I HARDLY EVER WASH MY HANDS

The Other Side of OCD

J J Keeler
Paragon House
2012
ISBN: 1-55778-892-8
self-help, obsessive-compulsive disorder, biography

For those who've ever watched Monk on television, then you'll already be familiar with OCD -- obsessive-compulsive disorder.

However, this biography takes a look at OCD from another perspective -- that of the sufferer herself and how she attempts to cope with the problems with which most of us never have to deal.

Those who don't have the disorder oftentimes feel that those with it blow things out of proportion. Even though this might be the case, nevertheless, the problems to those with OCD are very real.

JJ Keeler shares her recollections of how she contracted AIDS several times growing up; about the bomb in her teddy bear (which she still has); how it affected her social life and relationships; and how things developed into obsessions about harming others.

I daresay many readers will become frustrated reading the author's account, perhaps even depressed; but that's an indication of how well JJ has expressed herself, her emotions, her psychological makeup, and her personality. She really lets you know exactly what it's like for her.

Some readers may also see themselves reflected in the book.

Do you sort the clothes in your closet by colour? I do. Do you straighten/arrange the salt and pepper shakers and other table accoutrements in restaurants because they look unorganized? I do.

By contrast, hwoever, the life of this book's author is messy; or, rather, in a constant state of disorder. Many times she feels responsible for the problems of others, even if she's not even directly or indirectly involved with them.

But, all is not as hopeless as it might seem. The author also reaches out to others with OCD to give them guidance and support in their own struggles.

And, she concludes, "See, it isn't just you or just me. It's all of us. In the end, in some way, we're all crazy. Some people just don't know it yet".


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