Extreme Accounts Obscure OCD Reality and Hamper Treatment

Posted by tlashkari on Jun 25, 2014

There’s a saying in the newspaper business: “If it bleeds, it leads.” It’s a clever way of saying that sensational headlines and stories attract the most reader interest. While that’s true for the most part, putting that sort of filter on the news doesn’t do much to help understand complex issues that may underlie a story. This becomes particularly troublesome when it leads to misunderstanding serious issues like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

For every sensational story about extreme behavior such as hoarding or other pathological actions (most of which aren’t even caused by OCD), there are thousands of other success stories. They just don’t make the news. But the facts are that mental health disorders are better recognized and treated today than at any other time, and those treatments are more successful than ever.

An estimated 4 million people in the U.S. suffer from OCD, but very few engage in extreme, headline-making behavior. Further complicating matters is the fact that since most of these stories are written by persons unfamiliar with diagnosing and treating mental health issues, they often contain incorrect or misleading information. There is a variety of disorders that often get lumped together as “OCD” when they are not just because OCD is a term the writer is vaguely familiar with. These can include anxiety and personality disorders, specific phobias, and compulsive behaviors like gambling, shopping, or sex addiction. They often carry such negative connotations that persons with conditions like true OCD shy away from seeking the help and treatment they need.

There are many misconceptions about OCD. The scientific understanding of the disorder and its treatment has increased significantly in just the past few years. New information is published frequently, and more mental health professionals are becoming involved in its proper diagnosis and treatment. There are also organizations like Beyond OCD that are dedicated to bring greater understanding of OCD to the public, its sufferers and their loved ones.

An important first step for everyone affected by OCD is learning. If you think that you or someone close to you may be suffering with OCD, the website, BeyondOCD.org, offers in-depth resources for understanding what OCD is and is not, information about coping with OCD in yourself or a loved one, and specific guides for children, teens, and college students. The Expert Perspectives section has dozens of articles about the latest knowledge in OCD research and the most effective ways to treat it. The site also has a blog with timely articles about the latest news relating to OCD and other topics of interest.

Beyond OCD wants you to know that OCD can be treated sucessfully and that relief may be closer than you think. If you want to learn more about OCD, its treatment options, and tap into our many other resources, take a few minutes to explore BeyondOCD.org. We’re here to help you get the information you need to get beyond OCD.


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