The Man Who Couldn't Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought
by David Adam
Sarah Crichton Books*, 2015 ($26)
Intrusive thoughts, for most of us, are generally fleeting. We fixate for a moment on attractive strangers or on the perfect buttery cupcake. Such ruminations generally ebb and flow with the other thousands of thoughts we have in a day. For Adam, an editor at Nature, and several million others with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), thoughts can circle in the mind repeatedly and become nearly impossible to banish. These unwanted preoccupations can drive people toward irrational actions. By recounting his and others' struggles with the disorder, Adam aims to make readers more aware of what living with the condition is like. He also lucidly describes the scientific research into OCD, which is scant and sometimes contradictory.
“This is not intended as a self-help book,” Adam writes. “But if it does help ... or if it can merely prise open the eyes of others, then I am glad.”