Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Fletcher Wortmann. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $24.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-312-62210-7
In this well-meaning though uneven book, Wortmann, a journalist and actor who was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, admits that his life has been an agreeable one, but he can now look back and see how OCD’s tentacles had wrapped themselves around him even as a young child as well as the ways in which the disorder affected his college years. He recalls his childhood, in the 1990s, as a lonely one; as a first-grader he didn’t allow himself to make friends because he was so terrified of social rejection. By third grade, he had struck a bargain with his OCD, and in that moment he became subservient to it. Wortmann developed strategies for coping with OCD through high school and his college years at Swarthmore (where he published an early version of this memoir and graduated in 2009), including mastering video games and listening to David Bowie. When he became involved in sketch comedy at Swarthmore, those friends became a lifeline for him as his mental state began to degenerate and he entered McLean Hospital, near Boston, where he was diagnosed and began rounds of therapy for OCD. Although Wortmann’s story could be the story of anyone with OCD, it’s only after plodding through his muddy prose that we get to the moment of recognition that he and we have been seeking: that he will have this disorder until he dies, and that he is, and will, continue healing, which is enough. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/2011
Release date: 03/27/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-4299-6278-0
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