Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Passing for Normal” as Want to Read:
Passing for Normal
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Passing for Normal

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  345 ratings  ·  22 reviews
I am crazy. But maybe I am not.For most of her life, these thoughts plagued Amy Wilensky as her mind lurched and veered in ways she didn't understand and her body did things she couldn't control. While she excelled in school and led an otherwise "normal" life, she worried that beneath the surface she was a freak, that there was something irrevocably wrong with her.Passing ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published July 5th 2000 by Broadway Books (first published 1999)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Passing for Normal, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Passing for Normal

The Bell Jar by Sylvia PlathGirl, Interrupted by Susanna KaysenThe Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins GilmanProzac Nation by Elizabeth WurtzelThe Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
Women and Mental Illness
149th out of 473 books — 1,222 voters
Speak by Laurie Halse AndersonA Child Called "It" by Dave PelzerDreamland by Sarah DessenThirteen Reasons Why by Jay AsherThe Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
YA Violence & Abuse Novels
139th out of 398 books — 598 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,066)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This memoir written by Amy Wilensky is a very thorough description of what life is like for a person living with Tourettes Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Ms. Wilensky begins her memoir with helpful definitions of both Tourettes Syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). She defines Tourettes as a "neurobiological based medical condition characterized by involuntary movements and involuntary sounds." She defines OCD as a "lifelong condition identified by two groups of symptom ...more
Mar 04, 2008 Amy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in Tourette's/OCD
If you're at all interested in OCD or Tourette's (the real thing not what tv shows it to be for ratings), please read this book. It was a very good read for myself since my husband has Tourette's and a less mild form of OCD than the author. It was interesting for me to see the similarities in how long it took to get a diagnosis, how long to consider treatment, what options were, etc. Very interesting and moving read. For me, it was probably much more of a clinical rather than emotional read, tho ...more
This was an amazing non-fiction piece by someone who lives with Tourette's Syndrome and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The reason I chose to read it was because I wanted to read about a female's experience living with OCD. It turns out that the parallels are amazing between the writer and myself. It was encouraging to read that I'm not the only one I know who obsesses over the silliest things or has to do one thing over and over until I am satisfied with it. I highly recommend this book to anyon ...more
Kholee G.
Sebelumnya, saya ucapkan terima kasih kepada Perpus KALAM FT yang telah menyediakan bacaan yang amat berkualitas ini. Kemudian, saya juga meminta maaf kepada buku-buku yang lagi-lagi ditinggal mengantri demi membaca buku ini.

Baiklah, kita mulai sekarang.

Buku ini menceritakan bagaimana seorang Amy Wilensky hidup bersama-sama dengan sindrom Tourette dan OCD. Ngomong-ngomong, sindrom Tourette adalah salah satu jenis gangguan saraf, sementara OCD adalah salah satu jenis gangguan psikologi (bukan die
I loved this book...what a courageous story of a woman learning to live life with disabilities that would sideline most people
Tells what it's like to live with Tourettes. Funny and thoughtful.
Amy did an excellent job of describing the symptoms and difficulties of Tourette's and OCD from an insider's perspective. It was odd because sometimes, I really felt connected with Amy as a person, and other times, I felt like she was lecturing me on technical things. I just didn't really seem to flow.
It's not a book I will buy, or ever read again, but I am glad I read it.

