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NEW OCD TREATMENT STUDY AT YALE!  (May 22, 2018)  New!
Yale OCD Research Clinic
At our May 2018 group meeting, we were honored to have Christopher Pittenger, MD, PhD speak to our group. He is the director of the Yale OCD Research Clinic, based at CMHC (The Connecticut Mental Health Center) in New Haven, CT.

Dr. Pittenger explained that the clinic currently has a range of studies running, running the gamut from cognitive testing to neuroimaging to pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment studies. He especially highlighted a new treatment study currently being conducted for adults with refractory OCD. For more information, click here.

SPOTLIGHT: OCD NEWS AND RESEARCH UPDATES  (May 10, 2018)  New!
IOCDF Spotlight
It’s sometimes said that Spring is a time for new beginnings, and to celebrate the IOCDF is incredibly excited to share that they are bringing back its Spotlight: OCD News & Research Updates!

Spotlight is the IOCDF's monthly series that brings the absolute latest in OCD news and research right to your email inbox. There they feature compelling stories from advocates and cutting-edge research from the scientific community. In Spotlight, they put a special focus on the important work of its Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board experts, as well as the research and discoveries made possible through its Research Grant Program. They’re excited to be back, and look forward to sharing Spotlight with you each month!

If you would like to sign up, please click here to make sure that each month's update arrives right in your inbox.

EXCORIATION (SKIN PICKING) DISORDER, AKA DERMATILLOMANIA  (May 10, 2018)  New!
OCD Center of Los Angeles
Excoriation (Skin Picking) Disorder is an obsessive-compulsive spectrum condition in which sufferers repeatedly pick at their skin. Crystal Quater, MMFT, of the OCD Center of Los Angeles discusses her personal experience with, and recovery from, Excoriation Disorder, and how she treats clients struggling with this condition. Click here to read the article.

UNDERSTANDING RELIGIOUS OCD IN CHILDREN  (April 9, 2018)  New!
Child Mind Institute
In families with religious beliefs, a child expressing faith and strong moral principles is usually a welcome development. But sometimes a child’s faith may become an obsession, and instead of consolation the child experiences extreme anxiety that he is violating religious norms and desperation to correct his perceived mistakes. This is what happens when children develop obsessive-compulsive disorder and it manifests itself in their religion. Click here to read the article.

UNSTUCK: AN OCD KIDS MOVIE  (February 3, 2018)  New!
Unstuck: An OCD Kids Movie
When your brain is the problem how do you fix it? Thousands of kids, teens and adults with OCD are searching for answers to this question. They're trapped in a vicious cycle of worries and rituals. While families and loved ones are desperate to help them, fighting OCD takes time and specialized therapy.

To uncover what OCD is, and what it isn’t, filmmakers Kelly Anderson and Chris Baier focus on an unlikely group of experts: Kids!

UNSTUCK documents OCD strictly through the eyes of young people. The short documentary avoids sensationalizing compulsions and obsessions, and instead reveals the complexity of a disorder that affects the brain and behavior. As these six resilient kids and teens roadmap their process of recovery, the film inspires viewers to believe it is possible to fight their worst fears and beat back OCD.

For more information, visit www.ocdkidsmovie.com.

ANNOUNCING NEW EXPERT ARTICLES ON THE IOCDF WEBSITE!  (January 15, 2018)  New!
International OCD Foundation
We understand that for people living with OCD, family members, and professionals who treat OCD and related disorders, it can sometimes be a challenge to find comprehensive information that addresses your specific needs. In addition, with all of the information out there, it can be difficult to know what sources are vetted and trustworthy.

The International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) understands these challenges. That is why it collaborates with leading experts to bring you informative and accurate information about the latest therapy, research, and treatment in OCD and related disorders. In 2018, it is its goal to ensure that more of this information is available to you on its website. That's why it has recently revamped its "Expert Opinions" section to now be called "From the Experts", and include even more relevant and informative articles.

