Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
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Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  249 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Imagine the worst thing in the world. Picture it. Construct it, carefully and deliberately in your mind. Be careful not to omit anything. Imagine it happening to you, to the people you love. Imagine the worst thing in the world.

Now try not to think about it.

This is what it is like for Fletcher Wortmann. In his brilliant memoir, the author takes us on an intimate journey...more
256 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Wow. I heard this author interviewed by Neal Conan on NPR’s Talk of the Nation and was very intrigued. The author is clearly very bright, quite empathetic, and really funny. He suffers from a lesser-know form of obsessive compulsive disorder, pure o, which isn’t accompanied by any visible rituals. His repetitive behaviors are all in his mind. As a result, it took him quite a long time to be properly diagnosed, and he suffered greatly for it growing up.

Although there are certainly dark times in t...more

When I came across this book on NetGalley, first thing that caught my eye was OCD: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This instantly made me want to read it, but then I had to think about it for a moment because it hit too close to home. I was afraid that what I might find in it would 'trigger' my disorder even more, but in the end, the urge to read about someone who's going through the same thing won. In the end, I'm glad I didn't chicken out and read it beca...more
This book is an education about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder which, at least for me (and I expect for many others) is a little known mental health disorder that is both misunderstood and misdiagnosed, particularly among children and young adults. The author, a recent graduate of Swarthmore College, suffered from this malady through childhood but was not diagnosed until he became a young adult. By itself, the needless suffering that he (and undoubtedly many other young people) undergo should mak...more
I appreciate what Fletcher Wortmann has been through. Boy, do I ever. But as a fellow OCD-sufferer, I felt he didn't come close to letting people know what goes on in our heads. He seemed to give a lot of examples of the types of things people could obsess about without outright saying very much about what he DOES obsess about. He might give a line about it, but he never goes into detail. Maybe, at this stage, he can't do it. Goodness knows there are some things I can't talk about, but there is...more
The only part I liked was that this story about OCD- or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder showed a lesser known form (most notably the germ- centered form is the most common and most popular to write about it seems, probably stemmed from the majority of those with OCD having that form)

Why didn't I like it?

It was incredibly stigmatizing throughout the story. I cannot deny his story. I do not personally know this man. I can say that his tone through the story about wanting to have a reason to be oppr...more
I read this book on Sunday in one sitting - it is that captivating. Triggered really speaks to the anxieties in all of us, but in a very personal way. The author shares his experience suffering from purely obsessional OCD. And he does so in a very humorous fashion. I think it’s a good read for those who suffer from mental health issues - because the author’s story offers hope; as well as for those who do not – because it offers great insight into the mind and heart of a very clever and intellige...more
Heard the author interviewed on NPR and thought it sounded like a good read. I have to admit, the author is funny and keeps the book light...actually the book is quite entertaining. I gave it only two stars because it wasn't what I was hoping for. He shared stories from his youth as an OCD sufferer. I was hoping for a clearer understanding into OCD from a psychologists point of view.
How a guy in his early twenties can manage to be both heart-renderingly poignant and wryly funny when writing about his life with a serious disorder, I don't know - but this author managed to do it with great flare. I hope he writes a sequel.
Mar 21, 2012 Jo marked it as to-read
Shelves: on-hold
Taking my time with this one. It's incredibly dense... in a good way.

It's reminding me I need to read more grown-up (and non-fiction) books.
I enjoyed the beginning of the book tremendously (about the first 120 pages or so), especially the author's witty humor but I found that as I continued to read the book the quality went downhill. There are some statements that are nigh inexcusable to me and on page 120 in my copy there is one of them. It states: "Other than that, I can only repeat my refrain: Please do not criticize me excessively, because I tried to kill myself before and may again." Maybe this statement was meant to be an atte...more
This is a fascinating memoir about mental illness. It is neither maudlin nor whinny, but it portrays a life lived under the weight of a serious disease.
What surprised me most about the book was the light tone the author chose to tell his story. It is full of jokes and self-deprecations which makes what could have been a depressing read almost funny. As someone who has dealt with severe depression myself, I know that it is not easy to achieve that kind of levity when recounting one’s illness. Thi...more
Had a chance to read this during my spring break. I was putting it off, because I have this type of OCD too, and I didn’t know how reading it would affect me. But, I have to say, I found this pretty helpful.

