The Thought That Counts: A Firsthand Account of One Teenager's Experience with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

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Overview

For the more than 2 million Americans with obsessive-compulsive disorder, the intrusive thoughts and uncontrollable behaviors can take a harsh toll, as author Jared Douglas Kant knows all too well. Diagnosed with OCD at age 11, Jared became ruled by dread of deadly germs and diseases, the unrelenting need to count and check things, and a persistent, nagging doubt that overshadowed his life.

In The Thought that Counts, Jared shares his deeply personal account of trial, ...

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The Thought That Counts: A Firsthand Account of One Teenager's Experience with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

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Overview

For the more than 2 million Americans with obsessive-compulsive disorder, the intrusive thoughts and uncontrollable behaviors can take a harsh toll, as author Jared Douglas Kant knows all too well. Diagnosed with OCD at age 11, Jared became ruled by dread of deadly germs and diseases, the unrelenting need to count and check things, and a persistent, nagging doubt that overshadowed his life.

In The Thought that Counts, Jared shares his deeply personal account of trial, tribulation, and ultimately triumph. Using anecdotes, narratives and sidebars, this book adds a human face to a complex disorder. Jared's funny, often touching, sometimes harrowing tale makes for compelling reading. Yet his memoir is only half the story. With the help of psychologist Martin Franklin, Ph.D., and veteran science writer Linda Wasmer Andrews, Jared paints the big picture for other teens with OCD. Drawing on the latest scientific and medical evidence, he explains how to recognize warning signs, where to find help, and what treatments have proved effective. Jared also offers practical suggestions on managing the symptoms of OCD at home, at school, and in relationships with family and friends. The result is both an absorbing memoir and a useful guide that will help to ease the isolation caused by OCD, assuring anyone recently diagnosed with the disease that, with commitment and hard work, they can overcome this illness.

Part of the Adolescent Mental Health Initiative series of books written specifically for teens and young adults, this volume offers hope to young people who are struggling with obsessive-compulsive disorder, helping them to overcome the challenges of this illness and go on to lead healthy, productive lives.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is a searing personal account about life with OCD, and as a fellow sufferer, I was impressed by the unique insight it gives the reader...[I]t's the extraordinary testimony of a sufferer that makes the book so powerful; Kant takes the reader into that exclusive club sufferers belong to, and I found myself nodding in recognition throughout. This book will strike a chord with sufferers, and will help many readers understand what OCD really means. "—Ian Puleston-Davies, The Daily Mail, London

"Part memoir, part educational self-help tool, this book lives up to the double entendre embodied in the title...This book would be helpful for those who are diagnosed with OCD at a young age. The personal voice is strong; Kant tells his story with humor and in a self-deprecating style."—School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up

Part memoir, part educational self-help tool, this book lives up to the double entendre embodied in the title. Kant tells of his life as an uptight junior high student who found that his obsessions were beyond the realm of the ordinary and placed him in the approximately one percent of the population with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Blessed with loving, affluent parents, he was sent to the best doctors, therapists, and even a boarding school where he received the support and therapy he needed. Each chapter chronicles a new stage in his life from acknowledging to accepting his disorder. He recounts his struggles as well as his triumphs, making it clear that there is no easy fix for OCD, but also emphasizing that it does not have to control one's life. Written in conjunction with a medical professional, the second half of each chapter gives practical information on definitions, treatments, and tips for living comfortably with this disorder. Although still in his early 20s, Kant has learned to identify his own strengths and weaknesses and adjust his approach to life to make the most of his individual gifts. This book would be helpful for those who are diagnosed with OCD at a young age. The personal voice is strong; Kant tells his story with humor and in a self-deprecating style.-Wendy Smith-D'Arezzo, Loyola College, Baltimore, MD

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195316896
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/4/2008
  • Series: Adolescent Mental Health Initiative Series
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 696,041
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Jared Douglas Kant overcame great obstacles to graduate at the top of his college class in 2006. Today Jared works as a Clinical Research Assistant at the Massachusetts General Hospital Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Clinic and Research Unit. He speaks frequently about his experiences with OCD at conferences and academic institutions, and he contributes to Organized Chaos, the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation's website for teens and young adults.

Martin Franklin, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, & Clinical Director, Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety.

Linda Wasmer Andrews is a freelance health and psychology writer based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is the coauthor of If Your Adolescent Has an Anxiety Disorder: An Essential Resource for Parents as well as the author or co-author of numerous other books, including Stress Control for Peach of Mind. Her writing has appeared in magazines such as Self, Parenting, and Psychology Today.

