The Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Diary by Charlotte Dennis shares her experiences using cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to manage her OCD. It’s designed as a workbook to be written in, so the paper version would definitely be a better pick than the ebook.
The book is filled with exercises to help you reflect on yourself and examine different aspects of your OCD. The exercises also help you to challenge your OCD thoughts, and they build in difficulty as you progress through the book. Some of the activities you might have expected, but others are more creative and may surprise you.
Some of the points covered in the book are:
- separating yourself from your OCD
- create a hierarchy of compulsions based on difficulty to stop
- keeping an exposure log
- addressing body-focused repetitive behaviours like skin picking and hair pulling
The book offers enough different strategies that even if some don’t work as well for you, it’s likely that others will and there will still be benefit overall.
The book is very easy to read, with lots of white space, illustrations, and room to complete the guided activities. There are hand-drawn style graphs that give it a friendly vibe, and even the font choices seem laid back. The book feels very infused with the author’s personality, which helps create a strong connection as a reader.
My favourite line in the book, which I think applies well to many mental health conditions aside from OCD, is: “The best thing I have learnt is that irrational thoughts don’t survive very long outside of your own head.”
While the book is obviously geared towards OCD and related disorders (such as those involving body-focused repetitive behaviours), I think it could potentially be useful for people with anxiety disorders or even depression who are really struggling with avoidance as part of their illness.
The Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Diary is available on Amazon (affiliate link).
I received a reviewer copy of this book from NetGalley.