If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), you may feel you are the only person facing the difficulties of this illness. But you are not alone. In the United States, 1 in 50 adults currently has OCD, and twice that many have had it at some point in their lives. Fortunately, very effective treatments for OCD are now available to help you regain a more satisfying life. Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions about OCD.
Support groups are an invaluable part of treatment. These groups provide a forum for mutual acceptance, understanding, and self-discovery. Participants develop a sense of camaraderie with other attendees because they have all lived with OCD. People new to OCD can talk to others who have learned successful strategies for coping with the illness.
The Obsessive-Compulsive Foundation (OCF) provides a forum for people with OCD and professionals interested in OCD. It distributes information and helps sponsor research on the nature and treatment of OCD and some related conditions. The OCF has self-help groups in many parts of the country and provides referrals to therapists, clinics, and self-help groups. OCF conducts an annual meeting at which the latest findings about OCD are presented and has recently begun training institutes to try to make CBT more widely available. Membership includes a newsletter and discounts for the annual meeting and OCF materials.
The Obsessive-Compulsive Information Center is staffed by medical librarians. It provides access to the published literature on OCD and publishes very useful guides concerning OCD and some related disorders, such as trichotillomania.
OC Information Center
2711 Allen Boulevard
Middleton, WI 53562
The Anxiety Disorders Association of America provides a central clearinghouse for people with, and professionals interested in, the diagnosis and treatment of all anxiety disorders, including OCD.
Anxiety Disorders Association of America
6000 Executive Boulevard, Suite 513
Rockville, MD 20852
The Tourette Syndrome Association (TSA) provides a central clearinghouse for people with, and professionals interested in, the diagnosis and treatment of tic disorders. Because tic disorders often overlap with OCD, the TSA has a wealth of information about the overlap between these two conditions.
Tourette Syndrome Association
42-40 Bell Boulevard
New York, NY 11361-2874
305 Seventh Avenue, 16th Floor
New York, NY 10001-6008