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

Hardback

By (author) David Adam

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  • Publisher: PICADOR
  • Format: Hardback | 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 135mm x 216mm x 35mm | 469g
  • Publication date: 10 April 2014
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1447238281
  • ISBN 13: 9781447238287
  • Sales rank: 37,920

Product description

Have you ever had a strange urge to jump from a tall building, or steer your car into oncoming traffic? You are not alone. In this captivating fusion of science, history and personal memoir, writer David Adam explores the weird thoughts that exist within every mind, and how they drive millions of us towards obsessions and compulsions. David has suffered from OCD for twenty years, and The Man Who Couldn't Stop is his unflinchingly honest attempt to understand the condition and his experiences. What might lead an Ethiopian schoolgirl to eat a wall of her house, piece by piece; or a pair of brothers to die beneath an avalanche of household junk that they had compulsively hoarded? At what point does a harmless idea, a snowflake in a clear summer sky, become a blinding blizzard of unwanted thoughts? Drawing on the latest research on the brain, as well as historical accounts of patients and their treatments, this is a book that will challenge the way you think about what is normal, and what is mental illness. Told with fierce clarity, humour and urgent lyricism, this extraordinary book is both the haunting story of a personal nightmare, and a fascinating doorway into the darkest corners of our minds.

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Author information

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

Review quote

Clear-sighted and eminently accessible ... a fundamentally important book that will bring a breath of fresh understanding to sufferers - as well as mental-health professionals, and family and friends of anyone who exhibits symptoms of OCD. I urge anyone to buy it. It will make you think again Sunday Times Combines a scientific account of OCD from ancient times to the most recent research with passages of tenderly written memoir Telegraph The Man Who Couldn't Stop is quite simply book of the year, on living with OCD: just buy it now -- Adam Rutherford I salute Adam's courage ... This account is a brave and helpful contribution to deepening our understanding of the intricate complexities of mental ill-health The Times Adam recounts his journey with humour and detachment Literary Review [An] engaging, exhaustively researched neuro memoir, a blend of brain science and personal history Evening Standard This blew me away. Stunning -- Ian Sample Guardian An insider's tour of the OCD brain, providing insight into the cultural and scientific evolution of how we view and treat a disorder that affects up to 3% of people worldwide Nature A captivating first-person account of how a blizzard of unwanted thoughts can become a personal nightmare. At times shocking, at times tragic, at times unbelievably funny, it is a wonderful read Focus A lucid, humane -- only intermittently autobiographical - science book ... offers a clear history through riveting case studies and the work of key figures Metro