Its "From the Experts" section includes articles that are relevant and accessible to people living with OCD and their loved ones, as well as to mental health professionals. Its articles go beyond what it covers in its "Learn More About OCD" sections, in order to provide more in-depth looks at various areas of OCD management and treatment. Click here to view the articles.

BODY IMAGE: DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU THINK  (January 15, 2018)  New!
OCD Center of Los Angeles
The OCD Center of Los Angeles is happy to announce the publication of a new article by one of its staff therapists, Lauren McMeikan, MA. The article, titled Body Image: Don't Believe Everything You Think, explores how you can use mindfulness and acceptance to challenge the negative, self-defeating messages you tell yourself about your body. Click here to read the article.

7 THINGS I WISH PEOPLE UNDERSTOOD ABOUT OCD  (BuzzFeed.com, October 3, 2017)
BuzzFeed
Even though I’m not obsessed with monsters under the bed anymore, when something unpleasant comes up, like getting called in for jury duty, my mind automatically brings me to the irrational worst case. There are 7 things I wish people understood about OCD. Click here to read this article.

OCD IS "FAKE NEWS"  (September 13, 2017)
OCD Center of Los Angeles
By now, virtually anyone with even a passing interest in politics and current events has heard the term “fake news”. If you haven’t heard this term, just turn on a cable news channel on any given day and you are bound to hear a news story (or ten) about how we are being inundated with fake news that is designed to alter our political beliefs (and our votes). Regardless of your political persuasion, a Google search of the term “fake news” will lead you to a multitude of articles that describe somebody (or some country) that is presenting reality in a distorted fashion in an attempt to persuade you to see things their way. So what does this have to with OCD? Click here to read an article that will explain.

OCD CONNECTICUT HAS PARTNERED WITH AMAZON SMILE  (August 15, 2017)
AmazonSmile
OCD Connecticut is happy to announce that it now has an AmazonSmile account. Whenever you shop on AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to OCD Connecticut. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service. Click here to shop at its AmazonSmile site.

SMALL STUDY FINDS SIGNS OF BRAIN INFLAMMATION IN PATIENTS WITH OCD  (August 22, 2017)
Brain & Behavior Research Foundation
In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers have found signs of inflammation within the neurocircuitry associated with adult obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The findings were reported June 21, 2017 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Until now, only a small percentage of OCD cases have been linked to inflammation, occurring in a part of the brain called the basal ganglia -- potentially as the result of childhood infection. The Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada now uses recent advances in positron emission tomography or PET scanning to identify inflammation in multiple parts of the brain involved in OCD. Click here to read the full article.

WESTPORT CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUP  (August 22, 2017)
Caring for the Caregiver
Managing the care of a loved one can present many challenges in one's life. This support group will help you cope with this difficult time. This series is for adult children who may be caregivers for their parents, parents who may be caring for a child with a special need, as well as spouses caring for each other. The group is held at Westport Center For Senior Activities, 21 Imperial Avenue, Westport, CT. Call (203) 341-5099 for more information.


28 PEOPLE SHARE HOW THEY KEEP FROM PICKING THEIR SKIN - Genius Strategies From People Who Deal With It  (BuzzFeed.com, January 15, 2017)
BuzzFeed
Excoriation (also known as dermatillomania) is a disorder that causes people to repetitively touch, rub, scratch, pick at, or dig into their skin in ways that result in physical damage — like skin disfigurement, discoloration, bleeding, or scarring. Effective treatment often involves professional help, but there are tricks some people have found helpful — physically, emotionally, or otherwise — for dealing with skin-picking. Click here to learn these tricks.

