Published by Picador on January 1, 2014
Genres/Lists: Memoir, Non-Fiction, Science/Technology/Psychology
Read synopsis on Goodreads
Buy the book: Amazon/Audible (this post includes affiliate links)
I have OCD, and I don’t mean the neat-freak kind, I mean the real kind. I walk on sidewalks in palindromes, have routines for setting my alarms that I have to start over if anyone talks, snores, or if the minute changes, and had a serious issue with a pull-chain light growing up. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I believe in a left and right sock and must, must, must put the earring with the tighter back in my right ear (I also can’t buy the left and right sock sets because what if they’re labeled wrong?). I’ve even managed to shift the burden of my OCD on friends – A friend of mine since high school gets mad on my behalf when someone says, “I have OCD – I need things to be so clean!” because she knows that’s not what it’s all about and she doesn’t even live in the same state as me, anymore (thanks – you know who you are!).
Some of my habits have changed over the years – some are better and some are worse – but the compulsions haven’t left me. I’ve learned how to manage them and am able to check them at the door when I get to work. Some might say that this is a terrible thing to share on the Internet because it will damage my career potential, but I disagree. OCD no longer carries the stigma it once did and can actually fuel ambition and success, or at least it does for me. I definitely wouldn’t be nearly as productive as I am if it weren’t for this “condition”. Plus, I have a good support system, which really does make all the difference in the world. My husband is pretty great about dealing with my “habits” but I know that it can be frustrating for him when he wants to leave the house and I have things to do. I also know that for others it can be a source of discontent and put strain on a relationship, but I’ve fortunate an that hasn’t happened to me.The Book Wheel shares her personal journey with OCD and recommends THIS book by @davidneiladam to help understand it. Click To Tweet
All of this self-disclosure (which turned out to be a lot more than I had anticipated), culminate in my recommendation that you read The Man Who Couldn’t Stop by David Adam. After years of trying to explain that being OCD isn’t about having things lined up in an order (Monica from Friends is not a great example of what OCD is), I have FINALLY found a book that I can recommend to people that will help them understand what I go through every day. I know that others have it worse but that doesn’t help me when I’m in the throes of frustration because I can’t touch the hair straightener enough (now I just take it with me) and this book helps explain why this is.
The Man Who Couldn’t Stop by David Adam is part memoir and part scientific explanations. Between tales of the author’s personal struggles is the science behind OCD – what it is, what it isn’t, and what common beliefs are completely wrong. I loved it because someone was finally able to articulate how I mentally process things and, even though I already knew that I’m not alone, it’s nice to see it in print in a way that doesn’t glamorize or demonize OCD. This isn’t a guidebook on how to deal with someone with it, but it does shine a light on some extraordinarily on-point aspects of the condition and can be incredibly helpful for anyone living with someone with OCD. Plus, it’ll make you laugh.
Recommended for: Anyone who has (or know someone who has) OCD. Plain and simple. Now that I think about it, anyone who reads this book should also read 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works by Dan Harris because that helped a lot, too.
Have OCD? Know someone who does? Need to talk?
Chat in the comments below!Author @davidneiladam explains OCD in an honest and hilarious way in The Man Who Couldn't Stop. Click To Tweet