The man, identified only as George, suffered from extreme obsessive-compulsive disorder, washing his hands hundreds of times a day and taking excessively frequent showers.
At the age of 19, George shot himself in the head, hoping to end the pain of OCD for good. He succeeded, but not at all in the way he had planned.
Miraculously, the bullet actually destroyed the left frontal lobe, the region of the brain that controls this obsessive behavior, without causing major damage to any other region.
Before the suicide attempt, George’s OCD had forced him to drop out of school and quit his job.
When he was interviewed five years after the event (February 1988), he had found a new job and had returned to college, where he was a straight-A student, despite the fact his IQ score was exactly the same as it was before.
OCD affects around 100 million people annually. Read the full story from The New York Times.