The initial strategy of having the reader put himself into the mind of an obsessive compulsive (sort of) was really effective. OCD is usually portrayed so poorly, this gave the reader a sense of what it’s really like. If you suffer from OCD, it was easy to just substitute your own version of...more
Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive-Compulsive is a poignant, painful story that Fletcher Wortmann tells with intelligence and wit. As Mr. Wortmann takes us through his years of confusion and depair, the reader feels his pain as well. As he develops insights about his disorder and acceptance of the ongoing implications this will have in his life, the reader also feels a sense of accomplishment in overcomming adversity and a sense of triumph and hope for the future. This book is a must read for indi...more
I thought this was a fantastic read. I learned a lot about a disorder that I thought I understood but found I knew nothing about at all. I empathized with a truly sympathetic protagonist - a young bright kid with a troubled mind. And I was entertained with some really smart language.

I’m Catholic, and I have to admit that I found this sentence to be absolutely hilarious: “I have found Catholicism and obsessive-compulsive disorder to be deeply sympathetic to each other. One is a repressive constr...more
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This book is incredibly descriptive in a way that helps you really get a sense of the way in which OCD has impacted the author's mind. He paints very vivid pictures of the many varied crises he experienced in childhood and his young adult years leading up to his diagnosis and treatment. He had the same experiences that we all shared growing up, but he felt them to a much more intense degree. Thankfully he used a lot of ironic humor to lighten the tone in this educational and entertaining memoir.
Mrs. McGregor
I read about 50 pages and I couldn't get into it. Wortmann acknowledges in the introduction that because of his disease there are some parts that ramble and it is not perfectly edited, but because of his condition, it was important that he tried not to fixate on it and consider himself finished. While I can understand how delicate that may be, the lengthy, labored expositions are difficult to trudge through, so I decided to move on to another book that I've been looking forward to reading more.
If you didn't know anything at all about OCD, and you had never even heard of the disease, this book might prove enlightening. But if you have even a passing familiarity with it, you don't need to read this. Somehow the tone of the memoir is like a 12 year old bragging about his appendectomy scar. I wanted to sympathize with him but ending up sympathizing with everyone around him. I'm sorry and I hope he doesn't read this review and stick a fork in an electrical outlet.
Emma Hettrich
I am almost done reading this book. Memoir of one person's experience with Pure-O OCD. It really doesn't get into the extent of his disorder and treatment until the second half of the book. I would recommend it but prefer Devil in the Details.
Paula Gallagher
Despite being in his mid-twenties, the author writes like a mannered, privileged, whiny 40-something. Not funny or particularly insightful.
Arthur Greenberg
I've got OCD with internal thoughts so I was kind of reluctant to read this, but this guy absolutely nailed it in a really funny way.
Whine. Whine. Whine. You have no right to be happy. Whine. Whine. Whine. The book is too much.
Funny and witty. Love the smart, young voice and pop culture references that make this book unique among mental illness memoirs. Great depictions of what the "Os" in OCD are like. My only objection (why I didn't give this book 5 stars) is that there was really no discussion of how SSNRIs (selective serotonin and norepinephrine reputake inhibitors) or SSRIs (selective serotonin reputake inhibitors) work to treat OCD and why they are often prescribed. Even if Wortmann mentions his taking Cymbalta,...more
Ronald Roumanis
Initially, Triggered appeared promising, as memoirs on specific subclasses of OCD have a lot to offer to those with the affliction or those who need a greater understanding of how the mind responds to the cruel world of obsessional-only(Pure O)thinking.

