The book Life in Rewind is the true story of Edward Zine who suffered from severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). For those of you unfamiliar with this condition, OCD, according to Dr. Michael Jenike is a psychological disorder composed of intrusive thoughts, repetitive counting and checking , contamination issues, and hoarding. In Edward’s case, his OCD manifested in the need to reverse every action he did because he felt Time equals Progression, Progression equals Death.
After experiencing a traumatic event as a child (I will not disclose what the event was for those of you interested in reading the book yourself), Edward began his rituals that he felt would keep his family “safe and alive.” His rituals became so intrusive into his daily living that by the time Edward was a young adult he had confined himself to his basement. The daily acts of eating, bathing, and interacting with the outside world- even on the phone, became more than he could take.
Dr. Michael Jenike was contacted to work with Edward after several failed attempts by the family to get Edward help. Dr. Jenike, in his rather unconventional techniques for working with his patients, had the ability to make Edward think clearly about what he wanted in his own life. Edward had in my opinion, a greater than normal ability to communicate with others. There were several occasions during Edward’s recovery where he asked favors or help of others that seemed a bit generous to me. In the examples given, everyone was willing to help him. I feel Edward had a remarkable way of communicating to others about his condition with OCD, how he knew logically that his behaviors were illogical, but felt the pervasive need to conduct them anyway.
Remarkably, Edward was able to transform from a malnourished ritualized life, to one that included relationships with other people, and a way to manage his OCD.
As hoarding is often a symptom of OCD, it was interesting to see how Edward interacted (or did not interact) with the things in his world. Edward’s explanation about why objects had to remain untouched was fascinating to me as an organizer. Ultimately, Edward was able to reach a point where he was able to let many of his belongings go. As I said before, Edward had an above average ability to think about things logically and communicate with others. Because of this I feel he had such a remarkable story.
I would highly recommend this book. The flow of this book is easy to follow and the first hand accounts from Edward and Dr. Jenike make for excellent perspective. The book also contains several photos of both Dr. Jenike and Edward. It is remarkable to see the transformation Edward took during the course of treatment. I will say regarding the photos, I felt they were too close to the beginning of the book, there were aspects of the book that were slightly ruined for me because I was able to see photos from later in Edward’s life. Other than that, the photos were a nice addition to the story.