World of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder,
The Experiences of Living with OCD
Published by: NYU Press
288 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 mm, 9 b/w illustrations
- ISBN: 9781479881406
- Published: January 2022
Beyond trivialization and misunderstanding, the realities of people experiencing OCD
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) affects millions of people worldwide and looms large in popular culture, for instance when people quip about being “so OCD.” However, this sometimes has little relation to the actual experiences of people diagnosed with the disorder. In The World of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Dana Fennell explores the lives of people who have OCD, giving us fresh insight into a highly misunderstood, trivialized, and sometimes stigmatized mental disorder that has no surefire cure.
Drawing primarily on interviews with people who have OCD, Fennell shows us the diversity of ways the disorder manifests, when and why people come to perceive themselves as having a problem, what treatment options they pursue, and how they make sense of and manage their lives. From those who have obsessions about their sexuality and relationships, to those who check repeatedly to make sure they have not caused harm, she sheds light on the hopes, expectations, and difficulties that people with OCD encounter.
Fennell reveals how people cope in the face of this misunderstood disorder, including how they manage the barriers they face in the workplace and society. An eye-opening read, The World of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder encourages us to consider, empathize with, and take steps to improve the lives of people with mental health issues.
Using in-depth interviews, as well as historical analyses, Dana Fennell brings depth to what has historically been treated at the surface level, where others have relied heavily on stereotypes as a means for understanding. She addresses the history, the diagnoses, treatment and what everyday life is like for individuals with OCD. This is a must read for anyone who seeks to understand the ‘otherness’ experienced by those with OCD and would like a path to making it right. ~David G. LoConto, author of Social Movements and the Collective Identity of the Star Trek Fandom
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a diagnostic determination, not a disclaimer, nor dismissive attribute. Dana Fennell informs, equips, empowers, and inspires readers to be the change and nurturance we can be to empathetically uplift, sustain, and advance people with OCD. ~Michael J. Lenaghan, Mardee Jenrette Endowed Chair of Teaching Excellence Professor, Miami Dade College
Dana Fennell’s exceptional book explores the too often misunderstood experience of OCD. Guided by a social psychological perspective focused on the interplay of mind, self, and society, Fennell meticulously examines the many complexities of this diverse disorder. Her finely nuanced analyses of fifty-five compelling personal narratives will be greatly profitable for all readers, but perhaps especially welcomed by those struggling to interpret their own disturbing obsessions and compulsions. More generally, the author’s comprehensive theoretical approach should provoke critical questions about conventional medical views of mental illness. ~David A. Karp, author of Speaking of Sadness: Depression, Disconnection, and the Meanings of Illness
In The World of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Dana Fennell examines OCD through the lived-in experience of those who suffer from this often serious and debilitating condition. It is a wonderful and much-needed contribution that allows those with OCD to speak in their own words so that we can all learn from it. Highly recommended! ~Frederick Aardema, author of Explorations in Consciousness: A New Approach to Out-of-Body Experiences
Even the most seasoned OCD professional will appreciate the depth and breadth of Dana Fennell’s investigative work on OCD. Her first-hand narratives from people who shared their experiences of what living with OCD is like are woven into a sociological and psychological perspective that shines a new light on how people relate to their OCD and the social and community factors that come into play. Fennell explains the concept of lifelong career stages people with OCD experience as they work through having and managing the disorder over the course of time. ~Leslie J. Shapiro, author of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Elements, History, Treatments, and Research