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Fly Fishing for Sharks: A memoir of life with OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder [Paperback]

Andrew Alexander
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

April 2009

Description

Fly Fishing for Sharks is a memoir that examines Andrew Alexander’s experiences with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. He had a clinically severe case that encompassed many of the symptom profiles associated with OCD. His memoir deals extensively with the pernicious effects of religion on his mental health and explores the unique link between OCD and Depression. It also deals with suicide, sexuality and the broader issue of society’s treatment of the mentally ill.

His story is set mainly in southern Africa, in South Africa as well as Zimbabwe, which began to disintegrate just about when his own mental health did. The story, despite its serious nature, is also at times humorous.

Few books have explored the nightmare that is OCD in such depth. Written by a man who has been there and lived to tell the tale, Fly Fishing for Sharks is meant to help the thousands of people each year who fall prey to this disease and is sure to be a classic memoir on the subject.

About the Author

Andrew was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1976 but grew up in Zimbabwe to which his parents emigrated after independence in 1980. He was a promising scholar, a reasonable athlete and a well adjusted young adult until Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder’s (OCD) insidious onset started to affect his functionality and eventually render him almost completely housebound. From diagnosis in 1995 after the illness forced his withdrawal from university in Cape Town, through major depression, suicide attempts, psychiatric hospitals and electro-convulsive therapy, OCD has led Andrew on a path that he would never have chosen. At the lowest point in his life, with 10 stitches in each wrist, Andrew had nothing left but a story to tell – a story that helped him salvage something from his lost years and which he hopes will help other OCD sufferers by, if nothing else, offering the solace that comes from knowing that others like you are out there. Andrew now lives in Cape Town, two minutes walk from the same beach on which he took his first steps sometime in 1977.


Product details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Chipmunkapublishing (April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184747747X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847477477
  • Product Dimensions: 20.2 x 12.6 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,216,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Heath
You have a great gift for writing - it appears effortless ("appears" being the crucial word - what Byron called `sprezzatura' - he coined an Italian word for he felt the English just didn't know or display the quality the word connoted - the concealment of hard work to produce something which appears effortless) and I was both compelled to read on and delighted by your sharpness of perception, your sense of humour and self depracatory tendency to send yourself up which is a very attractive quality in a writer.

Dr Margot Beard, Department of English, Rhodes University, South Africa
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing insights 11 Aug 2009
By Mountain Bell - Published on Amazon.com
I was interested in reading this book because I have a young friend with OCD and I am baffled by how this condition so realistically manifests in the head of the victim. And I don't use the word victim lightly.... Mr. Alexander's book answered my questions and doubts completely. It is like being in his head as he gradually becomes consumed by his symptoms. Along with his family, he goes on a quest for reasons, answers, and cures, some helpful, some disastrous. His prose is frank, candid in extreme, and in so many places, heartwarmingly funny.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fly Fishing for Sharks: OCD 7 Jun 2012
By Claire - Published on Amazon.com
Andrew's intelligent, honest and humorous account of his life with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder provides a rare insight into this disorder. Andrew's despair and small victories are so poignantly shared that the reader fully empathasizes with him. His experiences with numerous doctors highlights the challenges of living with OCD. This is one of those books that I could not put down and I can highly recommend it for those with OCD and for those who wish to gain more insight into OCD.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fly Fishing for Sharks - He caught Jaws! 27 Dec 2008
By D. Clarke - Published on Amazon.com
A great insight into a much misunderstood, complex problem. A very well written book; honest, humourous and easy flowing whilst comprehensive and informative. An excellent read by any standards.
4.0 out of 5 stars Review posted on behalf of Dr Margot Beard, Department of English, Rhodes University, South Africa 16 Dec 2008
By Bulawayo Bruce - Published on Amazon.com
You have a great gift for writing - it appears effortless ("appears" being the crucial word - what Byron called `sprezzatura' - he coined an Italian word for he felt the English just didn't know or display the quality the word connoted - the concealment of hard work to produce something which appears effortless) and I was both compelled to read on and delighted by your sharpness of perception, your sense of humour and self depracatory tendency to send yourself up which is a very attractive quality in a writer.
Dr Margot Beard, Department of English, Rhodes University, South Africa
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