In this compelling book, we meet a man who can't let anyone get within a certain distance of his nose, two kleptomaniacs from very different walks of life, an Internet addict who chooses virtual life over real life, a professor with a dangerous gambling habit, and others with equally debilitating compulsive conditions. Writing with compassion, humor, and a deft literary touch, Elias Aboujaoude, an expert on obsessive compulsive disorder and behavioral addictions, tells stories inspired by memorable patients he has treated, taking us from initial contact through the stages of the doctor-patient relationship. Into these interconnected vignettes Aboujaoude weaves his own personal experiences while presenting up-to-date, accessible medical information. Rich in both meaning and symbolism, Compulsive Acts is a journey of personal growth and hope that illuminates a fascinating yet troubling dimension of human experience as it explores a group of potentially disabling conditions that are too often suffered in silence and isolation.
Psychiatry by the Dumpster
H2O under the Bridge
A Greek Tragedy
With Any Luck
One Eternity Drive
Elias Aboujaoude is Director of the Impulse Control Disorders Clinic at Stanford University School of Medicine. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, on the NBC Nightly News, and elsewhere.
“Obscuring personal details, an expert on impulse control disorders writes of patients. . . . Hard to beat the first essay.”—Vancouver Sun / New Brunswick Reader
“Tells stories inspired by memorable patients . . . . Taking the reader from initial contact through the stages of the doctor-patient relationship.”—Times Higher Ed Sup (Thes)
An engaging glimpse into the all-too-often-crippling disorders that many thousands suffer.—Booklist
“Presents case studies of [the author’s] most bizarre patients, including a man who was deathly afraid of damaging his nose and a woman who couldn't stop pulling out her hair.”—H.J. Kirchhoff Toronto Globe & Mail
“Highly readable. . . . Consistently provides the reader with a refreshingly jargon-free and intimate look at what OCD looks and feels like.’
"A wonderful read. These stories, written in a breezy, accessible style, illuminate several of the more mysterious and perplexing psychiatric ailments. Highly informative for both professional and lay readers."—Irvin Yalom MD, author of Love's Executioner
"Dr. Aboujaoude is to be congratulated for writing such an important book. He writes lyrically about bizarre, yet entirely credible, cases of common, though poorly understood, compulsions. This book will go a long way in educating the general public, as well as professionals, with its state-of-the-art information about assessment, risk factors, and treatment of these conditions."—Donald W. Black, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa