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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders: A Complete Guide to Getting Well and Staying Well
     

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders: A Complete Guide to Getting Well and Staying Well

by Fred Penzel
 

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Morbid obsessions with sex, germs, or with one's appearance, and uncontrollable compulsions to hoard objects, to check and recheck locks, or to pull one's hair are just a few of the symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, which afflict over ten million Americans. Many suffer in isolation, not knowing that their disorder has a name, how to seek help, or how to

Overview

Morbid obsessions with sex, germs, or with one's appearance, and uncontrollable compulsions to hoard objects, to check and recheck locks, or to pull one's hair are just a few of the symptoms of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, which afflict over ten million Americans. Many suffer in isolation, not knowing that their disorder has a name, how to seek help, or how to help themselves.
Dr. Penzel discusses the entire spectrum of these disorders, from the classic form characterized by intrusive, repetitive, and often unpleasant thoughts, to body dysmorphic disorder ("imagined ugliness"), trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling), compulsive skin picking, and nail biting. He takes the reader through each step of the most effective behavioral therapies, detailing how progress is made and how to avoid relapse. He also offers a completely up-to-date discussion of medication—how it is used as part of the overall treatment, its effect on pregnancy, how to choose the best medicine, and how to know if it is working. In addition, Dr. Penzel discusses the treatment of children with these disorders, offers helpful advice for the families of sufferers, and lists sources of help and information (including the latest sites on the Internet).

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders is the most comprehensive, yet highly readable, book out yet on the group of tormenting disorders that includes OCD, Body Dysmorphic disorder, Trichotillomania, and nail biting. These disorders are dealt with collectively, chapter by chapter, as theory, psychotherapy, medications, childhood cases, family involvement, self-help, and recovery are discussed. The richly detailed material on behavior therapy for the OCDs is worth the price of the book by itself. Dr. Penzel takes the reader into his office for an in-depth, sympathetic discussion about a subject he knows from start to finish. This book will be treasured by professionals and patients alike, all those who want a comprehensive, clinically-oriented resource on OCD and OCD-like disorders. A terrific achievement."—Ian Osborn, M.D.

"Working in the vastly under-recognized and misunderstood arena of the Body-Focused Disorders, such as Trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling), Skin Picking, Nail Biting and Body Dysmorphic Disorder, I am deeply pleased to see Dr. Penzel's book go to press. It will be a turning point for many, not only the sufferers of these OCD spectrum conditions, but for the therapeutic professionals that struggle to heal them. It's clarity, applicability and compassion are a refreshing approach to disorders that have caused such depths of suffering few can imagine. In my own life, if I had access to this book many years ago, it well could have helped me realize my teenage goals of becoming a doctor, instead of dropping out and hiding from society, desolately trapped within a behavioral prison with bars forged of compulsion." —Christina Pearson, Founder and Executive Director of the Trichotillomania Learning Center, Inc.

"Dr. Fred Penzel is a colleague whose work I have appreciated for almost two decades. He is always willing to help patients in need and will go the extra mile, and I often refer patients to him knowing that they will get excellent care. His book represents a comprehensive summary of OCD and related disorders. Topics include modern treatment aspects as well as discussions of biology, genetics, coping with these disorders, recovery and acceptance, family issues, rating scales, and many other pertinent subjects. Since he is a very experienced behavior therapist, this part of the book will be exceedingly helpful to patients and their families. I highly recommend this book to patients and their family members, and professionals who do not have Dr. Penzel's vast experience will find his discussions and recommendations useful as well."—Michael A. Jenike, MD

Library Journal
People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) suffer from excessive concerns about germs, appearance, or the possibility of doing harm to themselves or others. To combat these fears, they develop rituals such as checking and rechecking locks, hoarding goods, washing constantly, or pulling out hair. A conservative estimate is that one in 40 adults is afflicted with OCD, which until recently was considered almost untreatable. However, new antidepressants and behavioral therapy techniques have led to great improvements in the condition of sufferers of this biologically based illness. Psychologist Penzel has written a do-it-yourself guide that outlines in great detail procedures for a self-administered program of behavioral therapy. While it seems doubtful that such a program would be of much use to anyone as seriously disabled as some of the people described here, Penzel reminds us that many sufferers either won't seek help or can't obtain it because they are poor or live in an area underserved by the medical community. He even discusses programs that provide medications to people who can't afford them. For those of us out in the boondocks, a book on mental health acknowledging that many sufferers have, at most, only a general practitioner to whom they can turn is most welcome. This title is the most useful of the recent books on OCD and is highly recommended to all public libraries. Baer (psychology, Harvard Medical Sch.) presents a more narrowly focused work that concentrates on those whose primary problem is disturbing thoughts. It covers much the same ground as Penzel's work but in less detail. While The Imp of the Mind would make a useful addition to larger public libraries, Ian Osborn's Tormenting Thoughts and Secret Rituals: The Hidden Epidemic of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Pantheon, 1998) is a better companion to Penzel's title and should be a higher purchase priority.--Mary Ann Hughes, Neill P.L., WA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195140927
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
10/19/2000
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
1,100,972
Product dimensions:
9.56(w) x 6.38(h) x 1.34(d)

What People are Saying About This

Ian Osborn
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders is the most comprehensive, yet highly readable, book out yet on the group of tormenting disorders that includes OCD, Body Dysmorphic disorder, Trichotillomania, and nail biting. These disorders are dealt with collectively, chapter by chapter, as theory, psychotherapy, medications, childhood cases, family involvement, self-help, and recovery are discussed. The richly detailed material on behavior therapy for the OCDs is worth the price of the book by itself. Dr. Penzel takes the reader into his office for an in-depth, sympathetic discussion about a subject he knows from start to finish. This book will be treasured by professionals and patients alike, all those who want a comprehensive, clinically-oriented resource on OCD and OCD-like disorders. A terrific achievement.
Michael A. Jenike
Dr. Fred Penzel is a colleague whose work I have appreciated for almost two decades. He is always willing to help patients in need and will go the extra mile, and I often refer patients to him knowing that they will get excellent care. His book represents a comprehensive summary of OCD and related disorders. Topics include modern treatment aspects as well as discussions of biology, genetics, coping with these disorders, recovery and acceptance, family issues, rating scales, and many other pertinent subjects. Since he is a very experienced behavior therapist, this part of the book will be exceedingly helpful to patients and their families. I highly recommend this book to patients and their family members, and professionals who do not have Dr. Penzel's vast experience will find his discussions and recommendations useful as well.
Christina Pearson
Working in the vastly under-recognized and misunderstood arena of the Body-Focused Disorders, such as Trichotillomania (compulsive hair pulling), Skin Picking, Nail Biting and Body Dysmorphic Disorder, I am deeply pleased to see Dr. Penzel's book go to press. It will be a turning point for many, not only the sufferers of these OCD spectrum conditions, but for the therapeutic professionals that struggle to heal them. It's clarity, applicability and compassion are a refreshing approach to disorders that have caused such depths of suffering few can imagine. In my own life, if I had access to this book many years ago, it well could have helped me realize my teenage goals of becoming a doctor, instead of dropping out and hiding from society, desolately trapped within a behavioral prison with bars forged of compulsion.
—(Christina Pearson, Founder and Executive Director of the Trichotillomania Learning Center, Inc.)

Meet the Author

Fred Penzel, Ph.D., has been dedicated to the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorders since 1982. He is a frequent contributor to the newsletters of both the Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation and the Trichotillomania Learning Center, and is the only psychologist to sit on the Science Advisory Boards of both organizations. He is the Executive Director of Western Suffolk Psychological Services in Huntington, New York.

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