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 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451172020
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/28/1991
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 420,805
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.80(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About 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.

Table of Contents


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

Appendix: The Religious Perspective
References and Suggested Reading

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