Compulsive Acts: A Psychiatrist's Tales of Ritual and Obsession

Elias Aboujaoude (Author)


In this compelling book, we meet a man who can't let anyone get within a certain distance of his nose, two kleptomaniacs from very different walks of life, an Internet addict who chooses virtual life over real life, a professor with a dangerous gambling habit, and others with equally debilitating compulsive conditions. Writing with compassion, humor, and a deft literary touch, Elias Aboujaoude, an expert on obsessive compulsive disorder and behavioral addictions, tells stories inspired by memorable patients he has treated, taking us from initial contact through the stages of the doctor-patient relationship. Into these interconnected vignettes Aboujaoude weaves his own personal experiences while presenting up-to-date, accessible medical information. Rich in both meaning and symbolism, Compulsive Acts is a journey of personal growth and hope that illuminates a fascinating yet troubling dimension of human experience as it explores a group of potentially disabling conditions that are too often suffered in silence and isolation.

Product Details

University of California Press
Publish Date
April 01, 2008
5.32 X 0.55 X 7.94 inches | 0.5 pounds

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About the Author

Elias Aboujaoude is Director of the Impulse Control Disorders Clinic at Stanford University School of Medicine. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, on the NBC Nightly News, and elsewhere.


"Obscuring personal details, an expert on impulse control disorders writes of patients. . . . Hard to beat the first essay."-- (04/12/2008)
"Tells stories inspired by memorable patients . . . . Taking the reader from initial contact through the stages of the doctor-patient relationship."-- (03/20/2008)