Daniel Singer hadn’t eaten in a week. Hunched over with his head in his hands, he’d sit in his “safe” chair for hours, doing nothing but shaking, mumbling and moaning; he was in the throes of severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. Dan went from seven therapists to ten medications to a nine week stay at a world renowned residential treatment program. His parents worried he’d never again be able to function in society, or even worse, survive.
Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery is a mother’s account of the courage and perseverance of a young man who at times was hindered by the very people who were supposed to be helping him. It is a story of hope and the power of family, as well as a useful guide for all those whose lives have been touched by this often misunderstood and misrepresented disorder. Weaving expert commentary and useful information about OCD and its treatment throughout, the authors are able to offer not just a personal account of how the disorder can affect sufferers and families, but also a glimpse into the possibilities for diagnosis, clinical approaches, and successful outcomes. Today, thanks to Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) therapy, one of the available treatments for OCD, Dan is a college graduate working in his chosen field and living life to the fullest. He is living proof that even those with the most severe cases of OCD can not only recover, but triumph.
Janet Singer is an advocate for OCD awareness, with the goal of spreading the word that OCD, no matter how severe, is treatable. Six years ago, her son Dan suffered from OCD so debilitating he could not even eat. Today, thanks to exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy, he is a young man living his life to the fullest. Janet writes regularly for Psychcentral.com as well as Mentalhelp.net, and has been published on many other web sites including Beyond OCD, Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and Mad in America. She has also been an invited speaker at OCD conferences. She started her own blog, ocdtalk (www.ocdtalk.wordpress.com) in 2010 and it currently reaches readers in 162 countries. She uses a pseudonym to protect her son’s privacy.
Seth J. Gillihan, PhD, is a clinical assistant professor of psychology in the Psychiatry Department at the University of Pennsylvania, and a visiting assistant professor of psychology at Haverford College. Dr. Gillihan was on the faculty at the Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety at the University of Pennsylvania from 2008-2012. His research publications include articles and book chapters on the effectiveness of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for OCD, anxiety, and depression, how CBT helps people to get better, and the use of brain imaging to study psychiatric disorders. Dr. Gillihan's clinical practice is located in Haverford, PA.
Dedication Acknowledgments Author’s Note Introduction 1: Everything is Not Fine 2: Looking for Help 3: Time to Eat 4: Going Home 5: ERP to the Rescue 6: Make Me Do This 7: A Pothole in the Road 8: St. Joseph’s to the Rescue? 9: Termination Day 10: Back to Bridgeville 11: Trial and Error 12: The Crash 13: Picking Up the Pieces 14: It Didn’t Have to Happen 15: Side-Effects Take Over 16: A Turning Point 17: Hope 18: Triumph Over OCD
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More than 1 year ago
Janet Singer has accomplished more in her book, Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery, than a hundred scientific publications filled
with facts, figures, and charts. To live with OCD yourself or in your family, the ordinary human needs lay speak. Janet does that in her
book with authenticity, emotion, and compassion.
Janet lives knowing her adult son has OCD and is challenged in many ways to cope and engage in a normal existence. Most frustrating
to Janet and her husband, Gary, are the many attempts by professionals at treating Dan's symptoms. Trying one drug after the other,
sometimes prescribing one on top of the other. Often there were interactions between drugs which were unbearable for Dan. Despite
their conversations with his doctors, Janet and Gary never seemed to be able to get through to the medical community that they really
know who Dan is.
In my opinion, Janet has done a tremendous favor for those living with OCD or with a loved one who has OCD. The picture offered is a
realistic image of their family's struggles with Dan's illness and treatments. Janet does not spare anything in laying out the facts of their life,
their struggles with the medical and psychological communities, their attempts to help Dan.
Standing alongside and contributing to Janet's book is Seth J. Gillihan, Ph.D., a clinical assistant professor of psychology in the psychiatry
department at the University of Pennsylvania. The beauty of Dr. Gillihan's contributions is found in their placement in the book. As Dan
and his family face another crisis, Dr. Gillihan writes information on drugs, treatment plans, and other scientific information in lay terms.
This balance between the realistic story and the medical information available provides a perfect resource based in truth for coping with
and treating OCD.
Janet Singer has written a poignant and powerful memoir plus a resource to guide others to an understanding of OCD and how to
manage it. This book shares encouragement and enlightenment in equal measure, a powerful combination indeed.
Overcoming OCD is a story of struggle for Dan and for his parents. Janet and Dan's love for him and their wish to improve his life is
palpable. In sharing their story, Janet has gifted to many a measure of hope in coming to terms with OCD and its many crises. Anyone
living with loved ones suffering OCD, or who know someone with OCD, or who could give a copy to a local library will help spread
Janet's words an unknown number of people may benefit from the Singers' story. Share a ray of hope, a glimmer of better days, and
new and innovative treatments.
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