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Table of Contents

Foreword     ix
Preface     xiii
On Second (and Third and Fourth) Thought: Obsessions and Compulsions     3
My Story     3
Diseases, Physical and Mental     4
Disasters Waiting to Happen     6
Less-Than-Happy Camper     7
Invasion of the Mind Snatchers     8
The Big Picture     10
So What Exactly Is OCD?     11
What Forms Can the Disorder Take?     13
How Common Is OCD?     19
What Causes the Disorder?     20
What's the Least I Need to Know?     26
Slippery Slope to the Hospital: Diagnosis and Hospitalization     28
My Story     28
Darkness Falls Early     29
The World Gets Scarier     31
Toxic Fears and Poisonous Thoughts     32
Desperate and Despairing     34
Inside a Psych Ward     35
The Big Picture     38
What Are the Warning Signs?     38
Where Can I Turn for Help?     41
How Is a Diagnosis of OCD Made?     43
What Kinds of Treatment Really Work?     44
When Is Hospitalization Helpful?     46
What's the Least I Need to Know?     48
Adventures in Daily Living: OCD at Home and School     50
My Story     50
Locker Room Meltdown     52
Just Following Orders     53
Retracing My Steps     54
Paying Scrupulous Attention     56
Sorry for Everything     57
The Big Picture     59
How Does OCD AFfect Life at Home?     61
How Does OCD Affect Life at School?     63
What Steps Help Manage OCD at School?     65
What Should You Tell Friends about OCD?     67
What's the Least I Need to Know?     70
Reaching for a Lifeline: Psychotherapy and Medication     72
My Story     72
Off to Boarding School     73
Hitting the Panic Button     75
Winning by Surrender     76
Cognitive-Behavioral Help     79
Looking East for Inspiration     80
The Big Picture     83
What Form of CBT Is Most Effective?     85
What Types of Medication Are Helpful?     91
How Can I Pay for Treatment?     94
Which Self-Help Strategies Are Useful?     96
What's the Least I Need to Know?     97
Rituals, Routines, and Recovery: Living With OCD      99
My Story     99
Staring Down OCD     100
Life Beyond High School     102
Hoarding 101     104
Cleaning Up My Act     106
The Big Picture     107
How Does Substance Abuse Affect OCD?     110
How Are Tic Disorders Related to OCD?     112
What Are Obsessive-Compulsive Spectrum Disorders?     114
Which Other Disorders Are Related to OCD?     116
What's the Outlook for My Future?     120
What's the Least I Need to Know?     121
Where I Was Is Not Where I Am     122
Romancing the Illness     123
Does That Sound Rational?     126
The One-Shower Rule     127
Sweet Stink of Success     128
Tooling Up for the Future     130
Frequently Asked Questions     133
Glossary     143
Resources     149
Bibliography     157
Index     161
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 1.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2013

    The Thought That Counts is about Jared Kant and his early stru

    The Thought That Counts is about Jared Kant and his early struggles with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Kant initially was scared, as he didn’t understand what was wrong with him, or why he was acting the way he was. After seeking treatment, things became better for Kant as he learns to deal with the disease, and begins to fit in more with society. Major messages within the book are the early problems that Kant encountered and the type of treatment that he sought. Kant details his school life and going through the disorder as well as the type of rituals that he experienced. I enjoyed the detail that Kant went into in explaining what he went through and the types of problems that he experienced throughout his early diagnosis. He also gives good insight on the treatment options and how they helped overcome his mental disorder. There is also writing for doctors within the book that brings a different perspective. People that should read this book include those going through early stages of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and their families. The book can provide comfort in that they are not the only ones going through it, and that everything will get better in the end. People who should not read this are those with no connection to OCD because it details symptoms of the disorder, and people not experiencing them will not be able to relate. Someone should read this book if they are looking for more information on the disorder, and people who were recently diagnosed and need a good read about someone else who have been through it all. This book should not be made into a movie as it is a personal story of a man who has gone through the illness, and there are millions of people around the world who have experienced the same thing. Overall, I will rate this book a 2 out of 5 because while it gives great information about OCD and how to get treatment, none of it personally relates to me.

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  • Posted May 6, 2010

    For any Parent whose child has OCD

    Our 9 year old son was recently diagnosed with OCD. Our psychiatrists recommended this book. Although our don is not as affected by OCD as this teen, I was able to see what we as parents could do tpo help him, now amd in the future.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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