“…a compendium of useful information about the disorder and how to best manage it. Drawing on what worked for her, and based on researching expert advice, chapters contain a summary of useful tips and key points to remember. The result is educational and inspirational.” –Dan Kalb, PhD, Psychologist, OCD specialist
“It wasn’t until her future husband heard a public service announcement on NPR describing OCD that Pagacz was able to put a name to her condition. After 20 years of rechecking locked doors, straightening computer cords, redoing school projects, and hearing threatening voices, Pagacz finally gets treatment. Her description of her escalating illness is irreverent, brutally honest, and compelling. With the help of her doctor, she is able to gradually control her obsessive thought and compulsive acts using strategies that included observing her actions and facing down “Monkey,” her mental tormentor. While triggers remain just below the surface, and Pagacz admits to relapses in stressful times, such as her wedding and starting her own business, her successes are inspiring. Excerpts from her poetry as well as thought-provoking quotes are scattered throughout the book, and important information is recapped in “Key Points to Remember” sidebars. Teens struggling with OCD will be encouraged by Pagacz’s accessible story. And although there are no cures for quick fixes for the condition, according to Pagacz, her practical strategies offer hope to others facing similar struggles.” –Candace Smith, Booklist, September 1, 2016
“Teens struggling with OCD will be encouraged by Pagacz’s accessible story.” –Candace Smith, Booklist, September 1, 2016
Kirsten Pagacz was born in 1966 and grew up in Oak Park, IL. OCD came to her life when she was nine years old. At the onset, it was a welcomed distraction that took Pagacz away from her chaotic childhood. Her OCD was like a secret friend that always had interesting things for her to do. By high school she was deep in the clutches of her illness. Pagacz also developed the shadow syndromes of anorexia and substance abuse.
When she was 32, after a complete mental collapse, Pagaczwas diagnosed with severe OCD. On that day, in front of her doctor, she found one grain of sanity left within herself. From that one grain she had to grow a peaceful warrior, because the fight of a lifetime was in front of her. Kirsten wanted to do more than merely exist. She wanted joy back. She was tired of being robbed of literally thousands of hours while trying to comply with the demands of her OCD.
Since being diagnosed with severe OCD, Pagacz has been actively on a path to wellness and stability. Today, her OCD is in the side car, and she’s driving behind the wheel and teaching other sufferers to do the same.