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

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Editorial Reviews

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Dell; 1 edition (April 13, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440508479
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440508472
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr Osborn is a psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder. He has taught psychiatry as a faculty member at Penn State University and the University of New Mexico. He lectures and writes on the subject of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Dr Osborn is the author of two books on OCD: Tormenting Thoughts and Secret Rituals: The Secret Epidemic of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Can Christianity Cure Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder? A Psychiatrist Explores the Role of Faith in Treatment. The first book explains the nature of OCD and reviews treatments. The latter delves into the relationship between OCD and the Christian faith.

Dr Osborn is available for consultation/coaching by phone. He can be reached at this email address: i.osborn@yahoo.com. Dr Osborn's website is: ocdandchristianity.com


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
I have read several book on OCD that dealt mainly with checking rituals. However, I've suffered from obsessive thoughts all my life. I was never able to find a book that satisfied my desire to learn how to deal with these thoughts in a way that made sense to me. Until now! This books has provided me with many suggestions on dealing with unwanted thoughts. Suggestions that have helped. The book deals so much with the experiences of Dr. Osborn's patients, that I felt like I was part of a therapy group. It felt so good hearing the stories of others. I highly suggest this book for anyone fighting those unwanted thoughts.
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52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Lemon on January 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I am a licensed psychologist and a patient with obsessive compulsive symptoms. For over five years I have voraciously consumed the available literature to get help for myself and my clients. This book is a must have. Nothing I have read has been better.
Dr. Osborn's magic is in letting himself shine through as a fellow sufferer who is a deeply compassionate practitioner. His case studies show many of the subtle faces of OCD and give us insight into the suffering this disorder can bring.
A real highlight of the book is when he lets his group therapy patients speak to us through their ten strategies for coping with OCD.
This is a six star book.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By 72103.761@compuserve.com on October 25, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Since I have 2 kids with OCD, I try to read everything available about this disorder. This is easily my favorite book on the subject - I read it from start to finish in a day. I got my children's psychologist to look at it and he now recommends it to all of his patients with OCD. One chapter, Making Sense of Senseless Symptoms, explains this disorder better than anyone else has to me. My daughter has had her friends read it to understand what she has to deal with and why.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 5, 2001
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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By corneille on March 3, 2000
Format: Hardcover
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 improved mental health, and a terrific introduction for anyone struggling with the important, break-through decision to seek out some help and relief. The text is highly readable, information-packed and practical. The tone is friendly and compassionate. Many readers, with distinct, but also neurologically-based, mental health disorders, for example, bipolar disorder, will also gain from reading this book. Particularly welcome is the author's emphasis on the key role of faith in managing neurobiological illnesses.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 2, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a beautifully written piece of work. Osborn not only explains OCD but he knows it! I myself suffer from OCD and if it weren't for this book I would still be stumbling around in the dark thinking I was crazy. This book is truly unique in the sense that Osborn's own suffering of OCD allows him to truly delve into the heart of the problem and explain it, unlike some others who inadequately attempt to review and explain the disorder without bringing to light the full extent to which it is suffered by millions of people worldwide. Osborn's compassion and understanding of the subject makes this book a must have, not only for all OCD sufferers but all who wish to understand the chemical disorder of Obsessive-Ccompulsive Disorder. A truly awesome book. I recommend it to anyone looking for enlightenment on the subject.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By eugene on September 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
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., the link to one's personality). The author ultimately places OCD in the biological realm and lists the latest evidence, along with the explanation of the brain areas involved. Unfortunately, nothing about OCD is simple or straightforward; but there exist effective treatments and plausible, scientifically tested causes.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
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!!! Also - too much emphasis on faith. Not there for me. I am a sufferer of OCD and have been most of my life. This book certainly helped me feel not alone, but I am a very strong believer in the curative powers of a supportive therapist. Self-help only works within the confines of good therapy. PERIOD. Try the book "STOP OBSESSING!" by Foa. Now talk about a great book with lots of strategies to help manage/control the OCD. I recommend that one with 10 stars!!! Sorry - I seem to be one of few who doesn't think that Tormenting Thoughts is the be all and end all.
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Tormenting Thoughts and Secret Rituals: The Hidden Epidemic of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
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