MAKE A VIDEO FOR IOCDF (May 24, 2017)
International OCD Foundation
Mental illness doesn't discriminate -- and everyone deserves access to effective treatment for OCD and related disorders. As part of its diversity initiative, The International OCD Foundation needs the participation of the greater OCD community to help spread the word. Here is how:

1) The International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) would like to make a video accessible to everyone, so they are seeking participants who speak a language in addition to English to participate. If you speak a non-English language, please make a video of yourself saying the phrase “Effective treatment for everyone” in your chosen language.
2) Once recorded, please upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo, and include how the phrase would be written in your chosen language.
3) Contact The International OCD Foundation by sharing your video on Facebook or Twitter using the #IOCDF4ALL, or by messaging them on Facebook or emailing them at info@IOCDF.org to share the link to your video and let us know that you have participated.

They will edit all of these videos together and if yours is chosen, you will see this video on its website, social media and at the Annual OCD Conference. For more info, go to https://www.facebook.com/IOCDF/.

LATEST OCD NEWS FROM THE IOCDF!
LATEST NEWS FROM OCD-UK
OCD-UK
OCD-UK provides a month-by-month list of the latest and archived news stories published on its website. OCD-UK is dedicated to improving the mental health and well-being of almost one million people in the United Kingdom whose lives are affected by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Click here to go to the website.

DOUBT, DENIAL and OCD  (September 14, 2016)
OCD Center of Los Angeles
The OCD Center of Los Angeles has just published its most recent blog article, "Doubt, Denial and OCD". This article looks at "The Denial Obsession", in which OCD sufferers obsess that they do not really have OCD, and are merely "in denial".

To read the article, click here.

FRIENDS & FAMILY OCD SUPPORT GROUP (Cheshire, CT)!  (June 27, 2016)
Meeting
This is a new OCD support group for family and friends of OCD sufferers. Here you can gain strength & knowledge through peer support. The group meets at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 59 Main Street, Cheshire, CT on the last Tuesday of every month, 7:00 to 8:30 pm.

For more information, contact Susan Schuster @ 860-575-9593 or susanschuster@yahoo.com. Click here for a flyer with details and directions.

APRIL EDITION OF "SPOTLIGHT: OCD NEWS AND RESEARCH UPDATES" IS HERE!  (April 27, 2016)
IOCDF Spotlight
This month’s edition features a special quarterly research highlight on hoarding disorder as well as the articles, "Why You Need to Stop Saying You’re 'So OCD'" and "Who Am I? A Student With OCD & Anxiety". Also discussed is a new app designed to help people deal with OCD, as well as other OCD news and research topics.


MARCH EDITION OF "SPOTLIGHT: OCD NEWS AND RESEARCH UPDATES" IS HERE!  (March 29, 2016)
IOCDF Spotlight
Each month the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) brings you the latest in research news and information on obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). This month’s edition also features a special quarterly research highlight on pediatric OCD.



FEBRUARY EDITION OF "SPOTLIGHT: OCD NEWS AND RESEARCH UPDATES"  (February 8, 2016)
IOCDF Spotlight
Each month the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) brings you the latest in research news and information on obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). This month’s edition features a special quarterly research highlight on body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).



CHRISTINA J. TAYLOR, PH.D ANNOUNCES HER NEW OCD BOOK!  (January 23, 2016)
OCD: A Workbook for Clinicians, Children and Teens; Actions to Beat, Control & Defeat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Our support group's co-moderator, Dr. Christina Taylor, announces the release of her new book, "OCD: A Workbook for Clinicians, Children and Teens; Actions to Beat, Control & Defeat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder". This book is a user-friendly, creative and interactive book to help children and teens take control of OCD. With specific chapters for each type of OCD, children and teens will learn cognitive behavioral strategies to overcome their obsessions and compulsions. The book contains:

  • Step-by-step worksheets and exercises to break free of OCD.
  • Strategies for contamination, checking, worrisome thoughts, perfectionism, hoarding and religious obsessions and compulsions.
  • Relaxation and thinking skills to manage anxiety.
  • Use Actions, to Beat, Control and Defeat -- the ABCDs of OCD to effectively conquer symptoms.
The book is available on Amazon.com and Pesi.com.

