The Man Who Couldn't Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought

The Man Who Couldn't Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought

by David Adam


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Winner of the Medical Journalists’ Association’s Tony Thistlethwaite Award
A Finalist for the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books
Recipient of the International OCD Foundation’s Illumination Award

What might lead a schoolgirl to eat a wall of her house, piece by piece, or a man to die beneath an avalanche of household junk that he and his brother have compulsively hoarded? At what point does a harmless idea, a snowflake in a clear summer sky, become a blinding blizzard of unwanted thoughts?

David Adam—an editor at Nature and an accomplished science writer—has suffered from obsessive-compulsive disorder for twenty years, and The Man Who Couldn’t Stop is his unflinchingly honest attempt to understand the condition and his experiences. In this riveting and intimate blend of science, history, and memoir, Adam explores the weird thoughts that exist within every mind and explains how they drive millions of us toward obsession and compulsion. Told with fierce clarity, humor, and urgent lyricism, The Man Who Couldn’t Stop is a haunting story of a personal nightmare that shines a light into the darkest corners of our minds.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250083180
Publisher: Picador
Publication date: 02/02/2016
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 121,408
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Dr. David Adam is a writer and editor at Nature, the world's leading scientific journal. Before that he was a specialist correspondent for The Guardian for several years, writing on science, medicine, and the environment. He has been named feature writer of the year by the Association of British Science Writers, and has reported from Antarctica, the Arctic, China, and the depths of the Amazon jungle.

Table of Contents

1 Our siege mentality 1

2 Bad thoughts 15

3 The mademoiselle and the Rat Man 39

4 An emerging obsession 61

5 The OCD family 81

6 Cruel to be kind 99

7 The God obsession 113

8 Animals and other relatives 133

9 Man hands on misery to man 151

10 The runaway brain 171

11 Daddy's little helper 189

12 The helicopter view 203

13 Long live lobotomy 221

14 Politics and prejudice 245

15 A new dimension 259

16 Final thoughts 279

Acknowledgements 291

Notes and references 293

Appendices 321

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