Mclean Hospital

OCD Related Content


When Collecting Becomes Hoarding: How to Recognize and Treat This Disorder

Hoarding is a mental health disorder characterized by a persistent and powerful difficulty in getting rid of collected items, regardless of their value. Left untreated, this behavior can lead to a variety of damaging emotional, social, financial, and physical effects—for both the hoarder and their family members. It is also important to distinguish between hoarding and collecting....

McLean Hospital’s Innovative OCD Program: Two Decades of Progress

Twenty years ago, McLean Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital launched the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Institute (OCDI)—an innovative and first-of-its-kind intensive treatment program for individuals living with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Since first opening its doors on the McLean campus in Belmont, Massachusetts in February 1997, the OCDI has expanded three times and...

Patient Perspective: Reflections 20 Years After Seeking Treatment

At 22, Robin did the hardest thing she had ever done in her life: she confronted her fears. Her fear of God, her fear of unintentionally causing others harm, and her fear of germs—all caused by obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)—had robbed her of her teen years and she wasn’t going to let the illness destroy her life any longer. Robin was one of the first patients admitted...

Deconstructing Stigma: Sean

Deconstructing Stigma participant Sean shares his mental health story. Learn why Sean joined the campaign.

Reclaiming Her Freedom: One Young Patient Works to Overcome OCD

For 14-year-old Qun Li Fan, who lives with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), freedom has a meaning all its own. The freedom to participate in everyday activities—such as going to school, playing her violin, or even sleeping in her own bed—was taken away by this disorder. Fan has a type of OCD called emotional contamination, in which she feels that by coming into contact with...

The Roads Oft-Traveled: An Update on OCD Research

The beginnings of 2016 have been exciting times for the OCDI Office of Clinical Assessment and Research, as we expand the scope, scale, and impact of our work. Recent weeks have seen the lab make a big dissemination push at McLean Research Day and at the upcoming ADAA conference, along with efforts to statistically validate and publish internally-developed symptom and process-related measures. We...

How One OCD Patient Is Finding Hope

Katie Wilson is a former patient at McLean’s OCD Institute. I am six months pregnant and I am sleeping on a small patch of the living room floor, because every bed, sofa, or other surface in my home feels contaminated to me. Not safe. I am a trained and registered nurse, with a fear of blood that has caused me to quit my last two jobs and has left me believing I could be infected—as...

All in the Family at the OCD Institute

The OCD Institute (OCDI) is pleased to announce the commencement of a family support group for all family members of current OCDI patients. The group meets on the second and fourth Monday of each month at 6pm and is led by family therapist, Thea Cawley, LICSW. Clinicians at the OCDI know from their experience that when someone is diagnosed with OCD, the entire family system is impacted. This can...

Keep Dreaming: One Patient’s Journey with OCD

Adira Weixlmann is a former patient at McLean’s OCD Institute (OCDI) Life transitions can be an intense combination of positive and negative. Change creates great excitement and hope for the future, but can also be riddled with intense anxiety and worry about the unknown. As an OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) sufferer, I can confirm that OCD will make you doubt your abilities to start...

New Book Helps in Understanding OCD

As noted in the dedication of Understanding OCD: Skills to Control the Conscience and Outsmart Obsessive Compulsive Disorder this book consists of all the lessons patients that I have had the privilege of working with have taught me. I have learned that, for the most part, no matter what OCD symptom subtype people have, they experience a certain amount of conscience about not ritualizing. Even...

Perfectionism and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

During the Fall months at the OCD Institute, we often see patients who have gone off to college or back to school struggling with various forms of OCD which may have been easier to cope with over the summer without the stress of school. One often misunderstood problem is that of academic perfectionism, which can be highly distressing and time consuming, leading to poor academic performance and...

22nd Annual OCD Conference Brings Experts, Resources to Boston

More than 1,500 advocates and mental health experts are expected to attend the 22nd Annual OCD Conference beginning Friday, July 31 through Sunday, August 2 at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel in the Seaport District. Hosted by the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF), and presented by McLean Hospital’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Institute, this unique event offers resources for...

Assessing Without Obsessing: Ways to Check In on Your OCD

If you have ever been in treatment, you probably noticed that most sessions started with a review of the previous week. Did you complete your homework? Did you resist your rituals? Did you use your skills? This information is discussed each week in an effort to objectively assess the thoughts, feelings and behaviors that may be influencing treatment progress in order to inform treatment decisions...

The International OCD Foundation Conference: Join the Reunion!

I’ve been attending and participating in the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) annual conference since I helped found the OCD Institute (OCDI) and joined the OCD Foundation Board of Directors in 1998. It’s an event I look forward to each summer, as it serves as a reunion of sorts for clinicians and researchers I have come to know well over my many years of practice. The conference...

Boston-Bound: Three Reasons to Attend the International OCD Foundation Conference This Summer

It’s about that time again. The International OCD Foundation Conference is upon us in less than a month, and this year it’s in the OCD Institute’s hometown of Boston, Massachusetts. This can only mean one thing—lots of clam chowder! Research has shown that consuming delicious clam chowder has absolutely no effect on OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), however attending...

Earlier Treatment Promotes Better Lives for Young Patients With OCD

A young boy spent eight hours a day on rituals to ensure that his dog was safe, including securing windows and doors and patrolling his home for perceived danger. A teenager’s dread of contracting AIDS cut her off from ordinary experiences like a first kiss. Children and adolescents with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) are consumed by performing rituals to make terrifying thoughts and...

Child and Adolescent OCD Program Opens at McLean Hospital; The Second Program of its Kind in the Country

McLean Hospital, the largest psychiatric affiliate of Harvard Medical School, has added a new program to its McLean SouthEast campus in Middleborough. The McLean Child Adolescent OCD Institute, which opened last month, is the second of its kind in the country to use exposure and response prevention (ERP) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) for treating children and teens ages 10 to 17...

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