"Brain Lock" by Jeffrey M. Schwartz

Review by Borodutch

I don't have OCD, and now I'm 100% sure about it. The book describes the four steps of behavioral therapy that one can take to rid themselves of most of the OCD symptoms. I was mostly fascinated by the neverending stories about OCD sufferers fighting to become free from the brain lock, especially now that I have a keen interest in psychology and brain anatomy.

The four steps:

  1. Relabel OCD behavior as something that is going chemically wrong in the brain, not something that's part of the person ("don't be polemical, it's just a chemical").
  2. Reattribute OCD behavior as the symptom of a malfunctioning brain rather than something the person does on their own.
  3. Refocus your attention from the OCD behavior to something else, like a hobby.
  4. Revalue the fears that without the OCD behavior, something terrible would happen — it wouldn't. The more you do this and nothing happens, the stronger you get.

The most exciting part about behavioral therapy is that it might work better than medications or increase the efficacy of drugs multiplefold! I learned that it isn't just physical structure shaping our behavior, but the other way, too. When you change your behavior, your brain changes, making it easier to maintain the new behavior.

Should you read this book? Indeed, if you're interested in psychology (like me) or suffer from OCD.