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Triggered: A Memoir of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

3.41  ·  Rating details ·  508 Ratings  ·  88 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 a
...more
272 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Lauren
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Sara
Mar 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Simay Yildiz
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
http://zimlicious.blogspot.com/2012/0...

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
Lindsay Wilcox
This book was recommended to me particularly for its description of what the "Pure-O" kind of OCD is like. I had honestly never heard of that before, so I went in about as open-minded as I ever am. Until the author got to college, I was mostly sick of reading about his pretentiousness. I have a sore spot for adolescents who claim to have understood religion enough to reject it. What kept me reading were his admittedly beautiful descriptions of what it was like as the disorder crept in.

Once he go
...more
Kendra
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: memoirs
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
Sandy
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Mrs. McGregor
Mar 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
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.
Roger
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Larry Calvert
Oct 11, 2015 rated it did not like it
I felt this book was exploitive, petty, and paints the author as a total snob. As someone with OCD I couldn't even conjure up sympathy for him. The author had a supportive family and no barriers to getting care. The constant high-brow references provide no insight and make the book totally un-relatable. If you want to read a book with actual facts and historical perspective I would recommend, The Man Who Couldn't Stop. Less liberal art student whining, more experiences from the author and how th ...more
Judith
Aug 09, 2012 rated it did not like it
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.
Lori
Apr 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
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.
Sandra
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jo
Mar 16, 2012 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.
Valentina
Feb 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Peter
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Kathleen
Mar 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Karen
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Tevilla
Apr 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Janet
Apr 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Marsmannix
Mar 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up, memoir
I had high hopes reading the introduction. As i got into the chapters, i could not tolerate the author's smarmy voice. He is trying (and failing) to be David Sedaris. It seems this is new norm among young memoir writers: snark, too-clever-half, sprinkling the correct cultural references.
The book is supposed to be a memoir of OCD, but it seems like a plain vanilla memoir with a few instances of OCD thrown in.

If i were the author, I would ask for refund of my MFA tuition.
Jacob
Nov 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm halfway through this book and so far I like it. It is interesting to see the problem that this guy has gone through his whole life. When most people think of OCD they only think of compulsive hand washing or trying to make everything perfect but his disorder is much more than that. It is just very interesting to here what he really has gone through with his disorder.
Emma Hettrich
Jun 28, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Arthur Greenberg
Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Paula Gallagher
Mar 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
Despite being in his mid-twenties, the author writes like a mannered, privileged, whiny 40-something. Not funny or particularly insightful.
Yolanda
Nov 24, 2012 rated it did not like it
Whine. Whine. Whine. You have no right to be happy. Whine. Whine. Whine. The book is too much.
Allison Holm
Apr 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Fletcher Wortmann's memoir does the important work of advocating for those suffering with OCD, pushing the boundaries of conventional understanding to greater inclusivity and compassion. Though his vulgarity and irreverence come off initially as over-the-top, these vices grow to become truly impressive and endearing as outgrowths of living life in the face of inevitable pain and fear. Wortmann's distinct comprehension of suffering and his hard work to live through pain with humor and confidence ...more
Sarah Lucas
Jun 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
While he didn't go into great detail about his own disorder because it was too upsetting for him, he spent a whole chapter on his ex-girlfriend's mental issues. Hey Fletcher, that's not your story to tell!
Lara
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction
The descriptions of OCD and his dealings with it are honest. But the rest of the time, he almost seems to revel in his nice white suburban upbringing and what an unloveable dork he was as a child and young adult, even taking into account his mental health.
Maggy Eijk
Oct 24, 2017 rated it liked it
I really wanted to love this, and I did in parts, but Fletcher's self-loathing was grating at times as is his attitude towards women.
Heather
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Yes, I understand the definition of "memoir," but I assume that when someone writes their life story through a certain lens, that lens will heavily color the otherwise mundane milestones of that life. Much of the time, Triggered reads like a teacher-assigned book report about the author's brief life, with a few obligatory nods to his OCD tacked on at the end: "I didn't have a lot of friends as a kid, high school sucked, I love my pets a lot, comic books are cool, I had a weird girlfriend in co ...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
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“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?” 5 likes
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