OCD and Reading

by Matt B. on December 12, 2014

My dad once told me that I’m the best-read person he knows. I was flattered, but something about the description rang false. He meant: you’ve read a heck of a lot of books. I thought: yes, but I haven’t necessarily read them well.


The SAT and OCD

by Matt B. on December 5, 2014

I teach SAT to pay the bills. Over the past few months, I’ve learned a lot about how the test works and what it expects of students. In particular, it represents the English language as a set of universal and inviolable rules.


Bill Brenner writes one of the most well-regarded OCD blogs on the web. In this episode, Bill takes us on his journey through OCD, overeating, and a twelve-step recovery program. Also discussed: Traci Foust, Lou Reed, Jim Morrison, and finding the most interesting parts of ourselves within the pain.


Causes and Catalysts

by Matt B. on December 1, 2014

In his book Antifragile, Nassim Nicholas Taleb argues that irresponsible bankers and their mortgage-backed Ponzi schemes didn’t cause the 2008 financial crisis. Instead, their shenanigans were only the catalyst – the straw that broke the camel’s back.


For me, the hardest thing about OCD is the sense that I’m doing this to myself – that it’s my fault that I just spent five hours thinking about whether I subtly (and almost painlessly) fractured my pinky finger. That all of that nausea, despair, and loneliness was self-inflicted.


Unsolicited Advice

November 16, 2014

OCD isn’t complicated. That probably sounds strange, given that I’ve devoted essay after essay to the many facets of this fucker. But it isn’t – it’s actually fairly straightforward.

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What OCD Has Taught Me About Buddhism (and Vice Versa)

November 15, 2014

A condensed version of this essay appears in Shambhala Sun. In the first of the Lotus Sutra allegories, a man must convince his children to put aside their toys in order to escape a burning house. To do so, the man contrives an even more tempting set of playthings – the three ‘chariots’ of the […]

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