Book Review for “The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD”

I have been reading the “The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD” by Jon Hershfield and Tom Corboy, and I’m not finished with it yet, but I am really enjoying it.  I was pleasantly surprised because so many OCD books tell you stuff you could google, and since many of us OCDers are online looking up this stuff anyway….

The book’s philosophy comes from mindfulness based therapy which I am a huge appreciator of.  This style of therapy is rooted in believing that the patient is not broken or damaged, but needing some reworking of thought processes that lead to low self esteem, depression and false belief systems about reality and the self.  It has a lot to do with learning to accept which is not easy, but in my experience rewarding.  

I’m an analogy person.  It’s how I understand the world around me and how I learn about myself.  There are some good ones in this book, so I am looking forward to finish it.  For example, one thing in particular that I get irritated by is when people say “o, you have OCD?  What do you do, like what are your compulsions?”  It makes me feel like they want to satisfy their intrusive curiosity more than they actually care.  The authors discuss this situation saying “you’d never ask a person with IBS to describe their latest bowel movement”.  So true!  They suggest a few possible responses to this like saying that “it’s personal” or “my symptoms change and evolve over time just as my anxiety does” which could stir the conversation back to the fact that OCD is an anxiety disorder, not a tv show.

 And while books are not a substitute for therapy, I do find that having some useful ones nearby can make some of the tougher times a little less tough.  

Tormenting Thoughts and Secret Rituals by: Ian Osborne

This book was not only a good read for me, but for my family as well.  My mom blamed herself in some ways for me having OCD, but when she read this book, she learned that it was no one’s fault and that OCD is biological.  The author is a therapist who also suffers from OCD, which gives him some authority on the subject.  The book goes over different types of OCD, various therapies, histories and breaks down a lot of what OCD really is.

The author also accounts varies case studies detailing real people and their stories.  I did not find it so in depth as to cause me further anxiety, but I found it comforting to read about others who had OCD and what it was like for them.

The most important thing I gained from this book was the understanding that OCD is rooted in chemical imbalance, which helped me to stop blaming myself.