Books, Personal Memoirs

A Life Interrupted: The Story of My Battle With Bullying and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder By Sumi Mukherjee

Tormented by bullies in childhood, the author’s onset of OCD at the age of 16 took the form of horrific intrusive thoughts involving his bullies. He aims to raise public awareness that bullying has long been causing needless suffering in the lives of countless nice, intelligent, and sensitive people.

Overcoming his OCD through effective treatment, as well as love and support from his family and his own intelligence and inner strength, the author has become a professional public speaker focusing on the prevention of bullying. He is based in Minnesota; he will be available in person in Texas during OCD Awareness Week, Oct 14-20, for media interviews and speaking engagements, as well as by phone and Internet.

I wish this wonderful, honest, engaging book could be required reading in college introductory psychology courses. It shows a nice young man, healthy, intelligent, loved by his family, descending into the hell of OCD — nightmarish intrusive thoughts and agonizing, exhausting behaviors he felt he had to perform to prevent harm to people he loved. It shows the isolation that so many people with OCD have experienced, hiding their secret thoughts and rituals for years from their involved and caring parents (even his mother, a PhD psychologist, was unaware of his condition), suffering needlessly, thinking they must surely be crazy and bad beyond redemption, until finally finding the right diagnosis and the right treatment. It also shows the social-emotional impact of “a life interrupted” by OCD, and his struggle, after finally getting his OCD under control, to develop skills necessary for more satisfying career and personal relationships.

Honest, compelling and at times unnerving, Life Interrupted keeps you both interested and entertained. Sumi did an incredible job of sharing the raw truth about growing up as a bullied individual while tying in the OCD connection. It is easy to read a book which can clearly be understood by anyone who works with individuals living with OCD. I have a clearer idea of what these children live with on a day in and day out basis now that I have read Sumi’s book. I once had a very narrow view of OCD. That view has been expanded. The book has given me insight on how to work better with Youth in Crisis.

Sumi’s explanation of the life challenges he went through growing up being bullied doesn’t make a person feel sorry for him but proud of him. I’ve worked individually with Sumi to bring his story to the Minnesota School System. He is opening the gateway for the suffering to stop. Thousands of conversations are now being started by children who have been bullied. They may never have had the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings about being bullied if they had not read his book or heard him speak.
My recommendation is to read Life Interrupted, share it and talk about it.

In this raw, emotional book, Sumi Mukherjee details his life with OCD, anxiety, and depression. The impact of living with these illnesses, which in fact were triggered by the extreme bullying that he endured for many years, affected every aspect of his life. Sumi’s honest account of his struggles is heartbreaking, but as he gets older his inner strength shines through and he learns to cope and fight for a successful happy life as an adult. He shares his experiences with therapy, medications and an OCD treatment program. He also emphasizes how important the continued love and support of his parents has been throughout his life. He has an optimism that is encouraging to all. This is a powerful story that lets people know they are not alone in their struggles.

There are many books now available on obsessive-compulsive disorder, but few give an uncensored description of what it is actually like to live with shocking, unwanted obsessions. A Life Interrupted- The Story of my Battle with Bullying and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder gives readers an insider’s view of the devastating impact OCD and bullying can have on a person’s life. He also shares his path to standing up to his childhood bully and OCD, which takes much courage and flexibility. The reward is insight, change, and the feeling of being back in control. The author is genuine in his description of his OCD symptoms and his successes and challenges along the way. It is well written and the author is even able to interject some humor into sharing his story. While the descriptions of the OCD thoughts are graphic, they are not uncommon and many people will be able to relate to this book.


Author/Speaker Sumi Mukherjee has two decades worth of painfully acquired expertise in dealing with anxiety, bullying, depression, and OCD. Since publishing his book in July 2011, Sumi has been working on taking his message to hundreds of people around the country so others can benefit from his story. He has also published in IOCDF’s newsletter. Sumi has spoken on numerous occasions focusing on the impact of bullying on mental health as well as on bullying focused on diversity/cultural differences. Sumi has spoken to students, parents, teachers, school social workers and mental health professionals on several occasions. Sumi has been interviewed by FOX TV and by Radio Disney. Sumi was also interviewed recently by Rogers Memorial Hospital in connection with the impact of prolonged bullying on mental health. He has recently completed the manuscripts for his second and third books. He was born in Calgary, Canada, and grew up in Minnesota, USA.


Exlibris and Amazon Kindle editions — See also the author’s website on bullying and OCD.


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