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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) affects 1%-2% of Americans, according to Aboujaoude, director of the Impulse Control Disorders Center at Stanford's School of Medicine. In this short, highly readable book reminiscent of Irvin Yalom's Love's Executioner, Aboujaoude focuses on five case studies involving fear of contamination and invasion of personal space, trichotillomania (compulsive pulling out of one's hair), kleptomania, pathological gambling and what is called "problematic Internet use." As he looks at both patients' behavior and his treatment of them, Aboujaoude demonstrates his combination of empathy and "habit reversal," a cognitive behavioral therapy involving "increasing awareness" of the compulsive behavior and "enhancing motivation to reduce [it]."Most of Aboujaoude's interventions seem successful, though the compulsive Internet user, whose social anxiety led him to retreat into a virtual world, in effect drops out of treatment, his work and his relationship with his fiancée to devote himself to his online virtual alter ego, and another meets a tragic end. But whatever the success of his treatment, Aboujaoude consistently provides the reader with a refreshingly jargon-free and intimate look at what OCD looks and feels like. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.