Can't Just Stop : An Investigation of Compulsions
Overview - The first book to examine the science behind both mild and extreme compulsive behavior--using fascinating case studies to understand its deeper meaning and reveal the truth about human compulsion. Whether shopping with military precision or hanging the tea towels just so, compulsion is something most of us have witnessed in daily life. Read more...
In Stock. Place Order by Noon EST December 18th and Choose Free/Standard Shipping for Christmas Delivery.
FREE Shipping for Club Members
> Check In-Store Availability
DownloadThis item is available only to U.S. billing addresses.
More About Can't Just Stop by Sharon Begley
The first book to examine the science behind both mild and extreme compulsive behavior--using fascinating case studies to understand its deeper meaning and reveal the truth about human compulsion.
Whether shopping with military precision or hanging the tea towels just so, compulsion is something most of us have witnessed in daily life. But compulsions exist along a broad continuum, and at the opposite end of these mild forms exist life altering disorders.
Sharon Begley's meticulously researched book is the first of its kind to examine all of these behaviors--mild and extreme (OCD, hoarding, acquiring, exercise, even compulsions to do good)--together, as they should be, because while forms of compulsion may look incredibly different, these are actually all coping responses to varying degrees of anxiety.
With a focus on personal stories of dozens of interviewees, Begley employs genuine compassion and gives meaningful context to their plight. Along the way she explores the role of compulsion in our fast paced culture, the brain science behind it, and strange manifestations of the behavior throughout history. Can't Just Stop
makes compulsion comprehensible and accessible, exploring how we can realistically grapple with it in ourselves and those we love.
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in:
- Review Date:
Science journalist Begley (Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain) demystifies compulsive behavior, exploring its history and manifestations and the many difficulties its sufferers face in finding appropriate diagnoses and treatment. Establishing compulsive behavior as the brain's attempt to assuage anxiety, Begley argues that it can serve a useful purpose. She notes that there are socially acceptable compulsive quirks, such as a baseball player who won't change his lucky shorts, and that people turn to compulsive habits to feel more in control, a response that is hardly pathological. Begley also provides riveting case studies, including a woman who must check her refrigerator repeatedly to ensure that her cat is not inside and a man whose germophobia compelled him to throw out his clothes, shave his head, and abandon his apartment for a series of hotel rooms. A fascinating historical analysis notes references to hoarding in Dantes Inferno and describes an obsessive Victorian-era book collector. Begley also chats with video game creators about their addictive products and expresses a healthy skepticism regarding concerns over widespread compulsive Internet usage. Much of the text summarizes well-known scholarship, but Begley's final chapter on brain function in the compulsive mind contains fresh insight that could fundamentally alter how we think of, and treat, mental illness going forward. Agent: Linda Loewenthal, David Black Agency. (Feb.)