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OCD Chicago support group marks anniversary

June 28, 2011
by News release
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Chicago — OCD Chicago, a nonprofit mental health organization supporting the informational and emotional needs of OCD sufferers and their families, announces the third anniversary of its popular OCD Support Group.

Hundreds of individuals with OCD have attended the only free OCD support group in Chicago since its founding in 2008, making it a successful continuing resource for OCD sufferers.

“It is vital for OCD sufferers to learn that OCD is an actual medical condition for which treatment is available. OCD Chicago’s support group can help those suffering from OCD understand that they can take steps to fight their disorder,” said psychologist Debra Kissen, who keeps the sessions moving on a positive track. “I continue to be impressed and inspired by the strength and determination of the group members,” said Dr. Kissen.

Twice a month at the support group meetings, men and women of all ages discuss how they cope with OCD. Although they usually suffer in silence due to the perceived stigma of having a mental disorder, when they connect with other individuals who have the same condition at the OCD Chicago Support Group meeting, they talk freely, sometimes for the first time in their lives. Far too often, people with OCD suffer in silence, unaware that their symptoms are caused by a biological problem.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a serious and treatable neurobiological condition that affects more than one in every 40 adults and one in every 100 school-age children in the United States. It is the fourth most common psychiatric diagnosis, after phobias, substance abuse and major depression. The World Health Organization, the World Bank and Harvard University ranked OCD among the 10 leading causes of disability worldwide. It equally affects adults and children of all races, religions and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Although movies and television shows sometimes treat OCD as a joke, it’s very serious to the individuals who have to live with it every day and to their family members. People with OCD suffer from obsessions and compulsions that distress them significantly enough to interfere with daily functioning and relationships.

OCD Chicago serves adults and children with OCD, their families, and the mental health professionals who treat them. It works to increase public and professional awareness of OCD, educate and support people with OCD and their families, and to encourage research into new treatments and a cure.

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