Beyond OCD Saved My Family

By Jacob’s Dad

“My wife and I like to solve our own problems, but we truly could not have achieved such remarkable results with (our son) Jacob were it not for Beyond OCD and a doctor who performed the right kind of treatment.”

Dear Beyond OCD ,

Your organization saved our family!

Many people write letters to complain, but I prefer to thank people when they do things right or provide exceptional assistance. I have never written a letter with a more grateful and appreciative heart than I do now.

When I visited your office at the end of last summer, my family was scrambling for ways to cope with the sudden bloom of OCD in my nine-year-old son, Jacob. Jacob excels in both school and sports. He especially loves football and the Chicago Bears. Without warning last August, Jacob starting putting parts of his shirt in his mouth all the time. We began to notice that he did this mostly in public, and he wouldn’t tell us why he was doing it.

One day, after a couple weeks, I noticed that his entire shirt was wet and discolored. When he refused to answer our questions, it dawned on me that he had put his shirt so far into his mouth that he gagged himself.

It turned out that Jacob had begun thinking that other people had what he termed “badness” that would contaminate him and make him either less intelligent or damage his ability in sports activities. If he walked by or got near someone else, he needed to constantly wipe his tongue on his shirt to prevent himself from swallowing the “badness”.

"When Jacob became convinced that his little sister, Julia, had “badness” as well, we knew we had a family emergency.”

When Jacob refused to go to his end-of-summer basketball and tennis programs because of the kids that were there and the “badness” they were carrying, we feared we were going to have a potentially disastrous school year.

When Jacob became convinced that his little sister, Julia, had “badness” as well, we knew we had a family emergency. Despite being four years apart and opposite genders, our younger two children are buddies and often inseparable. Suddenly, Jacob couldn’t be in the same room–or car–with Julia. It broke my heart to watch my wife try to explain to our five year old why her big brother couldn’t go near her or use anything she touched.

We were scared and desperate to find help for Jacob – and our family. My wife quickly consulted our pediatrician and some therapists, but it seemed that progress, if any, was going to come painfully slowly. When she told me that a therapist mentioned Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), I searched the Internet for local organizations. I found Beyond OCD and decided to visit your office.

We had already spent over two weeks with doctors and therapists, but it was my one hour with you that changed everything. You were so compassionate, so understanding and so knowledgeable, that I began to feel relief just talking with you about Jacob.

Thanks to you, I learned the most (and only) effective treatment for him as well as a superior therapist to help us administer it. The doctor sensed how desperate we were to help Jacob as the school year began and offered to see him on the Labor Day holiday. Suddenly, we went from not knowing how to help him to having a positive plan of action.

We learned that OCD usually takes an average of 8 years to accurately diagnose and another 9 years to find the right treatment. Our doctor was hopeful that our son would be functioning better in nine months.

Imagine our joy when Jacob completed his therapy and was back to normal in just six weeks. Six weeks! Had we continued with the recommendations of our pediatrician and a therapist referred to us by friends, our son—and our family—would still be suffering the full effects of OCD.

“Imagine our joy when Jacob completed his therapy and was back to normal in just six weeks.”

In late August, we could never have imagined that in two short months Jacob’s compulsions would be completely gone.

Jacob went from exhibiting bizarre behaviors to achieving hero status. His bravery and comprehension of the disorder, as well as his mastery of the techniques needed to defeat it, were astounding. Jacob takes exceptional pride in the fact that the doctor now uses his case as a teaching example for other children wrestling with OCD.

As Jacob continues to manage his OCD, I wanted you to know what else he has done since getting better:

  • After starting therapy on Labor Day, he was out trick-or-treating in his Bears helmet on Halloween without any symptoms.
  • He is not only back to playing in his basketball league, but he has already scored the game-winning baskets in two games this season–at the buzzer!
  • He was able to attend a Bears game with me this season and sat among a bunch of loud, sweaty strangers (at the onset of his OCD, he had to sit far from anyone else and still licked his shirt hundreds of times).
  • He can now sit next to anyone in school without suffering any effects of the OCD (Jacob’s teachers and school principal were great with him during his struggle and assisted where needed. Your organization’s materials with regard to school issues were sensational, and we shared them with the school personnel to enlighten them about OCD).
  • Incredibly, less than a year later, Jacob spent eight weeks away from home at summer camp for the first time and loved it. He made friends, swam often in the lake and, somehow, won five championship trophies.

and the best one of all.....

  • Jacob and Julia are back playing together all of the time. They spend hours in close contact, hug each other often and even share stuffed animals at night. My wife no longer takes for granted the joy of having all of our kids together in the same car.

Because of Beyond OCD , our family has returned to functioning as it did before last summer.

My wife and I like to solve our own problems, but we truly could not have achieved such remarkable results with Jacob were it not for Beyond OCD and a doctor who performed the right kind of treatment.

It is with much gratitude and emotion that our family offers our thanks to you. The enclosed donation is uncharacteristically large for us but is only a small token of our thankfulness. We hope it will further enable your organization to continue being a beacon of hope for people—and children—suffering with OCD.

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