When Worry Hijacks The Brain

Few things imprison a mind quite like obsessive -compulsive disorder, but better treatments are breaking its hold

Illustration for TIME by Seymour Chwast

Few things imprison a mind quite like obsessive-compulsive disorder, but better treatments are breaking its hold.

Even the most stable brain operates just a millimeter from madness. In such a finely tuned cognitive engine, only a small part must start to sputter before the whole machine comes crashing down. When that happens, reason and function come undone, rarely as dramatically as in the neurochemical storm that is obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Say you leave work at 6 p.m. for what should be a 12-minute drive home. Say just as you're pulling onto the street, a child on a bicycle crosses in front of you. A few feet later, you feel the thump of a pothole. But what if it...

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