on 23 January 2008
I spent the most secretive time of my life, the years 1986-2005 hiding away from what is now known to be a common disorder. I suffered intensively from OCD and I was diagnosed with depression and OCD in November 2005. For almost two decades suffering in silence I'm now on the road to recovery and enjoying life to the full.
I have read many OCD books over the years and I can honestly say that there have been a very few good ones out there but when I was presented with this book called "Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder" I thought to myself it's just another one of these zillion self-help books but I was wrong. It held a thought of interest and captured a self belief , focusing on what I want and working out ways to make it happen and this grew every time when turning of the pages, I formed a personal connection with the true life stories in this book. All I can say, finally I have found a book I can relate to and now I can frankly say 'SPOT ON!' this book is the ultimate approach to self-help using Cognitive Behavioural Techniques. This book is ideal for teenagers as well as adults, my 14 year old niece had no difficulty reading and understanding this book. The book is well presented in-depth and is broken down into chapters and sections, any book written in Layman's terms is a win-win for me. The book incorporate NO bad philosophy and I would say is a yes-yes for young people as well as adults.
on 28 June 2006
I manage OCD and (10 years ago now) Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) changed my life. It seems hard to believe that in 2006 when many therapists aren't trained in CBT (and sufferers don't know what they need) that the latest, most up to date CBT methods are available in a user friendly book that you can have at your side. I've read a few OCD books and this one stands out as being something quite special. When OCD affects 3 or 5% (or whatever it is) of us, it seems crazy that so few will know that such Good News is so near at hand. This should be advertised on buses!!
on 30 October 2007
This book is part of a very useful series published by Robinson, each of which looks at applying CBT to a particular area of Mental Health (Anxiety, Depression, Low Self-Esteem, Anger & Irritability etc). Each book is written by a leading practitioner/researcher in the particular area of concern. Having now worked with CBT for many years, I believe that it is at its most useful when dealing with some of these specific Mental and Behavioural Health issues.
Although they are written as self-help books, in my experience they can also be useful to therapists as a practical introduction to working with a problem area. In some cases, therapist and client can work together using the book as a resource. CBT is, after all, an educative process where therapist and client collaboratively discover what will work best for the client's improvement (indeed, all psychotherapy can be seen as a form of structured experiential learning). A book like this can be a useful map for a part of the journey.
In this particular book, David Veale and Rob Willson outline the nature of OCD and the CBT approach to working with it. They point out that the use of the word "obsession" in everyday usage is different from its meaning in the context of OCD. Here it refers to any distressing thought, image or urge, "...associated in the person's mind with the power to prevent harm occurring" (p. 10). Such obsessions are therefore associated with Safety-seeking Behaviours (an important concept in the CBT of any Anxiety Disorder) which tend to maintain the obsession.
Other important concepts described are
* The over-importance of thoughts.
* Inflated responsibility & Magical thinking.
* Overestimation of danger.
* Attention biases.
In relation to recovery from OCD, the main approach described is that of Response Prevention, which has been well established in the evidence base for quite a long time as one of the most effective ways of working with these issues. Veale and Willson sum up the process as follows:
1. Develop a hierarchy of triggers
2. Face your fear
3. Make exposure long enough
4. Make exposure frequent enough
5. No anxiety-reducing strategies
6. If you do a ritual, repeat the exposure
7. Monitor progress
Other approaches described include the "Theory A & Theory B" approach, where different possible interpretations of the client's thoughts and feelings are tested using behavioural experiments, and Mindfulness Meditation, which is now being incorporated into CBT approaches to a number of problems, including Chronic Pain and Depression.
The authors also include some useful forms in the appendices, in relation to both assessment and treatment.
on 22 August 2012
For all the stereotypes of OCD, it's easy to think it only encompasses "hand washing" or "checking". Not so. I was recommended this book, as I was doubtful if my own condition was OCD, as it seemed so different to the stereotypical aspects of OCD. This book made me see others were going through what I was, and that I wasn't alone. With helpful advice and explanations, this book is essential for anyone suffering OCD who feels alone. Of course, it isn't a replacement for medical help, but it's a start if you want to research into the condition in your own time too. Sometimes, just knowing you're not the only one can be a huge help, however "odd" or "terrible" you think your obsession is (as I thought of myself), you can be assured you're not the only one to have suffered.
on 13 November 2014
OCD basically consist of two streams of problems, obsessions and compulsions. The main difference is that the obsessions happen mostly on mental level like disruptive thoughts or images that ruin your mood and concentration. Compulsions, on the other hand, happen on behavioral level, like thoughts that make you do something, usually repetitive or somehow unhelpful or self-destructive and you can't resist or stop them.
Quite a big book, around 330 pages of main text, then 5 appendixes with forms, worksheets, following with references and index for another 120 pages. But I have to say that reading goes quite quickly and personally I went through about 100 pages on first time, as I literally couldn't stop reading. There is much more of basic text around exercises and techniques than in Overcoming anxiety or mood swings. And the text does'nt go as deed as in Overcoming depression and it's kept more or less in cognitive/mental level. Something like the full elaboration of thoughts and their link to actions, behaviors, feelings and emotions.
The book is run in very positive way, full of comforting sentences like: "OCD can be 100% overcome just by reading and understanding this book", or "OCD are many things, none of them good". There is a very inspiring the bill of rights on the page 260, which brings hope and logic into the fight with OCD. First chapter also list some examples of famous people from history, who also suffered by this condition, like Charles Dickens and Martin Luther.
OCD is strongly linked to many other issues like depression, anxiety, alcoholism and drug use, along with compulsive gambling, low self-esteem, fatique, insomnia, and so on. It can go even over 10 years undetected and unreported, especially when it's shame-based or guilt-based. In many cases, people consider it a "normal life issues", or they are ashamed revealing or talking about them. For example blashemous or sexual intrusive thoughts are really hard to disclose even to our closest friends or family members. So the diagnosis and treatment is many times prompted by family members or peers, who can see clearly how someone goes around in the vicious circle, unable to excape the grip of OCD. Yet still not willing to acknowledge the problem.
For example, health anxiety disorder or hypochondria is considered the special case or type of OCD, due to simple fact that OCD is dealing with all intrusive thoughts, whereas the health anxiety mostly represent intrusive thoughts concerning the health (or sickness for that matter). OCD, low self-esteem or some other conditions can serve as inducing factors for deeper issues like depression and social issues. They can go for years without causing any major problem, eventurally however, problems will come in the long-term in the form of depressive episode, gambling, alcoholism and/or some other existential or relationship crisis.
There is a mention about the lack of research or funding for study for OCD on many occasions throughout the book. A good reason for a book like this to be available in the bookshops or on amazon. Plus I hope that my short summary of some important points about OCD will contribute to better understanding of this restrictive condition. So it's been an honor. Hawk.
on 19 April 2007
This book is exceptional. Reading it, and carrying out the CBT methods it describes has changed my life.
I've read other ocd books and am sorry to say that many offer advice that is unsupported by the majority of CB therapists. This, however, is written by 2 of the leading experts in the field, and provides a thorough programme of advice and support for you to truely make progress with your ocd.
I'd recommend this book for people with all kinds of ocd, not only the text book symptoms. the principles of cbt are so clear and well tested that with a bit of extra thought, you can adapt them to your needs.