Compulsive Acts: A Psychiatrist's Tales of Ritual and Obsession

Compulsive Acts: A Psychiatrist's Tales of Ritual and Obsession

Compulsive Acts: A Psychiatrist's Tales of Ritual and Obsession

Compulsive Acts: A Psychiatrist's Tales of Ritual and Obsession

Synopsis

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.

Excerpt

It is a tempting cliché to say I write because I am a busy psychiatrist with a deep supply of interesting stories. But it would be more original—and more accurate—to say I am a psychiatrist because I have always written or, more precisely, because I have always wanted to write.

For as long as I can remember, narratives have swirled around me—it helps to come from a large Mediterranean family whose members have big personalities and intertwined lives. Most of these stories flowed linearly, according to the universal rules of character development and narrative progression. Others, however, defied logic and made little sense, so I looked, by becoming a psychiatrist, for either the tools that could help me connect the dots or the peaceful acceptance that there are behaviors that cannot be explained and stories that are not meant to be understood.

Yet, although storytelling has been an important part of my life for a long time, I have not until now written a book for a wide . . .

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