JANUARY EDITION OF "SPOTLIGHT: OCD NEWS AND RESEARCH UPDATES"  (January 6, 2016)
IOCDF Spotlight
International OCD Foundation's (IOCDF) first 2016 edition of Spotlight: OCD Research News & Updates is out now! The January update includes the latest in research news and information on obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) with a special research highlight on hoarding disorder (HD).

This series is also available via email so you can receive the latest research news and information directly in your email inbox. Sign up to receive future issues of Spotlight by going here and selecting the “Spotlight” option on our email signup form.

TELL TARGET: SHOULD OCD REALLY BE A SOURCE OF HOLIDAY CHEER? (IOCDF, November 11, 2015)
Target-OCD Sweater
OCD can destroy lives without proper treatment. But that’s okay because the acronym is funny, edgy, and makes for great jokes on silly and cute holiday sweaters. Many individuals and organizations have shared their disappointment and frustration with a Christmas sweater available now in Target stores across the US that declares whoever wears it a sufferer of “OCD: Obsessive Christmas Disorder.” Let’s help Target understand why this OCD sweater is more than just a silly joke. Continue messaging, tweeting, and emailing Target to let them know how their sweater furthers the stigma and obstacles OCD sufferers too often face in accessing treatment. Get in the holiday spirit by tweeting @Target with a photo of you in your favorite ugly Christmas sweater to show Target you’d rather your holiday spirit come dressed in hideous shades of red and green with way too many details and embellishments rather than an inaccurate and dismissive message about OCD. Let Target know this holiday season, you’d rather wear ugly sweaters over lame ones.

17 Quotes That Prove OCD Is So Much More Than Being Neat  (The Mighty, October 2015)
The Mighty
Written for OCD Awareness Week as part of a collaboration between The Mighty and the IOCDF, people with OCD seize the opportunity to share what OCD is really like, outside of often negative or inaccurate portrayals of OCD that tend to dominate news cycles. To read the article, click here.



Mental Illnesses 'Not All in the Mind'  (Straits Times, October 2015)
Institute of Mental Health
A study of mental illness literary by the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) in Singapore found that nine out of ten respondents believe that those with a mental disorder "could get better if they wanted to," while half also saw mental illness as a sign of "personal weakness." Researchers say this stigmatizing mindset often prevents people from seeking treatment. To read the article, click here.

Understanding OCD: New Research Sheds Light on Best Treatment Options  (Columbia University Medical Center Newsroom, October 2015)
Columbia University
Even for people with severe obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), cognitive-behavioral therapy outperforms anti-psychotic medication in some hard-to-treat patients, finds a recent study by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center and New York State Psychiatric Institute published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. To read the article, click here.

A Shocking Way to Fix the Brain  (MIT Technology Review, October 2015)
MIT Technology Review
Darin Dougherty, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital and the OCD Institute at McLean Hospital is featured in a recent MIT Technology Review article for his work treating OCD with electric stimulation. To read the article, click here.

A Moment That Changed Me -- Charlize Theron's boobs, my boyfriend, and OCD  (The Guardian, September 2015)
The Guardian
Rose Bretécher, author of a new memoir about her experiences with pure OCD, explains how her new boyfriend's accidental discovery of her therapy homework actually revealed the surprisingly positive (and therapeutic!) sides of embarrassment. To read the article, click here.



"40 BAGS IN 40 DAYS" Clutter Challenge Facebook Page  Facebook  (June 20, 2015)
40 Bags in 40 Days
"40 BAGS IN 40 DAYS" is a Facebook page where you can face a challenge designed to help you get the clutter out of your home. You can have a bag, less than a bag, or more than one bag a day. Furniture or big items count, as well as boxes. Heck it all counts. :) The overall goal is to tackle your home a spot at a time, GET RID OF STUFF, pace yourself, and be detached. Good luck!


The Invisible Disease: An OCD Account  (April 13, 2015)
NAMI
OCD is not curable, but it is manageable. The purpose of this personal story is to document one human’s struggle with a very real, and surprisingly common, mental health condition. To read this story, click here to go to NAMI's website.

