Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: self-help books

An Introduction to Coping With OCD
Author Lee Brosnan, 2007.

'Simple and informative. Good illustrations and techniques'.

Suitable for Carers
This is a good introduction to coping with obsessive-compulsive issues. It begins by describing different types of OCD e.g. cleaning, checking or intrusive thoughts. There are case studies for illustration. The booklet discusses why people get Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and what keeps it going. The booklet distinguishes between control and feelings of being in control. It also introduces both cognitive and behavioural methods that the reader can begin to implement. The techniques are clearly illustrated and easy to understand. There are good techniques that help the reader deal with responsibility and blame. There is also a nice piece written for friends and family.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Author Frederick Toates & Olga Coschug-Toates, 2005.

'Autobiographical account of life with OCD. May help people to feel that they are not alone. Discusses treatment options. Manageable'.

Review: In the first section of this book, the first author, Dr Frederick Toates, provides an emotional and honest autobiographical account of his life as a person with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and his successful quest for a cure. The book then presents a number of case studies which illustrate the range of seemingly bizarre thought processes often found in OCD and the disturbing behavioural rituals often associated with these thoughts. Although the book doesn't gloss over the often horrendous symptoms of OCD and its major impact on people's lives, the overall message of the book is realistic and optimistic. For many people who have struggled to understand their OCD, such descriptions of other people's symptoms can be very reassuring. The authors suggest that it may help people to understand the nature of their psychological difficulties before presenting a range of treatment strategies.

Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Author David Veale and Rob Willson, 2009.

'Promotes readiness to change, then delivers a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) plan. For people who meet the criteria for OCD. Manageable'.

Review: This self-treatment manual provides clear, focused and practical strategies for people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The authors are a psychiatrist and a clinical psychologist who have worked with people with severe OCD for many years. They consider it important for patients to under the nature and origins of OCD. Several standard assessment questionnaires are included to enable the person to identify the nature, severity and consequences of their own condition. Such understanding is seen as an important part of the treatment programme and there is also considerable emphasis on the process of getting 'ready to change' by defining the problem accurately and setting clear goals. The book presents a 10-step plan, based on CBT. Various cognitive and behavioural strategies are detailed, and guidance is given on how to maintain progress, how to overcome obstacles and how to prevent relapse. There is also an extensive chapter on how friends and family can help. OCD is often a very severe problem and the authors are realistic in acknowledging that the book will not provide a complete solution for every reader. The authors therefore provide details of resources that might be able to offer additional help.