3 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful
tani reviewed The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Washing : The Experience and Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder on
"[One] sufferer must check her stove hundreds of times a day to make sure she has turned it off." This sentence on the cover caught my attention first. Probably most of us have gone back in the house to check the stove when we had already gotten into the car and had no reason to think the stove might still be on. I did that just yesterday. You think, "I'm sure it's off, but I didn't really check, and how will I feel if the house should burn down just because I begrudged the trouble of going back to make sure?" Well, imagine something in you forcing you to keep checking over and over again, exactly seventy times, for instance, before you could drive off.
This excellent book on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, written by the Chief of the Child Psychiatry Branch at NIMH, contains not only patient accounts of the histories of their obsessions, but also exceedingly interesting comments and explanations by the doctor. The patients are aware that they are not insane, but they just have a feeling that something terrible will happen if they do not satisfy their obsession for counting, washing, or checking, and so on. Until I read this book, I did not know that, nor did I know that the patients find their obsessions very painful. Many have been helped by medicines, while others did not respond, yet have achieved a measure of relief from psychiatric help.