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Dmitri Popov (CC0)

April 23, 2017

What’s your compulsion? That thing you can’t stop doing or can’t live without. Whether it’s nail biting or handwashing, most of us have some kind of behavior we just can’t give up. But while compulsions can be a mild annoyance for some, for others, they can be marshalled as a strength, inspiring them to achieve great things. This hour, we explore the upside to compulsions.

The broadcast of this episode also featured a conversation about the poem “WTF” with poet Laura Kasischke for our series the News from Poems.

  1. The Psychology of Why You Can’t Stop Checking Your Phone

    Science writer Sharon Begley on how anxiety drives modern day compulsions.

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  2. Tracing the Patterns of an Obsessive Mind

    To The Best Of Our Knowledge producer Doug Gordon explains what it’s like to live with obsessive compulsions. 

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  3. When Obsessive Thoughts Take Control Of Your Life

    How Ethan Smith overcame OCD and a crippling fear of self harm.

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  4. How Obsession and Compulsion Powered American Genius

    What do Steve Jobs, Estee Lauder and Ted Williams have in common? They were driven by individual compulsions.

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