10 Books for Those With OCD

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Obsessive-compulsive disorder is a highly disruptive and often misunderstood mental health concern that affects millions of people in the United States. In today’s post, we share a list of 10 books for OCD that address this complex condition from a variety of viewpoints.

If you or someone that you care about has OCD, we hope you’ll find one or more relevant resources below. Also, we offer inpatient treatment for OCD here in Southern California. Our team will be glad to answer your questions regarding how the treatment process works, and who would be a good candidate for residential care.

Statistics of OCD

According to the National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH), about 1.2% of U.S. adults will experience OCD symptoms in a typical year. With a current U.S. adult population of about 258.3 million, this means that about 3.1 million people ages 18 and above deal with this disorder every year. 

The NIMH has also reported the following about OCD:

  • The past-year prevalence of OCD is more than three times higher among adult women (1.8%) than among adult men (0.5%). 
  • The lifetime prevalence of OCD among adults in the U.S. is 2.3%
  • About 50.6% of adults with OCD experience severe impairment as scored on the Sheehan Disability Scale.

List of 10 Books for People With OCD

The following books for OCD can provide you with vital insights into living with obsessive-compulsive disorder, managing its symptoms, and supporting someone who has been affected by this condition. 

The Self-Compassion Workbook for OCD: Lean into Your Fear, Manage Difficult Emotions, and Focus On Recovery

Written by psychotherapist Kimberly Quinlan, LMFT, this book incorporates the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure and response prevention (ERP), and compassion-focused therapy (CFT) to help people with OCD overcome shame and stigma so that they can live more satisfying lives. 

Learn more about The Self-Compassion Workbook for OCD.

Everyday Mindfulness for OCD: Tips, Tricks & Skills for Living Joyfully

This book includes practical advice and specific steps that people with OCD can take to live fully in the present, resist the urge to self-criticize, and treat themselves with compassion. It was co-authored by OCD experts Jon Hershfield, MFT, and Shala Nicely, LPC.

Learn more about Everyday Mindfulness for OCD.

Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts: A CBT-Based Guide to Getting Over Frightening, Obsessive, or Disturbing Thoughts

Authors Sally M. Winston, PsyD, and Martin N. Seif, PhD, describe how people can use the tenets of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to develop more effective coping skills, overcome shame, and reduce emotional distress related to recurring, unwanted thoughts.

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

Dr. Lee Baer was a highly respected expert who co-founded the OCD treatment and research programs at both Massachusetts General Hospital and McLean Hospital. In this book, he explores the potential causes of – and the various treatment options for – disturbing intrusive thoughts.

Learn more about The Imp of the Mind.

Breaking Free of Child Anxiety and OCD: A Scientifically Proven Program for Parents

This guidebook for parents was written by Eli Lebowitz, PhD, who directs the Program for Anxiety Disorders at the Yale Child Study Center. Its description on Goodreads notes that “the book’s compassionate and personable tone will make it a welcoming resource for any concerned parent.”

Learn more about Breaking Free of Child Anxiety and OCD.

Devil in the Details: Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood

This memoir by Jennifer Traig recounts her experiences living with OCD and veering toward religious fanaticism as an adolescent in the 1970s. The book’s publisher described it as “a very funny, very sharp look back at growing up with obsessive-compulsive disorder.”

Learn more about Devil in the Details.

Loving Someone with OCD: Help for You and Your Family

Co-authored by Karen Landsman, PhD; Kathleen Rupertus, MA, MS; and Cherry Pedrick, RN; this family-focused book explores the impact of OCD from the viewpoint of loved ones of individuals who are living with the disorder. 

Learn more about Loving Someone with OCD.

The OCD Workbook for Teens: Mindfulness and CBT Skills to Help You Overcome Unwanted Thoughts and Compulsions

Unlike the many books that view teen OCD from a parent’s perspective, this book speaks directly to young people who have developed the disorder. The stated goal of author Jon Hirshfield, MFT, is to help teens “manage obsessive thoughts, make peace with uncertainty, and live your life joyfully.”

Learn more about The OCD Workbook for Teens.


Informed by author Wesley King’s personal struggles with OCD and generalized anxiety disorder, this Edgar Award-winning YA novel is a coming-of-age story about a shy boy with OCD who partners with an ostracized girl with selective mutism to solve the mystery of her father’s death.

Learn more about OCDaniel.

The Boy Who Couldn’t Stop Washing: The Experience and Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

This landmark study by Judith Rapoport, MD, was originally published in 1989. Though some parts are a bit dated today (especially regarding medication), it remains a highly respected source of information about living with and attempting to treat OCD.

Learn more about The Boy Who Couldn’t Stop Washing.

Additional Resources for Those With OCD

In addition to the books for OCD that we listed above, the following online resources can also be valuable for individuals who have this disorder and those who care about them:

Contact Our OCD Treatment Facility at Montare at the Canyon

If the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder have been preventing you from living the productive and satisfying life you desire, Montare at the Canyon is here to help. Our OCD treatment center in Los Angeles, California, offers customized services and comprehensive support at several levels, including inpatient care, a partial hospitalization program (PHP), and an intensive outpatient program (IOP).

Our dedicated treatment professionals can assess the full scope of your needs, then develop a customized plan to help you achieve your objectives and experience the healthier future you deserve. We’ll also develop a detailed discharge plan to ensure you have the support you need to maintain and build on the progress you make while you’re in our care.

To learn more or to schedule a free assessment, please visit our Contact page or call us today.