OCD books
August 9, 2010 4:44 PM   Subscribe

Have you had success with an OCD book? Which one(s)?

I've been diagnosed OCD for about a decade now. It's been quite a blast! For the most part, I tend towards "pure-O", where the bulk of my OCD is in obsessive thoughts/worries, with fairly little in the way of rituals or compulsions. I was on Zoloft for about a year, but quit.

My anxiety and OCD have been somewhat worse of late, so I've restarted the Zoloft (50mg). I'm also looking for a book on OCD. Do you know of any that worked (or didn't work)? Any personal accounts would be greatly appreciated. I have seen a therapist at my school, but would prefer to tackle this on my own for the time being. To be clear, my symptoms aren't so bad that I can't get out of bed in the morning, go to work, spend time with friends, carry on relationships and such... but they're also not something I'm enjoying living with, if some sort of change is possible.

Feel free to e-mail me at ocdmefi@gmail.com as well.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
As a therapist in the distant past, I read and recommended "Brain Lock," by Jeffrey M. Schwartz. I was working mostly with children in a community mental health setting, so compliance with parents reading books wasn't too high, and I didn't have any feedback on the efficacy of the book. It made a lot of sense to me when I read it, though, and I think it is worth looking at.
posted by thebrokedown at 5:58 PM on August 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

I have OCD as well (diagnosed 6 years ago), and am having a go at managing it without medication. My therapist has given me a couple of chapters from The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook and I've benefited from them. In particular, it was a jumping block for me into relaxation/meditation, which helps a lot with the obsessive aspects, I've found. I ended up downloaded a few podcasts and try to do short guided relaxation exercises when I start feeling obsessive.

I completely empathize with the desire to manage it on your own, but I highly recommend getting back into therapy as a preventative measure. It's pretty generally accepted in the empirical literature that therapy alone/medication alone can be somewhat effective, but together, they have the greatest effect. I find that, without therapy, I don't realize that things have gotten bad until they're so bad that I have to take drastic measures to dig myself out of whatever new hole I've gotten myself into. I'm managing things pretty well for now, so I go every couple of weeks. In those sessions, though, I've troubleshooted minor issues that could have snowballed into bigger issues.

Feel free to memail me with further questions.
posted by emilyd22222 at 6:13 PM on August 9, 2010

Seconding "Brain Lock"...truly useful cognitive behavioral therapy--if you practice it, it works.

Good luck!
posted by retronic at 11:19 PM on August 9, 2010

Nthing above. My son has OCD (pure O thoughts) and he's had his best results with Celexa and checking in with his CBT therapist when he feels like he's starting to worry about stuff too much.

Two other things that have been very helpful for him are to remember the diet/OCD connection (when there's not a good balance of protein and healthy carbs, he can get ramped up), and to understand that when he's got allergies, an ear infection or other physical stress, his symptoms can become worse.

Allergy season is particularly brutal for him.
posted by dzaz at 6:18 AM on August 10, 2010

Hi OP,

I had great sucess with "The Imp of the Mind" by Dr. Lee Baer. I found it super helpful, especially for purely mental ritualization. Some of the other books seem more helpful with OCD that manifests itself physically, but this book is devoted to largely mental manifestations.

I really really can't recommend this book enough.
posted by HabeasCorpus at 8:22 PM on August 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

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