We Have Launched a New, Easy to Use Message Board!  (January 26, 2015)
QuickTopic
We are very happy to announce the launch of a new message board. Due to comments that our last message board was confusing and not very easy to use, we researched other message boards and found QuickTopic. QuickTopic provides a super-easy single-topic web forum. You can start a topic in seconds and can easily create and manage discussions using your web browser. Your participants can join in even more easily. All you need to do is click "Post a new message", enter your name (you don't need to enter your real name, just create a user name), type in your message and click "Submit message". Click here to go to the message board.

Smartphone Mobile App Study for OCD  (January 21, 2015)
iPhone
Researchers at Butler Hospital and Alpert Medical School of Brown University are seeking adults (18 or older) to participate in an online study evaluating a mobile smartphone app as a self-help treatment for OCD. Each participant will receive free access to the mobile app and be asked to complete four online surveys over 12 weeks. If you are interested in learning more or to find out if you are eligible, call 401-455-6541. Click here to download a flyer containing all the information.


OCD Facebook Page  (October 13, 2014)
FacebookCheckout the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder / OCD Awareness Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ocd.ocd. This page is designed to provide information, support, & resources for OCD. This is a great resource to connect with others and share practical ideas.


Website is new resource for young adult mental health  (September 5, 2014)
TurningPointCT.orgTurningPointCT.org is a new website developed by young people in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. While they're not clinicians, they know what it’s like to feel alone, stressed, worried, sad and angry. They’ve lived through the ups and downs of self-harm, drugs and alcohol, and the struggle to find help. Fortunately, they found what worked for them. Their goal is to provide information and support to help you choose your path so that you don’t have to struggle the way they did. Click here to visit the website.

Fairfield County OCD Support Group partners with OCD Connecticut to establish an IOCF affiliate!
IOCDF Affiliate
We are pleased to announce that our support group has partnered with OCD Connecticut to form an affiliate of the International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation. We are affiliated and incorporated as OCD Connecticut or OCD CT and we are excited to join the IOCDF to expand their outreach. Our mission as an affiliate is to serve adults, children, and families in Connecticut living with obsessive-compulsive disorder by promoting early intervention and expanding awareness, treatment and research. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a disorder of the brain and behavior. OCD causes severe anxiety in those affected. OCD involves both obsessions and compulsions that take a lot of time and get in the way of important activities the person values.

Please visit OCD Connecticut's website at www.ocdct.org and like them on Facebook so we can spread awareness of our affiliate. Contacting OCD CT is easy - their phone number is (860) 415-6233 and their email address is CT.ocdf@gmail.com. Please check both our websites for upcoming events.

CMS announced they will not go forward with restrictions to anti-depressant and anti-psychotic medications in Medicare Part D
NAMI
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on March 10, 2014 that they will not go forward with restrictions to anti-depressant and anti-psychotic medications in the Medicare Part D program. This decision by CMS shows what can be accomplished through grassroots advocacy! In its announcement, CMS said that it will not seek any further changes to the six protected classes of medications including mental health medications in the Medicare Part D program without first receiving additional stakeholder input.

Clutter Cleaner: People That Understand The Hoarding Problem
Clutter Cleaner
Clutter Cleaner is a company that has been cleaning hoarded homes and estates for over 10 years. The company's founder, Matt Paxton, is America’s number one expert on extreme cleaning and hoarding situations and is the author of "The Secret Lives of Hoarders". They have opened an office servicing all of the Connecticut area. Visit their website at www.cluttercleaner.com to learn more about their methods and how they work with hoarders and their families.

NEWS FLASH: Final Rule Released on Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equality Act (MHAEPA)
CMS.gov
On November 8, 2013, the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S Department of Treasury, issued the final rule to implement The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA). This law requires group health plans and health insurance to ensure that financial requirements such as co-pays, deductibles and treatment limitations applicable to mental health or substance use disorder benefits are equal to all medical/surgical benefits, in addition to ensuring equal treatment for residential and outpatient behavioral health care.

