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The Imp of the Mind: Exploring the Silent Epidemic of Obsessive Bad Thoughts
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The Imp of the Mind: Exploring the Silent Epidemic of Obsessive Bad Thoughts

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  221 ratings  ·  24 reviews
In The Imp of the Mind, a leading expert on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder explores the hidden epidemic that afflicts millions of Americans.

In the first book to fully examine obsessive bad thoughts, Dr. Lee Baer combines the latest research with his own extensive experience in treating this widespread syndrome. Drawing on information ranging from new advances in brain techn
Paperback, 176 pages
Published February 26th 2002 by Plume (first published January 1st 2001)
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This book takes an interesting look at one of the most unspoken illnesses of our time. That is, the illness of obsessive thoughts and how they relate to many of the anxiety disorders, particularly obsessive-compulsive disorder.

The interesting thing about how the author (who, incidentally, is also a psychiatrist and researcher, making this so much better) looks at the problem is that he takes a look at a condition, obsessive thoughts, as the main problem of the individual themselves, and then hel
Sandy D.
This book by a psychologist who helped developed some of the therapy used for OCD actually seems a bit dated now, but it was only published five years ago (in 2001). Anyway, Baer focuses on the obsessive part of OCD (that's the imp, from Edgar Allen Poe's "Imp of the Perverse"). Baer likes his classic quotes and has many, which add a bit of historical interest and depth to his book.

I learned a few new things about OCD - he explains the difference between CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) and ER
A thorough introduction to intrusive 'bad' thoughts, with a focus on those who suffer from OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) and the different categories of intrusive bad thoughts, such as religious, sexual or violent thoughts.

This book differs from others on the topic as it also provides samples of many treatment plans, individual cases, detailed explanations and when to seek professional help (in general, it is good to have mental behavioral support in place before trying any treatment, suc
Although written by a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), The Imp of The Mind is focused on the "O" - obsessive thoughts - that occupy and torment the minds of sufferers. This book explains very clearly and simply what causes obsessions (here called "bad thoughts"), what they tend to look and feel like, when to worry about them, and how they can be managed. It's a very useful overview on obsessions, offering up helpful solutions and direction. Dr. Ba ...more
When people think of OCD, they will most often think of people hoarding, washing their hands, and checking locks repeatedly- the visible signs of OCD. There is another side of OCD, though, that isn’t visible- obsessional thoughts. While it’s possible for someone with OCD to ruminate on neutral thoughts, the one’s that can make lives miserable are ones of violence, sex, and blasphemy.

These aren’t thoughts that just come and go. They become fixed in the mind of the sufferer, repeating themselves-
Jessica Klein
I never knew that hope could only be a short life. I wanted to die for seven years, but afraid of Hell, universal, I put myself into institutions, because of my intrusive thoughts to murder my father. Then the thoughts assumed a wider breadth to include pedestrians walking on the side of the road. The doctors in every institution, too many to count, informed me that I needed to know that my homicidal ideations nested in my terrible childhood, or perhaps psychopath could apply as well. Ironically ...more
A unique book that would be appreciated by those who suffer from the types of OCD symptoms that the greater public doesn't associated with OCD, which are the subject of this book, I.e, those relating to repugnant sexual, aggressive, and religious thoughts. The book goes over the basics of treatment but is not a self-help treatment book like Baer's Getting Control. Some theories are put forth, which you don't really find in other OCD books, which may be of interest. My only caveat is that Baer's ...more
Sonya Morris
This is a must-read for OCDers. It opened my eyes to the reasons behind obsessive thoughts, and that knowledge alone makes OCD more manageable. This was a life changing book for me.
i can't decide between 3 and 4 stars. i think had i not already been through so much therapy i would give it 4. there are weird things about it that bother me though- quotes start and never-end, punctuation errors, and this is coming from the most punctuation-illiterate person I know.

The theories in this book and the evidence he relates are great though. and he also very clearly sets out thoughts and feelings about the thoughts that people that suffer can't. For instance, I have had what i call
Incredibly insightful. If you know someone who struggles with OCD this is a must read. It can be hard to understand what is going on with the Obsessive part of this disorder, but this book lays it out in an easy to understand way. I feel I can be a better support now that I have a better understanding of the thought processes and where they go wrong.
A comforting book about the intrusive thoughts that many individuals with OCD struggle with. It's a quick read, only 137 pages with examples from his clients over the years. Know that the book only explores the sexual, violent, and blasphemous intrusive thoughts that occur in some OCD individuals and does not explore OCD as a whole. Provides some great ideas for treating intrusive thoughts either with a mental health professional or without. Definitely worth the read if you are interested in OCD ...more
Recommended by a friend with OCD. The good: Described the experience of chronic mental fixations in a manner that was easy to relate and understand. Gave lots of great insight. The bad: The experiences mentioned were for only a handful of people, and the same case studies were brought up repeatedly. I'd have liked either more case study analysis or less. Regardless, I feel like I have a better understanding and appreciation for this condition.
AMAZING book. Through much prayer, I felt like I was led to this book. I read it, and immediately felt better. The author's manner of addressing the reader is one of comfort and compassion, and also filled with lots of information and reassurance. It's very easy to read because the scientific aspects of the book are in layman's terms. I highly recommend it to any OCD sufferers.
This book explores the obsessions side of OCD (Pure-O). I've read 3 books about OCD so far and this is the book that really stood out the most to me. If you have Harm-OCD, POCD, or any other OCD thoughts then I recommend this book. It does not really talk about compulsions, which in a way allows more focus on the OCD thoughts which makes this book one of a kind.
This book couldn't seem to decide whether or not to address self-harm compulsions or suicidal ideation. It's interesting (if dry) and would probably be very helpful for people struggling with thoughts of harming others.
This review won't be helpful to anyone (not that I ever write reviews with that goal in mind), but it's all that comes to mind without writing a 30-page lit response.

Very educational and helpful in understanding obsessive-compulsive disorder and the paths that are open to those troubled by repetitive bad thoughts.
Bryan Duffy
Jan 21, 2008 Bryan Duffy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone with OCD
This book is great. I think reading it can cure anyone who has at one point in time felt out of their mind, possessed or out of touch with reality.
Terri Pickett
An interesting read from a professional standpoint and for someone interested in "thinking about thinking". Skimmed a couple of chapters.
Vrinda Pendred
Fantastic - the best thing I've come across for summarising the Pure 'O' side of things that gets so overlooked by the media.
Nikki Vacant
Not what I was looking for, but really interesting.
616.8522 Baer

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Getting Control (Revised Edition) The Imp of the Mind Handbook of Clinical Rating Scales and Assessment in Psychiatry and Mental Health The Self-Healing Mind: Discover and Use Your Amazing Healing Power Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders: Practical Management (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders: Practical Management (Jenike)

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