This week on State of the Human, we're looking at obsessions, the helpful and the debilitating. We've got four stories of people battling unwanted thoughts. A philosopher who is disgusted at the sight of food, battles his fears with the help of an obsession. A new father is obsessed with the thought that he's not feeling enough. An essayist finds that unwanted thoughts manifest in surprising ways. And Stanford athletes remind us that obsession helps you win at sports.
We all have obsessive thoughts, but if you have them for more than an hour a day, and you engage in compulsions to relieve them, you might have OCD. The Director of Stanford's Obsessive Disorder Clinic helps us understand what the disorder is, and what it tells us about our minds.
Lots of kids don't like broccoli. Nick couldn't stand the sight of it. For almost two decades he ate nothing but cheeseburgers, pizza, pancakes, pasta and cinnamon toast crunch. Then he started worrying his diet was going to kill him.
The Storytelling Project is supported by the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts, the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Stanford Introductory Studies, Stanford Continuing Studies, and the Program in Writing and Rhetoric.