fool them so as to give way to compulsions or avoiding to confront their obsessions.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A very thorough treatment.
This book contains all the information that just about any laymen could want on this subject. Now, stop obsessing. Buy it now and read it thoroughly and repeatedly. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Stanley A.
2.0 out of 5 stars Lacking, not a self help book
The author contradicts himself on a lot of passages about OCD, and speaks about other medical disorders in tandem without evidence or good references. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Jake J
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Contribution
Obsessive compulsive and related disorders are difficult but not impossible to treat. This book, the most comprehensive one on the subject, covers the most important aspects of a... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Sherrie Vavrichek
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books about OCD
I found all the explanations, techniques, exercises, real life examples. This book helped me turn my life around. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Sergei
3.0 out of 5 stars Reason
Hi, the book is sitting in my friends home in the US so I haven't yet seen it. I'll be there early next year to pick it up
Published 17 months ago by Robert L. Neil
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative!
This book was very informative, text book-ish. It covers OCD "A-Z"! It is written very sterile, doesnt give encouragement or ways of coping, but if looking for the cold, hard,... Read more
Published on April 6, 2012 by unusualdays
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick response
I must say I was amazed to see how fast the service was.
I was expecting to wait at least a month before receiving the parcel.
Well done.
Clinton Ferreira
Published on March 20, 2011 by Clinton Ferreira
5.0 out of 5 stars Brillliant sorce of information - highly recommend
As a suffer of OCD I was unsure of what to do and didn't understand what was happening to me. This book has helped me understand the conditiona and that there is hope that things... Read more
Published on January 13, 2011 by litherland lass
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book, awesome delivery service
This book arrived way longer than what I expected and that says a lot of the seriousness amazon takes when it comes to international orders. Read more
Published on November 10, 2010 by DavidCello
5.0 out of 5 stars OCD explained
Excellent reference for those who need to know, who seek help, who know someone with OCDs. Start here.
Published on June 8, 2010 by Miz A
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