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Submitted Literature

Passing For Normal

By Amy Wilensky


Autobiography examining Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in  the context of Tourette’s Syndrome.  Wilensky’s is a positive portrayal, exploring issues such as the hereditary nature of illness, and the use of medication, behavioural therapy and support groups.  The symptoms of both disorders are particularly thoroughly explored -  for example hoarding, tics, use of numbers as a calming strategy, self-medication with alcohol and cannabis, and picking at skin.

Key Themes:

  • Autobiography
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Revealing Reads
  • Tourettes Syndrome

Significant Quotes / Pages

4 – “I am crazy.

But maybe I am not.

Six, twelve, thirty-six times a day, this thought has run through my head for most of my life.   When I was finally diagnosed with Tourette’s syndrome and concomitant obsessive-compulsive disorder at the age of twenty-four, I wasn’t sure which half to hold onto: Did my newly named but congenital neurological conditions merely affirm my insanity or lift the label altogether?”

Reference: Amy, Wilensky. 1999. Passing For Normal. London: Pocket Books, 2006


- Charley Baker
Date Review Submitted: Monday 23rd March 2009