4 out of 4 stars
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Fused: A Memoir of Childhood OCD and Adult Obsession is a biographical account written by Dr. James Manning. Within this book, Dr. Manning offers both professional (he is a psychologist) and very personal insights into a form of anxiety known as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This book chronicles Dr. Manning's journey with OCD, from his first brush with the disorder at the age of ten, to his eventual mastery of the compulsions and intrusive thoughts that come standard with this condition.
I decided to read this book for personal reasons. I have mentioned in other posts that I am mildly autistic, but I don't think that I've disclosed that I also carry the diagnosis of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I picked up this book thinking that Dr. Manning's expertise, both personal and professional, would be helpful for me. I am happy to say to say that I was not disappointed by this book. Fused is an excellent resource, not only for those who have OCD, but for their friends and loved ones as well.
Dr. Manning does a stupendous job of giving a voice to OCD. He delves into great detail within his own personal life, and leaves nothing out as he explains the motives and thought processes that fueled his obsessions. As someone who has OCD, I found his personal account to be reassuring. Countless times throughout the book, I found myself uttering phrases like "I've done that!" or "I'm so glad that I'm not the only one!" The reminder that I am not alone with these tendencies was comforting, and I believe that others with OCD would feel similarly after reading this book. For those who don't live with OCD, Dr. Manning's story provides easy-to-understand insights into the aspects of OCD that can be especially frustrating to observers.
In addition to sharing the author's personal story, Fused also includes some resources for sufferers of OCD. There are practical exercises, a glossary of the technical terms used throughout the book, and a list of potentially helpful psychotropic medications. Dr. Manning also does an excellent job of recapping the book's main points in the final chapter, which I thought was a nice touch due to the sheer volume of information within.
Other than a few grammatical oversights, I found no flaws with this book, and I award it 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend Fused not only to those afflicted with OCD, but also to anyone who knows someone with this condition. I would also suggest that psychology students read this book, as it places emphasis one the person behind the symptoms (something that academia often overlooks).
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