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Rewind Replay Repeat: A Memoir of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Paperback – February 1, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bell's memoir is a revealing look at life with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) that goes to often hysterical lengths to convey the dynamics of OCD by reviewing life consumed by the disorder and attempts to overcome it. Radio news anchor and first-time author Bell chronicles the constant worrying, rechecking and unstoppable thought-loops that spin him like a whirligig through his day, recounting "virtual tapes" from his life. Cleverly labeling different sections of his narrative "play," "fast forward" and "pause," using the last of which to stop the action and address readers directly, Bell is easy to like, and he wisely keeps things from getting too technical: "I myself don't even pretend to understand those brain complexities ... My expertise is in doubt." As such, he provides an experiential report of everything from a (very) minor boat accident and the (slightly) major on-air radio flub that followed, to the efficacy of the "Quirk Defense," to his last-ditch, year-long project to overcome his symptoms. Bell's story provides plenty of lessons, perspective and hope for those living with OCD-either their own or someone else's-in a funny, highly entertaining narrative.
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Review

"Jeff Bell is an excellent and experienced radio newsman. But of all the many fascinating stories he has reported over the years, none is more bizarre or more compelling than the one he tells here. Furthermore, it is an exclusive. Only Jeff could possibly tell it because it is an account of his own struggle with his own worst enemy, whose name is Doubt."
--Charles Osgood, CBS News Sunday Morning anchor

"A page-turner for anyone interested in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Beautifully written and gripping in its intensity, it takes the reader on the perilous adventure of the fight against OCD. Jeff Bell enlists us on his journey: his sense of humor, irony, and reporting skills make this book a 'must read.'"
--Judith l. Rapoport, MD, author of The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Washing

"This is an epoch-making book. It is one of the most incisive memoirs ever written on the experience of mental illness, and by far the best first-person account available on life from the point of view of the OCD sufferer. Jeff Bell has scaled the heights of narrative memoirs, conveying the excruciating details of the inner life of a man whose brain is on fire."
--Jeffrey M. Schwartz, MD, author of Brain Lock and The Mind and the Brain

"In a most sensitive way, Jeff Bell explains what it's like to be inside of his own self-made prison and describes his efforts to heal himself. His emphasis on his own spirituality and his willingness to change his attitude will shine light on the road to recovery for the many people afflicted with this disorder."
--Gerald G. Jampolsky, MD, author of Love Is Letting Go of Fear
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Hazelden; 1 edition (December 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592853714
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592853717
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #283,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
Let me admit upfront that I knew little of OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) before reading this book. I had heard of some instances where certain people do what I will call rather strange things like re-checking things 3 or 4 times, or washing their hands quasi non-stop. I'm not sure what prompted me to pick up this book in the first place, but let me just say I am very glad I did.

In "Rewind, Replay, Repeat" (357 pages), author Jeff Bell, apparently a well-known news radio personality in the Bay Area and Northern California, basically recounts his 6 years (roughly 1992 to 1998) of going through the hell that is called OCD, before finding a way to handle it. For those of us who do not have OCD, this book is incredibly revelatory in what various types of OCD'ers (such as 'washers', 'hoarders', 'checkers', 'repeaters' and the like) go through day after day. Struggling with getting the proper treatment from his doctor, Bell recounts when he stumbles on a book that describes what he is going through: "What I read on the first page of the first chapter knocks me down to my knees, like a swift blow to the back of my legs". Bell ultimately finds a behavior therapist who understands his condition. The road blocks enountered by the author are many and getting on the right path is "hard work", as the author makes clear over and over again.

The book is riveting and even shocking, in the sense that it is so difficult to really understand what OCD'ers are going through. The author is to be commended for sharing his story, providing insight and education to someone like me, and giving hope to other OCD'ers. Highly recommended.
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This memoir is very good at describing what it is like to live with OCD. The author, Mr. Bell, describes his ups and downs living with OCD in candor and good humor. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in gaining insight into this disorder, especially people that have OCD. There is a great light at the end of the tunnel.
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Format: Paperback
If you are OCD, have a family member who is, or even think you might be, or know someone who is, or might be, you all have to read this book.

Jeff has literally gone through hell and back with his OCD, and one can't help but want to hug him and help him get through each episode.

He is so clear in what he writes, it's almost as though you're sitting on his shoulder watching what he goes through.

Using the tape recorder as a basis for a title, and the way it's used throughout, is a fabulous way of writing - Pause, Play, Fast-Forward. It's so simple, yet totally explanatory.

He gives a very detailed version of what one person has suffered with this illness. Those of us who have much lesser forms of it, can only be thankful there but for the grace of God, goes us.

I think this book should be mandatory reading for all teachers and students in high school and college; possibly even junior high, at least in some classes.

The only negative things I'll say about it, isn't even negative for me, but might be for others.

At times, one might feel it's a bit over the top ... please have understanding. It is over the top for Jeff, and it's exactly as intense as he relates it to be.

The coincidences of finding each thing at the specific times he does - and the "internal voices" (his own) telling him to do or not to do certain things - may seem unbelievable. They aren't. It happens all the time to some.

I bought two books at his signing at Borders in Sacto, and am highly recommending the book to everyone I know.
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Format: Paperback
Jeff Bell uses the metaphor of a tape player to describe his struggle with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in his harrowing memoir, "Rewind, Replay, Repeat." Bell has been a successful radio personality for many years, which makes his willingness to come clean about his illness all the more remarkable. He is a doubter, who states, "I have all five of my senses, but tend not to trust any of them." Because he does not believe what he perceives, Bell mentally replays entire sequences of his life over and over again. He also revisits places to check that he has not harmed anyone or failed to do something essential. He calls his story "a tale of fear and torment and agony and shame."

"Rewind, Replay, Repeat" illuminates the angst-ridden world of doubters and checkers--those unfortunate souls who cannot leave well enough alone. OCD sufferers include: the woman who must unlock her front door repeatedly to check the stove; the driver who feels compelled to circle the block to make sure that he didn't run over a pedestrian; the terrified child who keeps asking his mother the same question a thousand times and is never satisfied with the answer; the washers who scrub their hands dozens of times a day until their skin is raw and painful; and the savers who hoard objects of no value until their homes resemble garbage dumps. Medical science has yet to pinpoint exactly what causes the brains of OCD patients to misfire.

This is an intensely personal, painfully honest, and extremely detailed look at one man's journey into the abyss and back. After he learns that he has OCD, an incurable condition, Bell struggles for years to get his life under control with a combination of spiritual awakening, a support group, cognitive behavioral therapy, and drug treatment.
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