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“THE OCD MORMON: Finding Healing and Hope in the Midst of Anxiety,” by Kari Ferguson, Cedar Fort, $13.99, 166 pages (nf)
Kari Ferguson, a Latter-day Saint woman, is a mental illness advocate and suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder. “The OCD Mormon” is a memoir of her journey from when she first became aware that something was wrong to finding healing and happiness in the present day.
The anxiety began during her college years. At first, Ferguson was convinced the anxiety came because she wasn’t perfect enough in keeping the commandments and therefore needed to repent. Her anxiety turned into a debilitating guilt that prevented her from being able to feel joy or feel that she was good enough.
Eventually she served an LDS mission, attended graduate school, got married and began having children. It was during this time that Ferguson reached the breaking point. Her obsessive compulsive disorder turned into a contamination disorder and the obsession over cleanliness began to take over all aspects of her life.
After finally being diagnosed with OCD, Ferguson began treatments with both medication and therapy. Since then, she has been on the road toward healing and happiness.
“The OCD Mormon” provides many insights into life with obsessive compulsive disorder. Ferguson does a fantastic job in describing how mental illness, especially untreated, slowly took over her life. She explains the different symptoms that can accompany OCD, how the symptoms interacted, how it affected her daily life and even her relationships with her family, and most of all, deity.
One of the great aspects of this memoir is that it can help provide insight and understanding for family members and friends of those who struggle with mental illness. Although this memoir is specifically focused on OCD, Fergusons’s story resonates truth for all disorders across the mental illness spectrum. Ferguson also provides candid advice and hope for those who may suffer from a mental illness: Don’t give up, there is healing and hope at the end of the tunnel.
Lauren McAfee is a librarian assistant at the Cedar City Public Library. She manages the social media platform, writes grants and assist with other outreach efforts in the community. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.