A self-help book is a great place to start if you are fearful of speaking out about your OCD. It will help to reassure you, educate you, and communicate to you that you are not alone in what you are going through! This is a recognised mental health condition and there’s help out there for you!

All the books I mention here were recommended to me over the course of my Cognitive Behavioural Therapy…

I purchased this book and found it absolutely invaluable!… The blurb on the back cover doesn’t do the book any justice; it helped my understanding of OCD so much. Read this book!

Overcoming Obsessive Compulsive Disorder by David Veale & Rob Willson

OCD book cover

Amazon: “The bestselling self-help treatment manual based on proven cognitive behavioural therapy techniques.”

Front cover reads: “Clear, practical, focused and helpful. [This book] will be extremely useful both for those who suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder and those who care for them.” – Professor Paul Salkovkis, Institute of Psychitry, London.

Back cover reads: “Are you plagued by a recurring thought or idea that just won’t go away? Perhaps you feel the need to wash your hands frequently, hoard things or repeatedly check that all appliances have been turned off before leaving home? These are common symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (or OCD), a condition that causes distress to hundreds of thousands of people.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has been clinically proven to significantly reduce symptoms of OCD. Learn how to break free from the destructive cycle of obsessive behaviour and regain control of your life.

This next book I bought, but after a few pages I was put off and stopped reading because I didn’t feel it was helping me in a way the previous book had. I’m telling you this because – don’t be put off by a book! There are plenty out there, find one that works for you.

Overcoming Obsessive Thoughts by Christine Purdon


Front cover reads: “… the best book on OCD that I have ever seen.” – Robert L. Leahy, PH.D., president, International Association for Cognitive Psychotherapy and professor of psychiatry, Weill-Cornell University Medical College.

Back cover reads: “We all occasionally think thoughts that are completely out of character. We imagine, for example, that we might swerve our car into oncoming traffic or take the kitchen knife we’re using to prepare dinner and use it to harm someone we love. Many of us simply ignore thoughts like these, but some of us return to them again and again in our minds: What if I cause an accident? What if I hurt some I car about?

If you struggle with violent, unpleasant, or blasphemous thoughts that won’t go away no matter how hard you try, this book can help. Obsessive thoughts like these can be symptoms of obsessive-compulsive-disorder (OCD). Whether you have a formal diagnosis of OCD or experience these kinds of thoughts without diagnosis, the safe and effective techniques in this book can help you regain peace of mind.

Your path to control begins with finding out why obsessive thoughts persist and the way professionals use to treat them. You’ll also learn to understand your own obsessive thoughts – what triggers them and what you’re already doing to cope with them. Then the book will guide you through a series of safe and controlled exposure exercises that will help you manage obsessive thoughts and limit the effect they have on the quality of your life.

These next books are biographies – peoples real life experiences of living with OCD…

Pure – Have you ever had an inappropriate thought? by Rose Bretécher


Description: “I’ve got OCD, but not as you know it.”

Amazon: “Rose Bretécher has OCD, but not as you know it. Pure is the true story of her life with intrusive sexual thoughts – a rampant but little-known symptom of the disorder. It tracks her farcical ten-year path to redemption, from the time she was first seized by graphic mental images to her eventual recovery through therapy, acceptance and love.

The book describes her obsessive questioning of her identity and her compulsive search for an answer: driving across the world in a double-decker bus; debating the respective erotic allure of Cherie and Tony Blair; watching Jake Gyllenhaal’s face turn into a chubby vagina… Eventually, after stepping back from the iron railings of a snow-swept balcony in east London, she finds joy in the inescapable truth that when it comes to who we are, there are no neat conclusions.

At its core, Pure about uncertainty and insecurity, and how trying to banish these things in the pursuit of happiness will paradoxically make us unhappy. It’s about finding beauty in greyness, and embracing the unfathomable weirdness of the human mind.”

The Man Who Couldn’t Stop: The Truth About OCD by David Adam


Description: “An intimate look at the power of intrusive thoughts, how our brains can turn against us and what it means to live with obsessive compulsive disorder”

Amazon: “Have you ever had a strange urge to jump from a tall building, or steer your car into oncoming traffic? You are not alone. In this captivating fusion of science, history and personal memoir, writer David Adam explores the weird thoughts that exist within every mind, and how they drive millions of us towards obsessions and compulsions.

David has suffered from OCD for twenty years, and The Man Who Couldn’t Stop is his unflinchingly honest attempt to understand the condition and his experiences. What might lead an Ethiopian schoolgirl to eat a wall of her house, piece by piece; or a pair of brothers to die beneath an avalanche of household junk that they had compulsively hoarded? At what point does a harmless idea, a snowflake in a clear summer sky, become a blinding blizzard of unwanted thoughts? Drawing on the latest research on the brain, as well as historical accounts of patients and their treatments, this is a book that will challenge the way you think about what is normal, and what is mental illness.

Told with fierce clarity, humour and urgent lyricism, this extraordinary book is both the haunting story of a personal nightmare, and a fascinating doorway into the darkest corners of our minds.”

These are just a small selection of books about OCD available out there.

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