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.

Host/Producer: Charlie Mintz

Featuring: Professor Elias Aboujaoude, Maria Hummel, Jon Kleiman, Nick DiBella, Kristian Ipsen, and Helena Scutt

Release Date: 12 June 2013

Image via flickr



Intro Story: That Fear Led Her to Sell Two Houses

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.

Featuring: Professor Elias Aboujaoude; his truth-based account of treating OCD patients is called Compulsive Acts: A Psychiatrist’s Tales of Ritual and Obsession.

Producer: Charlie Mintz

Music: Anitek, Kevin MacLeod

Image via flickr



Story 1: Why Nick Ate a Blueberry

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.

Featuring: Nick DiBella

Producer: Charlie Mintz

Music: Grapes, Rocavaco, Tigoolio , Anitek, Christos Koulaxizis, KeroDean , EGA

Image via flickr



Story 2: Planet X

Catastrophe is a classic obsession. But obsess over explosions, and you risk missing the silences.

Featuring: Maria Hummel

Producers: Rachel Hamburg and Charlie Mintz

Music: Skill Borrower, Mika

Image via flickr



Story 3: Less Than a Feeling

Ever worry that other people are feeling more than you? Jon did. Then life delivered a moment where it was practically mandatory to feel a lot. And he tried to.

Featuring: Jon Kleiman

Music: Mark Mothersbaugh

Image via flickr



Story 4: Think your way to the top

Pretty much anyone who has ever done anything amazing in the world was at least a little bit obsessed, so in this final story we focus on the kind of obsession required in order to succeed in sports.

Featuring: Helena Scutt and Kristian Ipsen

Producers: Rachel Hamburg and Zainab Taymuree

Image via wikimedia