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Man Who Couldn't Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought Hardcover – 2014

4.6 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Picador; Main Market Ed. edition (2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1447238281
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447238287
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Dr David Adam was a specialist correspondent on the Guardian for seven years, writing on science, medicine and the environment and is now a writer and editor at Nature, the world's top scientific journal. David also has OCD, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.

While most people associate OCD with excessive hand washing or counting behaviours, Adam's OCD manifests itself with obsessive thoughts about the possibility of incidental blood transfer which could lead to him contracting, or passing on AIDS (despite not being infected). It began when he was eighteen after a throwaway comment by a friend and quickly developed into a crippling obsession which resulted in him studying doorknobs and AstroTurf for traces of blood, despite his understanding the minuscule risk of AIDS being transferred in this manner. Though temporarily eased by checking behaviours including daily calls to the AIDS hotline, wiping cups and bottles and applying multiple plasters to any scrape or cut, the thoughts and behaviours threaten to overwhelm him almost every minute of every day.

Adam's primary motivation for writing The Man Who Couldn't Stop stems from his desire to confront the condition that has been his constant companion for 20 years. In a manner accessible to a layperson, David shares what little is understood about the disorder, which has no definitive cause, and no cure.

From Freud's theories (predictably the psychiatrist blamed the illness on masturbatory guilt) to the latest information gleaned from MRI's of the basal ganglia, Adam explores the evolution of the disorder that has been treated variously, but rarely conclusively, by immersive therapy, lobotomy, electric shock and psychotropic drugs.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book distils the history, explanations, treatments and a personal account of OCD into a well written, absorbing and highly educational book. If you have OCD or know anyone who has and you would like to understand it you should read this book.
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Format: Hardcover
This review is for the audio book.
If you have ever wondered about OCD, or if you just want to know more about the brain, then you need to read this book. Journalist David Adam charts the start and progress of his OCD and via intriguing, interesting, thought provoking and often disturbing asides he also charts the history of the condition itself and the attempts to manage or cure it.
David presents case studies and research in a way that is very easy to understand; there are many descriptions that have stuck with me, such as how his medication travels through his system and ends up in the right place. This is not to say that the content is simplistic, because there is a lot of chemical and medical information in the book; rather, it's a testament to David's ability to explain it all, logically and clearly.
David's writing is perhaps the best I've ever read - the descriptions so apt, the analogies so useful and understandable, that I caught myself actively listening for any jarring notes, any errors of expression. I couldn't find any.
A fabulous book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book was well written, informative, and helpful in understanding mental illness and mental disorders, particularly obsessive
compulsive disorder.
The case studies were very interesting and the writer's struggle with and eventual control of his own
obsessive compulsive disorder was very helpful. I also enjoyed his coverage of treatment of ocd over time and
how todays cognitive therapy treatment and medication can be very effective in controlling it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is written by a man who suffers from OCD. It is an interesting book. He tells stories of other sufferers, including a German mathematician who starved himself to death rather than eat food his wife had not tasted first, when she was ill and unable. There are several interesting stories and explanations.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved this book.
The author explains everything that has happened to him, his thoughts, feelings, gives you all the scientific and historic background on the disease, everything.

This book lets you have a view into the mind if someone who suffers from this condition and the personal hell they have to go through, which most people do not understand. Amazing book. A must read.
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By ruby on April 27, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of the best books I have read this year. I learned so much about this much-misunderstood condition. Five stars.
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