Catalogue

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Compulsive acts [electronic resource] : a psychiatrist's tales of ritual and obsession /
Elias Aboujaoude.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2008.
description
xii, 175 p. ; 22 cm.
ISBN
0520255674 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780520255678 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2008.
isbn
0520255674 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780520255678 (cloth : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Psychiatry by the dumpster -- H2O under the bridge -- A Greek tragedy -- With any luck -- Eternity drive -- Onychophagia.
catalogue key
8838907
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 163-168) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"A wonderful read. These stories, written in a breezy, accessible style, illuminate several of the more mysterious and perplexing psychiatric ailments. Highly informative for both professional and lay readers."--Irvin Yalom M.D., author ofLove's Executioner "Dr. Aboujaoude is to be congratulated for writing such an important book. He writes lyrically about bizarre, yet entirely credible, cases of common, though poorly understood, compulsions. This book will go a long way in educating the general public, as well as professionals, with its state-of-the-art information about assessment, risk factors, and treatment of these conditions."--Donald W. Black, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa
Flap Copy
"A wonderful read. These stories, written in a breezy, accessible style, illuminate several of the more mysterious and perplexing psychiatric ailments. Highly informative for both professional and lay readers."--Irvin Yalom MD, author of "Love's Executioner" "Dr. Aboujaoude is to be congratulated for writing such an important book. He writes lyrically about bizarre, yet entirely credible, cases of common, though poorly understood, compulsions. This book will go a long way in educating the general public, as well as professionals, with its state-of-the-art information about assessment, risk factors, and treatment of these conditions."--Donald W. Black, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa
Flap Copy
"A wonderful read. These stories, written in a breezy, accessible style, illuminate several of the more mysterious and perplexing psychiatric ailments. Highly informative for both professional and lay readers."--Irvin Yalom MD, author of Love's Executioner "Dr. Aboujaoude is to be congratulated for writing such an important book. He writes lyrically about bizarre, yet entirely credible, cases of common, though poorly understood, compulsions. This book will go a long way in educating the general public, as well as professionals, with its state-of-the-art information about assessment, risk factors, and treatment of these conditions."--Donald W. Black, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, Iowa
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2008-09-01:
Though this book is easy to read, it is misleading, factually incorrect, and ethically questionable. Aboujaoude (School of Medicine, Stanford) uses vignettes of patients to discuss obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and in so doing brings up ethically questionable interactions between his receptionist and patients and ignores the ethics of presenting material with accuracy. He falsely describes basic principles, calling response cost (a punishment procedure) "negative reinforcement" and reinforcer satiation "extinction." Contending that behavioral problems of OCD are biologically caused, Aboujaoude brushes aside the strong evidence of causative effects of one's environment on ordered and disordered behavior. His argument for medication is questionable: he notes that six double-blind studies support medication but ignores the fact five did not support it and the fact that behavior change alters brain function in OCD patients. Had Aboujaoude correctly understood basic principles, he would have seen (and mentioned) that the gambling vignette he offers is a clear example of negative reinforcement--"obsessive" gambling being maintained as escape and avoidance of a domineering, belittling spouse. Aboujaoude does not mention this obvious interpretation. If this book were accurate, psychiatry would be in sad shape. Summing Up: Not recommended. S. R. Flora Youngstown State Universtiy
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2008-02-11:
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) affects 1%-2% of Americans, according to Aboujaoude, director of the Impulse Control Disorders Center at Stanford's School of Medicine. In this short, highly readable book reminiscent of Irvin Yalom's Love's Executioner, Aboujaoude focuses on five case studies involving fear of contamination and invasion of personal space, trichotillomania (compulsive pulling out of one's hair), kleptomania, pathological gambling and what is called "problematic Internet use." As he looks at both patients' behavior and his treatment of them, Aboujaoude demonstrates his combination of empathy and "habit reversal," a cognitive behavioral therapy involving "increasing awareness" of the compulsive behavior and "enhancing motivation to reduce [it]."Most of Aboujaoude's interventions seem successful, though the compulsive Internet user, whose social anxiety led him to retreat into a virtual world, in effect drops out of treatment, his work and his relationship with his fiancee to devote himself to his online virtual alter ego, and another meets a tragic end. But whatever the success of his treatment, Aboujaoude consistently provides the reader with a refreshingly jargon-free and intimate look at what OCD looks and feels like. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Obscuring personal details, an expert on impulse control disorders writes of patients. . . . Hard to beat the first essay."
"Obscuring personal details, an expert on impulse control disorders writes of patients. . . . Hard to beat the first essay."-- Vancouver Sun / New Brunswick Reader
"Tells stories inspired by memorable patients . . . . Taking the reader from initial contact through the stages of the doctor-patient relationship."
"Tells stories inspired by memorable patients . . . . Taking the reader from initial contact through the stages of the doctor-patient relationship."-- Times Higher Ed Sup (Thes)
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Publishers Weekly, February 2008
Booklist, March 2008
Choice, September 2008
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
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.
Main Description
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.
Main Description
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 various stages of the doctor-patient relationship. Into these interconnected, revelatory vignettes, Aboujaoude weaves his own personal experiences while presenting up to date, accessible medical information such as the role of drug treatment and therapy, as well as the actual diagnostic criteria that separate these individuals from the rest of us with everyday quirks. Rich in both meaning and symbolism,Compulsive Actsis 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 affect a significant portion of the population, but that are too often suffered in silence and isolation.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Psychiatry by the Dumpster H2O under the Bridge
A Greek Tragedy With Any Luck One Eternity Drive
References
Preface
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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