OCD sufferers: No need to hide in shame

October 19, 2013 

In an average elementary school there are likely five children suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In a medium to large high school, there are typically 20 students battling OCD. And in a workplace of 500, there would be about five employees who have OCD, most likely hiding their symptoms from their colleagues. OCD is in our community and residents should not feel ashamed or embarrassed.

In most cases, OCD is a treatable disorder; however, studies show that people suffer unnecessarily for years because of lack of information and a shortage of therapists trained to properly diagnose and treat it. International OCD Foundation's annual Awareness Week is an opportunity for your readers to educate themselves about OCD and its treatment. During Oct. 14-20, people around the world are taking time to highlight OCD and its complex challenges. The IOCDF helps people find treatment that will curtail suffering and allow them to lead more productive lives. It also funds research and provides support for OCD sufferers, their families and caregivers. A variety of resources can be found online at www.ocfoundation.org.

Locally, my daughter and I have chosen to release our children's book about OCD and worry this week. We hope that this will highlight OCD and open the issue for discussion.

Kristin Beckstrom Radcliffe

O'Fallon

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