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Publisher's Summary

Until sophomore year of high school, 15-year-old Allison Britz lived a comfortable life in an idyllic town. She was a dedicated student with tons of extracurricular activities, friends, and loving parents at home. But after awakening from a vivid nightmare in which she was diagnosed with brain cancer, she was convinced the dream had been a warning. Allison believed that she must do something to stop the cancer in her dream from becoming a reality.

It started with avoiding sidewalk cracks and quickly grew to counting steps as loudly as possible. Over the following weeks, her brain listed more dangers and fixes. She had to avoid hair dryers, calculators, cell phones, computers, anything green, bananas, oatmeal, and most of her own clothing.

Unable to act "normal," the once-popular Allison became an outcast. Her parents questioned her behavior, leading to explosive fights. When notebook paper, pencils, and most schoolbooks were declared dangerous to her health, her GPA imploded, along with her plans for the future.

Finally, she allowed herself to ask for help and was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder. This brave memoir tracks Allison's descent and ultimately hopeful climb out of the depths.

©2017 Allison Britz (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about Obsessed

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderful book, but be careful if you also suffer from OCD

This was extremely well written and narrated. As someone who suffers from OCD myself, it’s helpful to understand how others have been able to tame this beast. The only issue I had was it started to pull me into some of the author’s obsessions and I had to be very careful to separate myself from the author who managed to paint such a vivid picture of her experience. I would recommend this book more for loved ones of people who suffer from OCD rather that those who have been diagnosed.

2 people found this helpful

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Captivating

I enjoyed this book, it felt like I was in Allyson’s shoes. Her character was believable, speaking from experience as a person with a mental health diagnosis. Thank you for putting this together so others can get a glimpse of our world.

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This book is amazing

THIS WILL SPOIL THE BOOK. This book is about an ordinary girl living in ordinary life she was a dedicated student with friends and many hobbies but one night she had a very vivid nightmare that changed her whole life. That dream made Alison believe that she had to do certain things to prevent her from having brain cancer. First she couldn’t step on any sidewalk cracks. But quickly grew to bethat she has to avoid many things these things are things that she would usually use in her everyday life. Her parents quickly noticed something was off so they took her to the doctor the doctor said she needs to see a psychiatrist. They noticed that she’s OCD and obsessive compulsive disorder. The psychiatrist helped with your worries and soon after many practices On getting over the things she couldn’t do on her own she had went to college and started living a normal life with friends and many hobbies. There are many challenges during this time but she had gotten through them and she lived the rest of her life happily

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OCD! Informative!

Well written. Considering the extremely long journey downward the ending was not all that believable.

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Couldn’t stop listening

As a healthcare worker that works at a behavioral health facility, I found this book super intriguing and I think it will help me understand those patients with OCD better. I also thought the narration was great!

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THIS is how you write a mental health book

Wow. This book reads like fiction in the best way. I loved the writing style. Personally, I didn't think it was slow and the disorder continually escalating was both realistic and important for tension. The descriptions were impressively vivid. As an avid mental-health-book reader and writer, and budding psychologist, this book ticked all the boxes.

In college a professor of mine studied scrupulosity-- or religious OCD-- something I have rarely heard about in academia, nonetheless in fiction or popular media. This includes the "voice of God" and OCD manifesting like an eating disorder (eating less to appease God in some way), such as Allison experienced.

Few mental health books are able to convey the loneliness of psychopathology while still conveying the idea that there are other people around, wanting to help. The tensions were realistic-- between the social awkwardness and the internal anxiety, friends/family desire to help and lack of understanding, Allison wanting help and not wanting anyone to know. While it would seem obvious that this realism would come out of a memoir, other from-lived-experience type books (such as Turtles All The Way Down, in my opinion) do not get there.

This book also makes an effort to point out the variance in OCD presentation, especially that it isn't just about cleanliness/contamination or organization. It also doesn't end when Allison gets to therapy the first time nor end on an unrealistically happy note as some mental health fiction does.