Thought Spiral

Jon Wertheim: You use the word “thought spiral.” What does that mean?

John Green: The thing about a spiral is that it– it goes on forever, right? Like, if you zoom in on the spiral it can keep tightening forever. And that for me is the nature of obsessive thought that it’s this inwardly turning spiral that never actually has an end point. So it might be I’m eating a salad and it suddenly occurs to me that somebody might have bled into this salad. Now, they probably didn’t.

Jon Wertheim: This is what you’re thinking?

John Green: But this is what I’m thinking. And instead of being able to move on to a second thought, that thought just expands and expands and expands and expands. And then, I use compulsive behaviors to try to manage the worry and the overwhelmedness that that thought causes me.

~ John Green, 41, in a Sixty Minutes interview on October 7, 2018. “Reaching young adults and dealing with mental illness.  The best-selling author of books like ‘The Fault in Our Stars,’ opens up to 60 Minutes about exploring his fears through his writing.”

His fourth solo novel, The Fault in Our Stars, debuted at number one on The New York Times Best Seller list in January 2012 and was a best seller for three years. His most recent book, “Turtles All the Way Down,” has been a best-seller for 50 straight weeks since it debuted at number one. Its theme: obsessive-compulsive disorder, OCD, based on Green’s own. For this book, he obeyed that time honored rule of the craft: write what you know.

John Green has:

 


Photo: John Green via Parade

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