Tuesday, July 17, 2012

TLC Book Tour: I Hardly Ever Wash My Hands: The Other Side of OCD by J.J. Keeler

 The Skinny: A fascinating memoir of a woman and her challenges with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

When most people think of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), they often imagine a person who repeatedly checks the locks or washes her hands. In reality, OCD is characterized by unwanted and intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive, driven behaviors (compulsions). Various behaviors and thoughts are manifested as a resulted of obsessive-compulsive disorder. I know a significant amount about obsessions and compulsions, because I suffer from OCD.

I am always hesitant when reading memoirs about individuals who suffer from OCD, because I feel like it kicks my own obsessions and compulsions into overdrive. Unlike other memoirs, I Hardly Ever Wash My Hands was an enjoyable read, and I recommend it, if you are interested in psychology and honest accounts.

Keeler describes her harming obsessions and uses humor to balance a story that could have played out like a stressful episode of Hoarders. Harming obsessions involve thoughts that a person might harm someone or that harm may come to the individual. We read as Keeler copes with thoughts that she may have hurt someone or her conviction that she somehow contracted AIDS.

Keeler’s voice is honest, raw, and open. As an individual who suffers from OCD, I know how difficult it is to open up about this subject, and I commend her ability to provide vivid descriptions of her feelings, actions, and thoughts. This is a well-written account of a disorder that is often misunderstood.  

I enjoyed reading I Hardly Ever Wash My Hands. It is an accurate portrayal of obsessive-compulsive disorder that is not sensationalized. If you are interested in nonfiction and psychology, this is the perfect book for you.

Well, it’s been about an hour since I have washed my hands. I am going to do that now.

Check out the rest of the tour!

Tuesday, July 10th: A Bookish Affair
Monday, July 16th: Tiffany’s Bookshelf
Tuesday, July 17th: Oh! Paper Pages
Wednesday, July 18th: Surviving the Madhouse
Thursday, July 19th: 50 Books Project
Friday, July 20th: Peppermint PhD
Monday, July 23rd: Lolly’s Hope
Tuesday, July 24th: I’m a mom. I have OCD.
Wednesday, July 25th: Bringing along OCD
Thursday, July 26th: she treads softly
Monday, July 30th: Peeking Between the Pages
Tuesday, July 31st: The Beat OCD Blog
Thursday, August 2nd: Adventures in Anxiety Land
Friday, August 3rd: OCD BloggerGirl’s Blog
Monday, August 6th: Expoing OCD
Tuesday, August 7th: OCD Talk
Friday, August 10th: An Unconventional Librarian


  1. This sounds like an interesting read, I like that the author shared her raw emotions! Thanks for sharing it.

  2. I was impressed with Keeler's bravery in sharing her "harming" compulsions...I can only imagine some of the preconceived notions others outside of OCD might have concerning her particular flavor of OCD. An important book in the fight for mental illness awareness!

  3. I have a close friend who suffers from a similar form of OCD and it is definitely debilitating. It's good to see that this author can convey those difficulties but keep a sense of humor about it all at the same time.

    Thanks for being on the tour!

  4. Thanks for being on the tour and for such a nice review.
    All the best,
    JJ Keeler