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Paperback Rewind Replay Repeat: A Memoir of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Book

ISBN: 1592853714

ISBN13: 9781592853717

Rewind Replay Repeat: A Memoir of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

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Book Overview

The revealing story of one man's struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and his hard-won recovery.

Rewind, Replay, Repeat is the revealing story of Jeff Bell's struggle with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and his hard-won recovery. Nagging doubt: It's a part of everyday life. Who hasn't doubled back to check on a door or appliance? But what if one check wasn't enough? Nor two or three? And what if nagging doubt grew so...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

"A life steeped in uncertainty."

Jeff Bell uses the metaphor of a tape player to describe his struggle with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in his harrowing memoir, "Rewind, Replay, Repeat." Bell has been a successful radio personality for many years, which makes his willingness to come clean about his illness all the more remarkable. He is a doubter, who states, "I have all five of my senses, but tend not to trust any of them." Because he does not believe what he perceives, Bell mentally replays entire sequences of his life over and over again. He also revisits places to check that he has not harmed anyone or failed to do something essential. He calls his story "a tale of fear and torment and agony and shame." After experiencing a few OCD symptoms as a child, Bell enjoys a normal adolescence, goes on to college, earns an MBA, marries his college sweetheart, and starts a career in commercial radio. He and his wife, Samantha, have a little girl, Nicole. Everything is going wonderfully. Unfortunately, the peace of mind that he enjoyed for so many years is shattered when his OCD returns with a vengeance. He begins to obsess about a near-collision that occurs while he is piloting his father's boat. He spends hours worrying about some minor damage that he may have inflicted on someone else's cabin cruiser. Not only does he think about this event constantly, but he also visits the marina over and over to look for physical clues. This fixation on an unimportant incident takes over his life to such an extent that it begins to affect his marriage and his ability to concentrate at work. He stays up all night worrying, and his sleeplessness makes him groggy during the day. Rather than owning up to his condition, Bell makes a valiant effort to hide the truth from his colleagues, friends, and loved ones. He is living a double life and it is destroying him emotionally. Even after he reluctantly shares his secret with his family and agrees to seek help, the first therapist that Bell consults has no useful answers for him. Although his devoted wife is steadfast in her support of her beleaguered husband, she finds his behavior increasingly unsettling. After sixteen months of "pent-up rage," Bell curls up on the bathroom floor of his house and bawls like a baby. He is deteriorating and he has no idea what to do to make things better. "Rewind, Replay, Repeat" illuminates the agonizing world of doubters and checkers--those unfortunate souls who cannot leave well enough alone. OCD sufferers include: the woman who must unlock her front door repeatedly to check the stove; the driver who feels compelled to circle the block to make sure that he didn't run over a pedestrian; the terrified child who keeps asking his mother the same question a thousand times and is never satisfied with the answer; the washers who scrub their hands dozens of times a day until their skin is raw and painful; and the savers who hoard objects of no value until their homes resemble garbage dumps. Medical

Revelatory ... & couldn't put it down

With Hollywood now poking fun at repetitive hand-washing or including "quirky" characters w/ OCD -- what a relief to discover what living w/OCD is really like. Fascinating to see how the author wrestled with "unwanted" thoughts, urges & actions. Tons of insight re: living with a brain that isn't quite wired like everyone else's. His struggle reminds me of my battle with alcoholism. Even though I've been sober for years I still have bizarre mental lapses where I forget I'm an alcoholic & instinctively start reaching for a drink. Super readable & moves quickly, w/humor. Not at all maudlin (whew!). No dwelling on "poor-me" & not one mention of "feel sorry for my plight" Well worth the $$ & time.

Riveting and revealing, if not shocking

Let me admit upfront that I knew little of OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder) before reading this book. I had heard of some instances where certain people do what I will call rather strange things like re-checking things 3 or 4 times, or washing their hands quasi non-stop. I'm not sure what prompted me to pick up this book in the first place, but let me just say I am very glad I did. In "Rewind, Replay, Repeat" (357 pages), author Jeff Bell, apparently a well-known news radio personality in the Bay Area and Northern California, basically recounts his 6 years (roughly 1992 to 1998) of going through the hell that is called OCD, before finding a way to handle it. For those of us who do not have OCD, this book is incredibly revelatory in what various types of OCD'ers (such as 'washers', 'hoarders', 'checkers', 'repeaters' and the like) go through day after day. Struggling with getting the proper treatment from his doctor, Bell recounts when he stumbles on a book that describes what he is going through: "What I read on the first page of the first chapter knocks me down to my knees, like a swift blow to the back of my legs". Bell ultimately finds a behavior therapist who understands his condition. The road blocks enountered by the author are many and getting on the right path is "hard work", as the author makes clear over and over again. The book is riveting and even shocking, in the sense that it is so difficult to really understand what OCD'ers are going through. The author is to be commended for sharing his story, providing insight and education to someone like me, and giving hope to other OCD'ers. Highly recommended.

Very encouraging for anyone with OCD!

This memoir is very good at describing what it is like to live with OCD. The author, Mr. Bell, describes his ups and downs living with OCD in candor and good humor. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in gaining insight into this disorder, especially people that have OCD. There is a great light at the end of the tunnel.

I read it, I laughed, I cried, I loved it! I didn't want to put it down.

If you are OCD, have a family member who is, or even think you might be, or know someone who is, or might be, you all have to read this book. Jeff has literally gone through hell and back with his OCD, and one can't help but want to hug him and help him get through each episode. He is so clear in what he writes, it's almost as though you're sitting on his shoulder watching what he goes through. Using the tape recorder as a basis for a title, and the way it's used throughout, is a fabulous way of writing - Pause, Play, Fast-Forward. It's so simple, yet totally explanatory. He gives a very detailed version of what one person has suffered with this illness. Those of us who have much lesser forms of it, can only be thankful there but for the grace of God, goes us. I think this book should be mandatory reading for all teachers and students in high school and college; possibly even junior high, at least in some classes. The only negative things I'll say about it, isn't even negative for me, but might be for others. At times, one might feel it's a bit over the top ... please have understanding. It is over the top for Jeff, and it's exactly as intense as he relates it to be. The coincidences of finding each thing at the specific times he does - and the "internal voices" (his own) telling him to do or not to do certain things - may seem unbelievable. They aren't. It happens all the time to some. I bought two books at his signing at Borders in Sacto, and am highly recommending the book to everyone I know.
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