One more thing, I read another book by Amy Wilensky, another memior. It's called "The Weight of It" and it's about
This is an interesting but flawed memoir of one woman's experiences with OCD and Tourette's Syndrome. The stuff directly relating to her experiences with these poorly-understood disorders is excellent and well-written. The memoir suffers overall, though, from a lack of organization in speaking about her personal relationships, particularly with her husband, Ben. I was extremely confused about their relationship; she would go from mentioning their honeymoon in one paragraph, to talking about him ...more
As a recollection of realizing her experience with Tourette's and OCD, this book was accurate.
As a "memoir" is was weak. She didn't experience even half of the judgement, criticism or harassment a few of the other characters did. She lived a privileged life, hardly the makings of a life that others can relate to.
Lastly, her accounts of interpersonal relationships was very lacking. No emotional struggles, no heartbreak, no loss. Friends whenever she wanted/needed them.
This book was a gift from my favorite neuroscience major and is the autobiography of Amy Wilensky . She first had symptoms of Tourette' s syndrome and then OCD at age 11 and was not diagnosed until in her early 20's . Apropos to the title , her story is about this genetic disease and her efforts to pass for normal but having no idea what was causing her tics and OCD . And rather than being supported by her family , her symptoms became the source of a schism with her dad, targets for her peers as ...more
Maurice Frank
It came out when Tourette's had been linked to ADD but before they had all been linked to the autistic spectrum. As befits all those conditions, it exposes a traumatic impossibility of concentrating on homework, and a textural sensitivity of skin to the touch and pressure of fabrics that proves all dress codes a human rights violation. It's the book that represents Tourette's and OCD as experiences on their own, while fully bearing out their place in the spectrum: other books are more focused on ...more
Gisela Pérez
Very courageous description of a fact of life that only its sufferers know.
Anna  Matsuyama
A story of Amy who as a child had started to have Tourette’s syndrome and OCD, not knowing for years what is wrong with her, trying to hide herself and being made fun by peers and her well meaning father. The story concentrates on her struggle to live with these disorders and not much about her personal life and relationship is told what is fine by me.
Woman with OCD - obsessive compulsive disorder and Tourettes. I see some OCD in my father and my tendancies as a child which I conscientiously threw off in late adolescence. My friend Kathleen Colucci -Russell and I discussed how OCD is probably involved in compulsive overeating. Can't they give me a drug too?!
Vrinda Pendred
This was a very good book, though hard to read at moments. I related so strongly to so much of it, I fought hard not to cry a lot of the time. I would give it 5 stars except I couldn't understand why she didn't divorce her husband and ditch her 'best friend', because they were disgusting about her conditions.
I chose this book because I am in the same boat. I also have TS and OCD (and some other fun stuff thrown in the mix). So I'm glad somebody wrote this book. Sometimes I related to her; sometimes I didn't. That's life. I love it that she put herself out there. It's something that's not easy to describe.
Ronya Misleh
In relation to the other memoirs I've read lately, this one was pretty interesting. Don't recommend if you are a hypochondirac/self diagnoser...she does a good job of throwing out "clues" to being OCD. It was fast paced and not overly clinical, which I appreciated.
A very interesting story about trying to live with Tourettes/OCD. The writer was not diagnosed until adulthood and worked out her own strategies for getting through life. Quite amazing really, she must be made of strong stuff! Inspiring.
Out of the three books I finished over Spring Break 2010 this was the best one but it wasn't even that great.

Everyone is always talking about how they have OCD and they're lying. But not Amy Wilensky. She has that shit for real.

Jayne Taylor
interesting as not something I knew much about, and it was easy to read. I will pass the book on, or donate it to charity rather than keeping it though.
Suzanne Griffin
Excellent account of living with OCD & Tourette's . This book has given me a whole new understanding of a condition often not talked about.
After reading this, I don't think I have OCD :)
Brandon marked it as to-read
Nov 23, 2014
Ana marked it as to-read
Nov 23, 2014
Marie marked it as to-read
Nov 21, 2014
Lynn marked it as to-read
Nov 14, 2014
Dan Flad
Dan Flad marked it as to-read
Nov 12, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 35 36 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Nowhere Near Normal: A Memoir of OCD
  • Not As Crazy As I Seem
  • Rewind Replay Repeat: A Memoir of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Just Checking: Scenes From the Life of an Obsessive-Compulsive
  • Life in Rewind
  • Brain Lock: Free Yourself from Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior
  • Amen, Amen, Amen: Memoir of a Girl Who Couldn't Stop Praying (Among Other Things)
  • Kissing Doorknobs
  • Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Hyper-Chondriac: One Man's Quest to Hurry Up and Calm Down
  • Gaining: The Truth About Life After Eating Disorders
  • Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind
  • Multiple Choice
  • Fractured
  • First Person Plural: My Life as a Multiple
  • Mad House: Growing Up in the Shadow of Mentally Ill Siblings
  • Prozac Diary
  • Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood
The Weight of It: A Story of Two Sisters Knack Healthy Snacks for Kids: Recipes for Nutritious Bites at Home or On the Go

Share This Book

“Losing myself is so second nature to me by now that I'm always surprised when it's noticed by others.” 8 likes
More quotes…