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

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, ...

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

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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.

Up to six million Americans are afflicted with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a serious, emotionally crippling disease. Cleaning, counting, washing, checking, avoiding--these are just some of the rituals that sufferers are powerless to stop. Now an expert on OCD reveals breakthroughs in diagnosis, successful new behaviorist therapies, drug treatments, and more.

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Editorial Reviews

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.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451172020
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/1991
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 256,187
  • Product dimensions: 4.32 (w) x 6.82 (h) x 0.85 (d)

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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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Introduction

Part I: The Patients Speak: Parents
1. The Auto Accident That Never Was
2. Rituals and Contaminations: Zach and His Family

Part II: The Patients Speak: Children
3. Paul: Stuck in the Doorway
4. Arnie: The Paper Route
5. Morris: Mr. Clean

Part III: A Doctor's Perspective
6. The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Washing
7. The Doubting Disease
8. Is OCD a Brain Disease?
9. Unlearning to Understand
10. Anafranil: A Wonder Drug?
11. David's Drug Odyssey
12. How Sweet It Is!
13. The Hidden
14. No Joke
15. The Music Goes 'Round and 'Round
16. My Mind on My Mind
17. Over and Over Again
18. The Secret Life of a Street Person
19. Count Me Out
20. Love Story
21. AIDS: The New Obsession
22. The Hair-Pulling Women
23. Innocent Sinners
24. A Thousand Commitments to God

Part IV: On the Boundaries
25. The Obsessionality of Everyday Life
26. Knock Wood
27. Grooming and Nesting
28. I Can't Get You Out of My Mind
29. Free Will and the Uncertainty of Knowing

Part V: Do You Have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder?
30. Making the Diagnosis
31. What to Do If You Have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Epilogue Appendix: The Religious Perspective References and Suggested Reading Index

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2000

    The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Washing - an educational and thought-provoking read

    As a person who has had experience with this potentially life-crippling disorder, I found this book to be informative and long overdue. Although published in 1989 and thus somewhat outdated, there have been few non-technical books published since then that have dealt with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in such real and unflinching terms. Dr. Rapoport touches upon everything in her book, from 'checking' to hair-pulling, and along the way gives a thorough description of the many forms this disorder can take. The book consists mostly of personal and second-hand accounts of people living with OCD as well as the accounts of their family members. In providing these accounts and her professional opinions, Dr. Rapoport gives more of an in-depth, realistic picture of what it is like to deal with this disorder than any scientific textbook could create. Along with these accounts the author includes the evidence found in studies done by Rapoport and other scientific groups concerning possible causes, various treatments, and other sources of info about OCD. It should be noted, however, that much more information has been discovered about OCD and additional forms of therapy since the publication of this book. Regardless of its age, The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Washing is an insightful, accurate book that will provide the reader with a realistic view into the life of an obsessive-compulsive. The personal accounts and vignettes speak loudly and clearly for those obsessive-compulsives who are unable to express what they must go through to make it through each day. If nothing else, this book serves as a way to educate society about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and encourage tolerance of those living with this problem.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2009

    Inreresting book.

    You will read it fast. Good explanations of different mental disorders. Good book for those who are interested in understanding the topic but not need to be a proffessional of Psicology.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    Interesting stories

    I enjoyed most of the stories of the individuals with OCD but I think the book should be revised to give recent examples and ways to cope with the disorder.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2005

    This Is One of the Classics

    This is the most precious book in the world to an least one of the persons who has been in our OCD support group. For the first time he realized he was not crazy and had a name for what he thought and did. Everyone in the OCD field owns a debt of gratitude to this author and this work. The case histories in the Appendix have always stood out as inspiring studies to new generations of practitioners.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2000

    My Review

    i had to read a book that was related to non-fiction science. i found this book and it gave me more then enough info to actually understand OCD.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews

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