Triggered by Fletcher Wortmann

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I definitely recommend this book to anyone who has suffered from any type of psychological trouble and has met with an uncaring world.
-Carabosse's Library



Imagine the worst thing in the world. Picture it. Construct it, carefully and deliberately in your mind. Be careful not to omit anything. Imagine it happening to you, to the people you love. Imagine the worst thing in the world.

Now try not to think about it.

This is what it is like for Fletcher Wortmann. In his brilliant memoir, the author takes us on an intimate journey across the psychological landscape of OCD, known as the "doubting disorder," as populated by God, girls, and apocalyptic nightmares. Wortmann unflinchingly reveals the elaborate series of psychological rituals he constructs as "preventative measures" to ward off the end times, as well as his learning to cope with intrusive thoughts through Clockwork Orange-like "trigger" therapy.

But even more than this, the author emerges as a preternatural talent as he unfolds a kaleidoscope of culture high and low ranging from his obsessions with David Bowie, X-Men, and Pokemon, to an eclectic education shaped by Shakespeare, Kierkegaard, Catholic mysticism, Christian comic books, and the collegiate dating scene at the "People's Republic of Swarthmore."

Triggered is a pitch-perfect memoir; a touching, triumphantly funny, compulsively readable, and ultimately uplifting coming-of-age tale for Generation Anxiety.

Fletcher Wortmann on OCD and sex:

"If a girl accepts an invitation to help count the tiles on your bedroom ceiling, then she will probably be disappointed when she realizes you were speaking literally."

…on OCD and religion:

"I have found Catholicism and obsessive compulsive disorder to be deeply sympathetic to one another. One is a repressive construct founded in existential terror, barely restrained by complex, arbitrary ritual behaviors; the other is an anxiety disorder."

…on OCD humor:

"By the sink, I noticed a perfunctory sign warning readers to wash their hands. It was scrawled with graffiti: NO YOU CAN'T GERMS ARE UNPREVENTABLE AND INESCAPABLE."

…on the seductiveness of OCD:

"Every so often, everything will work, and you will somehow convince yourself that you are safe, and the disorder will claim credit. I had struck a bargain with the OCD. The transaction was complete. In that moment I became subservient to it."


About Fletcher Wortmann

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FLETCHER WORTMANN has been variously employed as a Writing Instructor, SAT tutor, "Party Associate," record store clerk, and farm-stand hand. He was born and raised in Winchester, Massachusetts, and currently lives in Philadelphia, where he is working toward his MFA in Creative Writing at Temple University. Wortmann also performs with the New York/Philadelphia-based sketch comedy group the Disappointments. He remains cautiously optimistic.
Published March 27, 2012 by Thomas Dunne Books. 272 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Triggered
All: 6 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 0

Publishers Weekly

Oct 31 2011

Wortmann developed strategies for coping with OCD through high school and his college years at Swarthmore, including mastering video games and listening to David Bowie.

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Psych Central

Reviewed by Catherine Mahon

I think this book will bring many people to a new understanding of OCD because it is filled with interesting anecdotes and compelling sadness along with hopeful events.

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Tethered Mommy

Reviewed by Maggie on Mar 24 2012

I also felt that this memoir helped me understand a bit more about obsessive compulsive disorder.

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Carabosse's Library

Reviewed by Valentina on Feb 16 2012

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who has suffered from any type of psychological trouble and has met with an uncaring world.

Read Full Review of Triggered


Feb 28 2012

This made Triggered fun to read, believe it or not. Yet he doesn't just make you laugh as he shares his struggles with the disease; he also makes the reader learn and think.

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The Best Memoirs Books


Fletcher Wortmann’s fine first book is brave, of course. Exposing himself in the service of describing his obsessional disorder is a significant, deliberate, personal sacrifice

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