OCD Stories: An Evening of Reflection, Humor, and Education

OCD Awareness Week is Oct. 11-17

September 24, 2010

Doctors who treat people with obsessive compulsive disorder, family members of people with OCD, and those who suffer from OCD will engage in a night of true storytelling as a way to recognize OCD Awareness Week.

Presented by the International OCD Foundation, “OCD Stories: An evening of reflection, humor, and education,” is a national event that will give voice to those who are intimately affected by OCD.

The Boston-based IOCDF hosts the Oct. 16 event, while satellite storytelling events unfold in cities across the country. Viewers will be able to watch the live storytelling from each of the IOCDF affiliate sites through a web simulcast.

At each of these events, doctors, researchers, patients and their loved ones will gather to share their true stories of working and living with OCD.

In Boston, OCD Stories will be held at 6pm. Oct. 16 at the de Marneffe Building at McLean Hospital in Belmont. Guests will hear stories from Dr. Michael Jenike, a nationally-recognized OCD expert, and Jeff Bell, a news radio anchor and author of two books about his personal battle with OCD. Members of the public are invited to attend.

Jenike, the medical director of the McLean’s OCD Institute, was criticized early in his career for being “over-involved” with his patients, he says. But his unique style of using humor in treatment and his dedication to making house calls have made Jenike a leader in the field.

“I had known from my early years that I was willing to do unusual things to help patients,” Jenike said. He’ll share one of these stories at the Oct. 16 event.

“Within our community, we have many amazing stories of hope, triumph, and of course, humor,” said Dr. Jeff Szymanski, executive director of the OCD Foundation. “These true stories will serve as a vital educational tool to inspire OCD sufferers and support their families in their search for effective OCD treatment. OCD is a debilitating brain disorder and there are stigmas attached to mental illnesses. We can help eliminate stigmas by sharing information with the public.”

The OCD Foundation estimates that up to 4 million Americans suffer from OCD. While OCD has no cure, its symptoms, which include obsessive thoughts and compulsive rituals, can be managed effectively with therapy and medication.

The Oct. 16 event is part of the second annual OCD Awareness Week, which runs Oct. 11-17. Events to promote OCD education and awareness will be held across the country all week long. Learn more and get involved at www.ocfoundation.org.

About the International OCD Foundation
The International OCD Foundation is the foremost resource about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and related illnesses. It is an international organization that exists to raise awareness among policy makers and the general public about OCD, educate the mental health community about the latest treatments and research, connect people suffering from OCD with treatment providers, and advance research for more effective treatments. Based in Boston, the OCD Foundation has affiliates in Massachusetts, Florida, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and California. The OCD Foundation was founded as the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation in 1986 by a dozen OCD patients at Yale. Twenty-four years later, the organization has an annual $1 million annual operating budget, has granted $2.5 million for treatment research, and is a resource for tens of thousands of people. For more information, visit ocfoundation.org.

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