James Bailey's form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) was as bizarre as it was unbearable. He was obsessed by a fear of drugs and their effects, believing himself to be in constant danger of becoming insanely high through people spiking his food, or even by just touching a photograph of a marijuana leaf.
The treatment programme he went through at a specialist American clinic was challenging, to say the least. He was asked to shake hands and mingle with the local junkies, fighting his anxieties and the urge to go and wash for as long as possible in order to 'expose' himself to his fears.
Man, Interrupted gives us a glimpse into the tortured world of a man suffering from what is an increasingly common disorder. But far from being a doom-laden account of mental illness, the result is uniquely revealing, hilariously entertaining and wonderfully rewarding.