Thomas Smalley calls his YouTube page “Struggle Into Strength.” Anyone who has watched his two documentaries can begin to understand the enormity of his struggle with OCD and his strength to overcome it. A college junior and psychology major, Smalley works hard these days to give us a clue. A strong young man who is on a mission to help people understand OCD, his goals are to spread the word to those suffering from mental illness that they are not alone and to help eliminate the stigma. Click here to read the article.
The Anxiety Institute is hosting free screenings for a documentary that sparks conversation about mental health. The film “Angst: Raising Awareness Around Anxiety,” comprises stories about teens who are living with anxiety disorder, OCD and trauma. After the film, experts will offer tips on coping and the different treatment options that are available.
Free screenings will be held October 3 at Prospector Theater, 25 Prospect St., Ridgefield, CT, 7:00 to 8:30 pm and October 17 at Bow Tie Ultimate Royale 6, 542 Westport Ave., Norwalk, CT, 7:00 to 8:30 pm. RSVP to angstmovie.com/anxiety-institute-events.
SUNY Downstate Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry in Brooklyn, NY is conducting a research study sponsored by the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health). Research has shown that genes can make some people more likely than others to develop OCD and related disorders. The goal of this study is to identify these genes.
- 7 years of age old or older.
- Have symptoms or a diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Related Disorders (Hoarding Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Hair Pulling Disorder/Trichotillomania, and Skin Picking Disorder/Excoriation Disorder).
- Complete a screening questionnaire on personal and family health history.
- Be interviewed by a clinician about your symptoms.
- Give a small blood sample (about 3 tablespoons).
- Be compensated for your time and effort.
If you are interested in learning more about this study, please contact SUNY Downstate Medical Center at:
All inquiries are confidential
Click here to download a flyer containing all information.
Typically patients with OCD see a therapist once a week for an hour over several months, but this intensive therapy program for OCD consists of two-hour group meetings three times a week, plus up to four additional hours of individual therapy per week. Some patients complete the treatment in just two weeks. The program is part of a new wave of concentrated, intensive therapy programs for psychiatric disorders. Click here to read the article.
A new study reports that children who possess tendencies toward perfectionism and excessive self-control are twice as likely as other children to develop OCD by the time they reach their teens. MRI scans taken as part of the research revealed that the perfectionists often had smaller volumes of a brain structure previously linked to OCD. Click here to read the article.
The Yale OCD Research Clinic, based at the Connecticut Mental Health Center (CMHC) in New Haven, is currently running a range of studies, running the gamut from cognitive testing to neuroimaging to pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment studies.
They are currently conducting a new treatment study for adults with refractory OCD. They have been studying the FDA-approved drug riluzole for refractory OCD for over a decade and are now partnering with a local pharmaceutical startup, BioHaven (led by Yale’s own Vlad Coric), to test the efficacy of a riluzole prodrug (trigriluzole) that has better pharmacokinetics and tolerability than riluzole itself.
Patients for this study must have a diagnosis of OCD that is their primary psychiatric problem and must be stably medicated on an SSRI or clomipramine. Certain other antidepressants are permitted, as is stable (but not new) therapy and low-dose benzodiazepine use. The study consists of a placebo-controlled, blinded 12-week treatment phase, followed by an optional 48-week open-label continuation phase.
There are several features of this study that may make it more attractive to patients than a typical industry-sponsored drug study. First, trigriluzole is converted into riluzole in the body, and we know a great deal about riluzole’s tolerability. We also believe, based on our published research, that riluzole helps some individuals with refractory OCD. So the new drug, trigriluzole, is much less of an unknown than many novel drugs in pharmaceutical studies. Second, because of the open-label follow-up phase, everyone who enters the study has an opportunity to try the new drug. Third, since the drug’s mechanism is the same as that of riluzole, patients who get some clinical benefit during the trial can continue treatment (with rilzuole) without interruption, even if there is a delay in getting the new drug approved by the FDA.
Interested patients who would like to participate in this exciting trial can contact Christopher Pittenger, MD, PhD, director of the Yale OCD Research Clinic, by email at email@example.com.
It’s sometimes said that Spring is a time for new beginnings, and to celebrate the IOCDF is incredibly excited to share that they are bringing back its Spotlight: OCD News & Research Updates!
Spotlight is the IOCDF’s monthly series that brings the absolute latest in OCD news and research right to your email inbox. There they feature compelling stories from advocates and cutting-edge research from the scientific community. In Spotlight, they put a special focus on the important work of its Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board experts, as well as the research and discoveries made possible through its Research Grant Program. They’re excited to be back, and look forward to sharing Spotlight with you each month!
If you would like to sign up, please click here to make sure that each month’s update arrives right in your inbox.
Excoriation (Skin Picking) Disorder is an obsessive-compulsive spectrum condition in which sufferers repeatedly pick at their skin. Crystal Quater, MMFT, of the OCD Center of Los Angeles discusses her personal experience with, and recovery from, Excoriation Disorder, and how she treats clients struggling with this condition. Click here to read the article.
In families with religious beliefs, a child expressing faith and strong moral principles is usually a welcome development. But sometimes a child’s faith may become an obsession, and instead of consolation the child experiences extreme anxiety that he is violating religious norms and desperation to correct his perceived mistakes. This is what happens when children develop obsessive-compulsive disorder and it manifests itself in their religion. Click here to read the article.
When your brain is the problem how do you fix it? Thousands of kids, teens and adults with OCD are searching for answers to this question. They’re trapped in a vicious cycle of worries and rituals. While families and loved ones are desperate to help them, fighting OCD takes time and specialized therapy.
To uncover what OCD is, and what it isn’t, filmmakers Kelly Anderson and Chris Baier focus on an unlikely group of experts: Kids!
UNSTUCK documents OCD strictly through the eyes of young people. The short documentary avoids sensationalizing compulsions and obsessions, and instead reveals the complexity of a disorder that affects the brain and behavior. As these six resilient kids and teens roadmap their process of recovery, the film inspires viewers to believe it is possible to fight their worst fears and beat back OCD.
For more information, visit www.ocdkidsmovie.com.