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OCD In Loved Ones: You Can Help

By HERWriter
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Dr. Helen Simpson hopes to ease fears you may have about obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). She encourages you to read and become knowledgeable about this condition. If you're worried that someone you love may have OCD, try to make sure that they get a diagnosis from someone with expertise in OCD. An expert should be able to offer treatment and therapies that will help your loved one in coming to grips with obsessive compulsive disorder.

(Transcribed from video interview)

Dr. Simpson:
This is a difficult problem because sometimes people with OCD fear getting help, and like many people with psychiatric illness, fear getting help for all sorts of reasons. What I would say is, the first thing is to educate yourself. Read about OCD and get a sense of whether it is.

The second one is, is if you want to bring it up to your loved one. I mean, obviously it depends on whether your loved one is a child or your loved one is your spouse or a friend or a parent.

With a child obviously, again, I will urge the woman better to take your child, take them to an expert who has expertise in OCD; get a good clear diagnosis. If it is OCD, start doing cognitive behavioral therapy, and there are good treatment programs and things should go very well.

About Dr. Simpson, M.D., Ph.D.:
Helen Blair Simpson, M.D., Ph.D., an expert on obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), is an associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, New York City, where she directs the AnxietyDisorders Clinic and OCD Research Program at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. She was a member of the work group that developed the first “Practice Guidelines for the Treatment of Patients With OCD” for the American Psychiatric Association.

Through her research, Dr. Simpson is working to trace the brain circuits believed to play a major role in the development of obsessions and compulsions, and she has developed novel approaches to treatment. Her research has been supported by a NARSAD Young Investigator grant.

Visit Dr. Simpson at http://asp.cumc.columbia.edu/facdb/profile_list.asp?uni=hbs1&DepAffil=Psychiatry


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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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