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September 1, 1989

The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Washing: The Experience and Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Author Affiliations

Medical College of Georgia Augusta

Medical College of Georgia Augusta

JAMA. 1989;262(9):1247. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03430090111046

This book, written by a nationally and internationally known child psychiatrist, deals with her and her team's experience at the National Institute of Mental Health with the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Obsessions as defined in DSM-IIIR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, third edition, revised) are:

recurrent, persistent, ideas, thoughts, images or impulses that are ego-dystonic, that is, they are not experienced as voluntarily produced but rather as thoughts that invade consciousness and are experienced as senseless or repugnant. Attempts are made to ignore or suppress them by the patient. Compulsions are repetitive and seemingly purposeful behaviors that are performed according to certain rules or in a stereotypal fashion. The behavior is not an end in itself, but is designed to produce or prevent some future event or situation. However, the activity is not connected in a realistic way with what it is designed to produce or prevent,