Computer, Web, and Smartphone-Based Self-Help Programs for OCD
Technology
New technologies have paved the way for a wide variety of mobile treatment options for OCD, including smartphone-based applications (aka "apps"), and internet and computer-based software programs. These apps and programs have the advantage of being widely accessible and, in some cases, can provide lower cost alternatives to tradtional therapy. For more information, click here to view the OCD Newsletter article that attempts to provide a basic overview of these programs. For a list of smartphone apps, click here.

OCD Treatment Tip!
I Will Beat OCD
Every time you do an exposure that makes you anxious, you are taking a step forward to conquering your OCD.



Become a member of the International OCD Foundation (IOCF)
IOCF
As we are currently working on forming an IOCF affiliate for Connecticut, we strongly encourage our support group members to support the IOCF by becoming members of the IOCF. Membership benefits include quarterly newsletters and reduced rates at the annual IOCF conference. To become a member of the IOCF, click here.

IOCDF Uses Social Media!
International OCD FoundationTake advantage of IOCDF's social media tools to stay more in touch with the foundation's resources and information. To follow IOCDF on Facebook, go to Facebook.com/IOCDF. To follow IOCDF on Twitter, go to Twitter.com/IOCDF.


#OCDchat on Twitter!
TwitterDue to the success of IOCDF's series of "Ask the Experts" Twitter chats during OCD Awareness Week, they've decided to make this a regular event. Join IOCDF on the 3rd Monday of each month at 8pm ET, while they answer your questions about OCD treatments, resources, and any other questions you may have about OCD. They will also occasionally host guest experts to talk about special topics. It's free to participate... all you need is a Twitter account. Find them with the hashtag #OCDchat. To learn how to participate in a Twitter chat using #OCDchat, click here.

OCD Challenge Website
OCD ChallengeOCD Challenge is an online, interactive, behavioral program designed to help people suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The program was built by psychologists who are leaders in the field of behavior therapy and have a specialization in the area of OCD. OCD Challenge has three Modules: Assessment, Gaining Awareness and Intervention. Users will be guided through the Modules and taught skills and strategies for managing their OCD behavior. OCD Challenge uses the principles of exposure and response prevention (the treatment of choice for OCD) to help the user to confront and challenge their OCD. OCD Challenge is not therapy and there is not a therapist on the other end of the computer telling you what to do. Instead, OCD Challenge is a program built to interact with the user in a way that is interesting, useful, and moves the user toward change. OCD Challenge is offering 6 months free use of its website with the promo code "POMA" to anyone who is interested. You can access the website at ocdchallenge.com. For a virtual tour of the website go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzR88HLawAg.

The International OCD Foundation launches an "OCD in Kids" website
International OCD FoundationThe IOCDF is proud to announce its new website regarding OCD in kids and teens. The foundation's goals in building this website are to educate the general public about OCD, facilitate education and training of mental health professionals, pediatricians, and school personnel, support research into the causes of and effective treatments for pediatric OCD, and improve access to resources for those with OCD and their families, as well as clinicians and school personnel. To access this website, go to ocfoundation.org/ocdinkids/.

iCounselor OCD App: Your portable self help tool for your iPhone
iCounselor OCD AppThe iCounselor OCD iPhone app teaches you skills to resist obsessions and compulsions! All material was written by a licensed psychotherapist (LCSW) with twenty-five years of counseling experience. This app is compatible with the iPhone or iPod Touch. Requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later. For more information and to download the app, go to http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/icounselor-ocd/id338431800?mt=8.

Group Members: Participate in our online message board discussion topics!
We encourage all group members to use our message board and post your thoughts and comments. Click here to access our message board.

Meeting Handouts & Flyers Now Online!
We have placed various handouts and flyers that have been distributed during our support group meetings here on our website. Click here to access them.






 
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