Being Me with OCD: How I Learned to Obsess Less and Live My Life

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Overview


Part memoir, part self-help for teens, Being Me with OCD tells the story of how obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) dragged the author to rock bottom—and how she found hope, got help, and eventually climbed back to a fuller, happier life. Using anecdotes, self-reflection, guest essays, and thorough research, Dotson explains what OCD is and how readers with OCD can begin to get better. With humor, specific advice, and an inspiring, been-there-beat-that attitude, readers will find the book simultaneously touching ...
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Being Me with OCD: How I Learned to Obsess Less and Live My Life

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Overview


Part memoir, part self-help for teens, Being Me with OCD tells the story of how obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) dragged the author to rock bottom—and how she found hope, got help, and eventually climbed back to a fuller, happier life. Using anecdotes, self-reflection, guest essays, and thorough research, Dotson explains what OCD is and how readers with OCD can begin to get better. With humor, specific advice, and an inspiring, been-there-beat-that attitude, readers will find the book simultaneously touching and practical.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“This book offers young people a candid, compassionate view of an often misunderstood problem.”—Foreword Reviews

Gr 9 Up–Dotson shares her personal story of a lifetime struggling with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in this honest, often-humorous title. The author suffered with an obsession about religion and with a fear of harming others, as well as depression, for more than a decade before she was diagnosed. By sharing her story, she aims to reassure teens with OCD that they aren’t alone and to encourage them to get help as soon as possible so that they can lead richer, fuller lives. The book not only includes Dotson’s personal story but also covers practical information about OCD, steps to getting help, therapy and medication, and checklists of symptoms. Dotson employs an informal, conversational tone that will resonate with teens as she discusses OCD in general and her own personal experiences. Stories from other young adults diagnosed with OCD interspersed throughout break up the text and add alternate perspectives. This title provides clear, concise content and would be an excellent addition to most teen collections.–School Library Journal

“Dotson combines her experiences with personal stories from teenagers, information on treatment, and advice on handling common situations, like dating and school. She does an excellent job balancing the personal and practical . . . A valuable addition to any collection serving teens.”—VOYA

“A wise and compassionate model for teens and young adults who have been newly diagnosed with OCD or are considering seeking out a diagnosis . . . This would also be an ideal guide for friends and family members of those afflicted.”—Booklist

VOYA, June 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 2) - Bethany Martin
Dotson suffered from obsessive thoughts for years before finally seeking help and being diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder at the age of twenty-six. Part memoir, part self-help guide, this book is designed to help teens with OCD better understand and manage their condition. Dotson combines her experiences with personal stories from teenagers, information on treatment, and advice on handling common situations, like dating and school. She does an excellent job balancing the personal and practical. She is always clear that her experiences are her own and that OCD manifests in many different ways. The book’s messages to teens are consistent: Your OCD does not make you a bad person; you are not alone; treatment is not always easy, but it is beneficial. This book will be most useful to teens experiencing symptoms of OCD who may not yet have sought professional help. The book walks readers through different therapeutic approaches and medicinal options. Dotson uses her story to help readers understand how to find professional help and what might happen in early visits with psychiatrists and therapists. The “References and Resources” section includes cited research, along with recommended books and websites. This format is not particularly user friendly; separate works cited and recommended resource lists would be more useful, but there is much in both the book and resource section to help teens navigate life with OCD. As Dotson points out, OCD affects one in two hundred children and young adults. With statistics like these, this volume is a valuable addition to any collection serving teens. Reviewer: Bethany Martin; Ages 12 to 18.
School Library Journal
06/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—Dotson shares her personal story of a lifetime struggling with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in this honest, often-humorous title. The author suffered with an obsession about religion and with a fear of harming others, as well as depression, for more than a decade before she was diagnosed. By sharing her story, she aims to reassure teens with OCD that they aren't alone and to encourage them to get help as soon as possible so that they can lead richer, fuller lives. The book not only includes Dotson's personal story but also covers practical information about OCD, steps to getting help, therapy and medication, and checklists of symptoms. Dotson employs an informal, conversational tone that will resonate with teens as she discusses OCD in general and her own personal experiences. Stories from other young adults diagnosed with OCD interspersed throughout break up the text and add alternate perspectives. This title provides clear, concise content and would be an excellent addition to most teen collections.—Joy Poynor, Rogers Public Library, AR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781575424705
  • Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/2014
  • Pages: 152
  • Sales rank: 263,510
  • Age range: 15 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Alison Dotson is a writer, copyeditor, and proofreader who was diagnosed with OCD at age 26, after suffering from “taboo” obsessions for more than a decade. Today, she still has occasional bad thoughts, but she now knows how to deal with them in healthy ways. Alison is the president of OCD Twin Cities, an affiliate of the International OCD Foundation. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her husband and dogs.

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Elizabeth McIngvale

Introduction: Climbing Up from Rock Bottom

Chapter 1: OCD and Me

  • What Is OCD?
  • It’s Official: I Have OCD
  • What Do OCD Symptoms Look Like?
  • Types of OCD
  • Karissa’s Story: What If?
  • Josh’s Story: I Had a Germ Phobia
  • Why Do I Have OCD?
  • Sophie’s Story, Part 1: My OCD Started with a Dog Attack
  • What Now?
  • Sophie’s Story, Part 2: I Got the Help I Needed

Chapter 2: Reaching Out

  • Advocating for Yourself
  • Finding a Psychiatrist or Therapist
  • My First Visit with a Psychiatrist
  • Sometimes Labels Are a Good Thing
  • Nicole’s Story: Being Diagnosed Was a Relief

Chapter 3: How Therapy Can Help

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Robert’s Story: Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy
  • Helped Me
  • Facing Your Fears on Your Own
  • “I Don’t Want to Go to Therapy”

Chapter 4: How Medicine Can Help

  • Finding the Right Medication
  • Kiersten’s Story: It Took Time to Find the Right Medicine for Me
  • Side Effects
  • Worrisome Side Effects
  • Paying for Medication
  • I Missed a Dose (and a Dose and a Dose and Another Dose)
  • I Took Too Many Pills!
  • How Long Will I Need to Be on Medicine?

Chapter 5: What Else Helps?

  • Self-Help
  • Beyond Basic Outpatient Therapy
  • Rachel’s Story: I Got the Help I Needed in a Residential Program
  • Surgery
  • Believe in Yourself

Chapter 6: I Am Not OCD: Popular Perceptions and Stigmas

  • Molly’s Story: Stigma Made OCD Feel Worse
  • Everyone and Their Brother Think They Have OCD
  • What OCD Is Not
  • Using Humor as a Coping Method
  • Times Have Changed
  • OCD and Related Disorders

Chapter 7: Being You with OCD

  • Putting Yourself in Control
  • Building a Community of Support
  • OCD and Dating
  • OCD and School (and Work)
  • Keeping Realistic Expectations
  • Looking Back
  • Looking Ahead

References and Resources

Acknowledgments

About the Author

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2014

    Beautiful

    This book was truly beautiful. As someone with OCD,I found this book extremley relatable. A must read for anyone with OCD, and for anyone without it to understand what we go through everyday.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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