The Man Who Couldn't Stop: The Truth About OCD (Paperback)
  • The Man Who Couldn't Stop: The Truth About OCD (Paperback)

The Man Who Couldn't Stop: The Truth About OCD (Paperback)

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Paperback 336 Pages
Published: 12/02/2015
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A Sunday Times Bestseller

Have you ever had a strange urge to jump from a tall building, or steer your car into oncoming traffic? You are not alone. In this captivating fusion of science, history and personal memoir, writer David Adam explores the weird thoughts that exist within every mind, and how they drive millions of us towards obsessions and compulsions.

'One of the best and most readable studies of a mental illness to have emerged in recent years . . . an honest and open and, yes, maybe life-changing work' – Matt Haig, Observer

Told with fierce clarity, humour and urgent lyricism, this extraordinary book is both the haunting story of a personal nightmare, and a fascinating doorway into the darkest corners of our minds.

David has suffered from obsessive compulsive disoder (OCD) for twenty years, and The Man Who Couldn't Stop is his unflinchingly honest attempt to understand the condition and his experiences. What might lead an Ethiopian schoolgirl to eat a wall of her house, piece by piece; or a pair of brothers to die beneath an avalanche of household junk that they had compulsively hoarded? At what point does a harmless idea, a snowflake in a clear summer sky, become a blinding blizzard of unwanted thoughts?

Drawing on the latest research on the brain, as well as historical accounts of patients and their treatments, this is a book that will challenge the way you think about what is normal, and what is mental illness.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781447277682
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 220 g
Dimensions: 196 x 130 x 20 mm


Clear-sighted and eminently accessible ... a fundamentally important book that will bring a breath of fresh understanding to sufferers - as well as mental-health professionals, and family and friends of anyone who exhibits symptoms of OCD. I urge anyone to buy it. It will make you think again - Sunday Times

A fascinating study of the living nightmare that is obsessive compulsive disorder ... one of the best and most readable studies of a mental illness to have emerged in recent years ... an honest and open and, yes, maybe life-changing work - Matt Haig, Observer

Combines a scientific account of OCD from ancient times to the most recent research with passages of tenderly written memoir - Telegraph

The Man Who Couldn't Stop is quite simply book of the year, on living with OCD: just buy it now - Adam Rutherford

Superb... A brave and helpful contribution to deepening our understanding of the intricate complexities of mental ill-health - The Times

Adam recounts his journey with humour and detachment - Literary Review

[An] engaging, exhaustively researched neuro memoir, a blend of brain science and personal history - Evening Standard

This blew me away. Stunning - Ian Sample, Guardian

An insider's tour of the OCD brain, providing insight into the cultural and scientific evolution of how we view and treat a disorder that affects up to 3% of people worldwide - Nature

A captivating first-person account of how a blizzard of unwanted thoughts can become a personal nightmare. At times shocking, at times tragic, at times unbelievably funny, it is a wonderful read - Focus

A lucid, humane ­- only intermittently autobiographical - science book ... offers a clear history through riveting case studies and the work of key figures - Metro

David Adam, a successful writer, is also a sufferer of obsessive compulsive disorder ... He covers the history of OCD, the treatments that have been tried without success, and his experience of cognitive behavioural therapy, CBT, which was greatly helpful. A well-written, thorough account - Independent

Well-researched, witty, honest and irreverent, Adam's account proves as irresistible as his subject - Kirkus Reviews

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“One of the most amazing books on the subject”

Honestly, I was completely amazed. What a fantastic book! With an incredible sense of humor, David Adam approaches mental illness in a very straightforward way. "The Man Who Couldn't Stop" fully... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 48

“A true assessment of the condition”

An intriguing and somewhat scary book about OCD in its various forms. This book draws from the authors personal struggles with the condition and includes the latest research and historical fact. I urge anyone who is... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 35


OCD is a very misunderstood illness and is something that I have always been interested in. This is because of my own experience and that of others around me.

It's common now for people to use OCD as a reason... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 34

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