Wednesday, January 11, 2012


There are some good memoirs out as well as good books about ocd.
If you were just diagnosed with ocd, or had family members who were,
would you sign the following books out of the library?

If they weren't in your local library, would you get them thru interlibrary loan?

Would you prefer to read them on a kindle/kobo or other electronic device instead?

Reason for asking:  there aren't any really good memoirs at my local library.  I would like to donate a few of the ones i thot were good success stories.  But i don't want to do that if people with ocd don't read books about ocd- because of fears or disinterest.  What do you think?


 Brain Lock by Jeff Schwartz,
Rewind, Repeat, Replay by radio personality Jeff Bell.
  It'll Be Ok.  How I Kept Ocd From Ruining My Life by Shannon Shy
When in Doubt Make Believe by Jeff Bell (above)
Freedom From Ocd by Jonathan Grayson (haven't read this one but hear it's a good ocd book)

thanks for answering. :)

Erp:  laundry.


1 Put detergent etc into machine.
2.Take laundry out of basket and off floor (the garbage day laundry) carefully, putting into machine by only touching my hands/ arms.
3.Wipe down machine. 
4.Take ppr towel and turn on tap. Wash hands.  End of ‘ pre-dirty clothes.  Now laundry is all clean.   
     Start over with new thought that laundry is not dirty.
5.Breathe. Calm down.  Make dinner.
6. Go to library!!!!!!!! Reward.

Thot record: same as before.

Results:  Well Bruce fell asleep around 3 and didn’t wake up for 2 ½ hours or so.  So dinner was before laundry which was ok.  I did really well until I kicked one of the towels on the floor with my foot. So I had to take my sock of and clean my foot. Sounds fine, quick, easy but not so because once ocd has a tiny grip it sinks its teeth in and doesn’t let go.  I wiped my foot and then wondered if my pants touched the paper towel.  So I took my pants off.  I wiped my feet and washed my hands.  Of course I was not impressed with myself- again- but tried not to beat myself up. -After all that would be perfectionism and that's not nice.- So what should I tell myself, I wondered?  I don’t believe in false praise as that doesn’t help anyone and even kids figure out its false.  I mean 2+2 = 5 is not ‘almost’ right, unless the kid is 3.  After that it’s wrong.  But on a math paper, you usually get more than 1 question to get  right. Getting ¾ questions right is still good, not perfect, but who says you have to be.  Ditto for a project. You get part marks for each section and maybe spelling and content.  You may end up with  25/ 35, but … and the light went on. 

To me, an erp is like a math question 2+3=5.  But erp isn’t as easy as that.  It’s more like a project. So I get 10/10 for putting the clothes in the basket into the machine,
 7/10 for getting the clothes on the floor in the machine because I touched the towel with my toe,
 5/5 for putting the detergent/ vinegar into the machine with no problem,
4/5 for wiping, because I messed that up a bit and
 0/5 for wiping my foot. (which was no problem before, but is now suddenly a major impediment to  
            my progress).
I get 7/10 because I didn’t shower, but I did change my pants.  I didn’t change my shirt and I realllllly
                reallllly wanted to by then. 
So my grand total for the project is: 33/45 which works out to:  73%  which is better than my university average, so I still did ok.  Maybe next time I can get 80%!   When I started I got  25%.  I had to take a shower!  That makes me feel a LOT better that 1/1 or 0/1 does.  Maybe I’ll even feel clean enuf to go to the library soon…if I give myself 5 bonus marks for going will that help me decide?  Lol.


  1. I like how you graded your erp. :)
    I think I might still have problems since scores below 95% still bother me (perfectionism, so don't copy me there :) )

    As for books, I definately read books and internet articles. I would suspect that a good number of people with OCD do research the disorder, perhaps even to the point of approaching compulsive status (i.e, do I really have OCD? Is such-and-such a worry an indication of a big problem, or just OCD?).
    One I liked was "Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood" by Jennifer Traig. More for the common experience than for it being a success story. I like paper books and don't have a kindle.

    1. I don't think I've heard of Jennifer Traig's book before. I will have to check it out.

    2. Well i'm more perfectionistic than i want to admit, but i'm trying to look at things differently :)

      I looked up Traig's book on Goodreads and it seems like people either really like it and think it's really funny or they really dislike it and think it's too repetative. I think i may have to use interlibrary loan to get this one too!

  2. Love the way you did the math! That's a good way to chart progress.

    I haven't read many autobiographical accounts of OCD. Part of it is I kind of wanted to ignore the OCD for a long time. But I have read a lot about the disorder itself, and I think others would like having the opportunity to learn more from books. I have a Nook, but I love "real" books too.

  3. Really like your scoring system! I think what's best about that is that you acknowledged the successful part of your ERP. I think that's very important. I absolutely LOVE Jeff Bell's book, Rewind, Repeat, Replay. In my opinion, the very best memoir. I also asked some family members to read it so they would understand OCD better. It did help them. Grayson's book is also excellent, really helpful w/ERPs. I have recommended both books several times. When I first started CBT I read everything I could get my hands on about OCD. Pretty much still do. What a wonderful idea to share them with others!

  4. You might want to talk to someone at the library as I'm not sure how they feel about taking donations. I've heard that donated books end up on the 'for sale' tables rather than in the library collections.

    And I think you deserve more than 7/10 for getting clothes on the bottom of the machine because you only touch the towel and presumably there were several other items in the load. Now, if there were 10 items that would make 9/10, so unless it was a small load, you should give yourself more points for that.

    Brilliant idea though, grading yourself - it's a way of showing how well you're doing while accepting that there's still room for improvement and not making everything an 'all or nothing' situation.

    1. yes, i am planning to do that first, for that reason. However, i have taken books out of the library and noticed they have other people's names crossed out inside the cover. So they seem to be taking donations (or shopping at a used book store???)

  5. Unfortunately when it didn't work today (again) i wasn't too keen on grading myself because then i'd be peeved at myself for doing better than 0, even tho it was still not perfect, because i guess i WANTED to have the pity party i was taking. :P

  6. A wonderful and informative website is the International OCD Foundation.