There are no ritualistic sight-gags as seen on Monk, Big Bang, etc. Pure O OCD is hellish and Fletcher accurately describes the absurd, grotesque thoughts that might intrude on our every conscious moment.

Unfortunately the author's tone shifts as h...more
"I was very uncomfortable discussing the specific content of my obsessions. I still am, to a certain extent; my symptoms represented my ugliest, most intimate horrors at a vulnerable and painfully recent stage of my life. Yet I quickly learned that only a small percentage of mental-health professionals were familiar with my form of the disorder. Despite its prevalence, intrusive-thoughts OCD lacks publicity, especially when compared to its beloved hand-washing cousin; within the spectrum of anxi...more
Heather Hopkins Roberts
First let me say that his descriptions of OCD disorder are spot on for anyone who has suffered with it or lived with someone who suffers from it. I really saw a lot of points in this book for those who suffer from OCD or even other serious and life interfering mental health issues. However the draw back for me was his tone. I could not connect with him as a person, I felt a lot of narccism seeping through and found his tone to be both pretentious and elitest at times. This is not to say that he...more
I can't believe this guy survived this long. Just shows his strength of will and determination. His form of OCD isn't the cleaning kind that most people think of but of recurring, very disturbing, thoughts. Before you start reading this book take a look at the picture of Wortmann inside the back cover. He looks like such a clean cut, preppy young man. I applaud his very bold honesty in sharing some of the most personal details of his life. His is very fortunate to have such a loving and supporti...more
I guess maybe I expected too much. The first half of the book has Worstmann describing what develops the disease and brings him to breakdown. But it felt a little surface-y. When he actually describes OCD and his particular symptoms, I felt like the book was helpful. But then he returns to not actually telling us all that was happening. Strange, given it is a memoir. Or maybe reading about a college kid just isn't that interesting?

Chapters 7-10 were helpful in understanding the illness and treat...more
Zee Monodee
A read that kept me enthralled from start to finish...

When I finished reading this, I was ashamed to realize that, like countless other people out there, I had discounted OCD as a case where people are prone to extreme hygiene and other such 'weird' rituals.

Reading Fletcher Wortmann's memoir opened my eyes about the reality of OCD, and basically, what OCD was, and what it's like to live with it. While I will never be able to figure how the author coped with OCD all these years and shone out of...more
Emily, a Book and a Cat
Concept/Ideas: 4/5
Writing Style: 3/5

Meh. An okay read. Didn't really feel like he was talking about OCD though when he talked about his college experiences. I found it a little boring, but still learned quite a bit on OCD. The author has somewhat of a higher vocabulary, so be warned that this is a pretty light read, but at the same time, witten very much so with a high level of grammar, wording, etc....

Didn't really keep my interest, although I liked the parts where he began talking about his...more
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In 2007, Fletcher Wortmann was diagnosed with crippling Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), characterized by runaway intrusive thoughts with no visible compulsions. After receiving treatment at the McLean Hospital OCD Institute, Fletcher went on to receive his BA in English Literature from Swarthmore College in 2009; he wrote his senior thesis on the evolution of the superhero in American culture...more
More about Fletcher Wortmann...

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“An institution is right or it is wrong. One that cannot accept dinosaur bones is one that cannot be trusted on more important matters.” 2 likes
“Tell me: How do you know that you won't be killed by a falling meteor? How do you know that you shut off the toaster oven this morning? That one of the seething millions of bacteria on your hands will not kill you? That your friends don't all secretly hate you? Do you have a religion? Do you have right religion? Are you sure? Are you a pedophile, a necrophiliac, a rapist? A murderer? How can you know that these tendencies do not dwell latent inside you, waiting for the right moment to evince themselves in the most horrific manner possible? How do you know that you are not a monster? How do you know that it isn't the end of the world?” 2 likes
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