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

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

by Judith L. Rapoport
 

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  • 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 daily to make sure she has turned it off
  • And one woman, in an effort to ensure that her eyebrows are symmetrical, finally plucks out every hair
  • All of these people are suffering from

    Overview

  • 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 daily to make sure she has turned it off
  • And one 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, succesful new behaviorist 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.

    Editorial Reviews

    From the Publisher
    "Deeply moving and impressive."
    —Oliver Sacks, M.D., author of Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat

    "Offers help to millions who suffer in silence."
    Chicago Tribune

    "First-rate meticulous clinical observation and state-of-the-art laboratory studies illuminate an important human problem."
    —Leon Eisenberg, M.D., Harvard Medical School

    "This book, with its information and lively writing, and informed by the author's obvious compassion for her patients, makes an important contribution to understanding an intriguing and irrational illness."
    The New York Times Book Review

    Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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.)

    Product Details

    ISBN-13:
    9780451172020
    Publisher:
    Penguin Publishing Group
    Publication date:
    12/28/1991
    Edition description:
    Reissue
    Pages:
    304
    Sales rank:
    256,254
    Product dimensions:
    4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.70(d)
    Age Range:
    18 Years

    Meet the Author

    Dr. Judith L. Rapoport is Chief of the child Psychiatry Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health. A graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard Mediacl School, she has been the recipient of the Outstanding Service Award from the U.S. Public Health Service and the Ittleson Prize in Child Psychiatry from the American Psychiatric Association. She lives with her family in Washington D.C.

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