Reviewed by Adelaide Speyrer
You might think that you have OCD because of certain quirky tendencies. But imagine this: What if you couldn’t turn it off? If you are someone who is interested in a mental disorder that has affected mankind for as long as it has been around, The Man Who Couldn’t Stop: A True Story of a Life Lost in Thought by David Adam might be the book for you.
The book is separated into sixteen differing chapters each touching on a topic relating to OCD. Chapter Thirteen: Long Live Lobotomy is about the history of lobotomy and how it has been used in attempt to treat OCD. In this chapter, Adam describes the process of an obsessive compulsive patient on whose brain is operated. He also includes the link to a video of a before-and-after interview of the patient. This is not the only time Adam incorporates a website to learn extra information. There are many instances where he discusses videos and then provides a link at the bottom of the page. The author does this for further immersion in the book. Adam also includes many examples of cases of people with the disorder, which brings clarity to what he is discussing. For example, he explains the story of Homer and Langley Collyer, two brothers who lived together and had an extreme hoarding problem that ended up killing both of them.
All in all, The Man Who Couldn’t Stop: A True Story of a Life Lost in Thought by David Adam is a very interesting read. If you are like me and you enjoy learning more about psychology, then I would highly recommend this book to you.
Adelaide Speyrer was a sophomore in the Gifted program at Hahnville High. She enjoys reading and playing in the band.
Editor’s note: Book reviews are published throughout the summer and fall in agreement with Hahnville High School gifted English teacher Deborah Unger in conjunction with the Brown Foundation Service Learning Program and Unger’s “Adolescents Advocate Literacy” Brown Service Learning Grant.