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The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Washing: The Experience and Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Washing: The Experience and Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Author: Judith L. Rapoport
ISBN 13: 9780451172020
ISBN 10: 451172027
Edition: Reissue
Publisher: Signet
Publication Date: 1991-12-03
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 304
List Price: $7.99

  • One boy spends six hours a day washing himself-and still can't believe he will ever be clean
  • Another sufferer must check her stove hundreds of times a day to make sure she has turned it off
  • And on woman, in an effort to ensure that her eyebrows are symmetrical, finally plucks out every hair

All of these people are suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), an emotionally crippling sickness that afflicts up to six million Americans. Cleaning, counting, washing, avoiding, checking-these are some of the pointless rituals that sufferers are powerless to stop. Now a distinguished psychiatrist and expert on OCD reveals exciting breakthroughs in diagnosis, successful new behaviorists therapies and drug treatments, as well as lists of resources and references. Drawing on the extraordinary experiences of her patients, Dr. Judith Rapoport unravels the mysteries surrounding this irrational disorder.and provides prescriptions for action that promise hope and help

Publishers Weekly

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a widespread psychiatric disease yet one virtually unknown to the public, according to Rapoport, a child psychiatrist at the National Institute of Mental Health. She cites surveys indicating that as many as four million Americans are afflicted with a need to perform complex, pointless rituals, or are burdened by crippling obsessions with petty thoughts. Some sufferers check light-switches or doors endlessly; others spend hours creating trivial symmetryshoelaces exactly matching, eyebrows identical; still others have a compulsion to touch, count, hoard or confess; some enact toilet or eating rituals. Very few of the afflicted seek professional treatment: most attempt to conceal their condition even from friends and family. Rapoport holds that psychoanalysis usually fails to uncover the underlying causes of an obsessional pattern; she leans toward a behavioral approach, noting that the disorder often runs in families and pointing to biological factors. Casebook, shocking report and support tool all in one, this excellent volume is highly readable and free of jargon. (Jan.)