Puzzled: A Memoir about Growing Up with OCD (Hardcover)

Puzzled: A Memoir about Growing Up with OCD By Pan Cooke, Pan Cooke (Illustrator) Cover Image

Puzzled: A Memoir about Growing Up with OCD (Hardcover)

By Pan Cooke, Pan Cooke (Illustrator)

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Growing up with undiagnosed OCD sure isn’t easy, and here Pan Cooke shares his own experiences with that condition in a graphic-novel memoir that is as funny as it is powerfully candid and openhearted.

Pan Cooke is ten years old when anxious thoughts begin to take over his brain like pieces of an impossible puzzle. What if he blurts out a swear word while in church? What if he accidentally writes something mean in his classmate’s get-well card? What if his friend’s racy photo of a supermodel ends up in his own homework and is discovered by his teacher? More and more, he becomes hijacked by fears that can only be calmed through exhausting, time-consuming rituals.

Pan has no way of knowing that this anxiety puzzle and the stressful attempts to solve it are evidence of a condition called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This is his story of living with and eventually learning about OCD. Told with endearing honesty and humor, Puzzled shows the reader the importance of empathy for oneself and those going through something they don’t yet understand.
Pan Cooke is an Irish artist and “cartoonivist” residing in Dublin, Ireland. He frequently posts cartoons about social issues on Instagram, where he has a large following, and he has created comics for Amnesty International and Campaign Zero. This memoir is his first book.
Product Details ISBN: 9780593615614
ISBN-10: 0593615611
Publisher: Rocky Pond Books
Publication Date: April 16th, 2024
Pages: 224
Language: English
"The novel’s clean, unadorned art style enhances the persuasive verbal and visual jigsaw metaphor, which clearly evidences the creator’s lonely hardship as his numerous attempts to solve the unrelenting Puzzle fail. In a closing chapter, Cooke shares his first experience attending therapy, provides a digestible introduction to OCD’s multiple forms and symptoms, and dispels common myths about the disorder.” —Publishers Weekly


"The cheery colors in many of the panels serve as a stark contrast to the dark thoughts in Pan’s head, while the blue-gray panels illustrating Pan’s thought spirals emphasize his distress. Pan’s striking story handles mental health withcare and precision, dispelling myths about OCD and providing readers with the language necessary to discuss its signs and symptoms. Readers will also appreciate the quick yet comprehensive overview of cognitive behavioral therapy treatment toward the end. A harrowing yet ultimately hopeful look at the manifestation of mental illness.” —Kirkus


"A vulnerable account of trying to fit in, finding your place in the world, and the experience of being a regular teen while living with chronic intrusive thoughts. The vivid graphic representations of these intrusive thoughts in the main character Pan’s mind tangibly illustrate the struggles that they face, while the supporting text demonstrates how they operate outwardly in the public sphere. The author gives a realistic and frank perspective to symptoms and signs of the disorder, while also dispelling the myths and stereotypes that are often associated with it. A powerful graphic novel memoir that gives readers an authenticaccount of life with OC.” —School Library Journal