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Letters to the editor, October 18

Disorder treatable

This week is National Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Week and I thought it would be appropriate to take a moment to remind everyone that OCD is a serious disorder that affects millions of individuals.

Onset can begin in early childhood and can affect both boys and girls. Almost 3 percent of the American population struggles with OCD. This translates into about 1 in 100 adults (2 million to 3 million) currently living with OCD.

At least 1 in 200 kids and teens live with the disorder as well, and many try to hide their symptoms from others out of fear of being ridiculed.

Most people associate OCD with individuals who wash excessively, but OCD can take many different forms.

Excessive counting, tapping, checking and ordering are also ways in which OCD can manifest.

Those with OCD can sometimes mentally rehearse a problem, situation or scenario and attempt to “problem-solve” for the perfect answer, using exorbitant amounts of time and energy.

OCD is a treatable disorder. Usually medication, “talk therapy,” and Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) are combined and can create a very successful treatment plan. ERPs are very gradual exposures to feared stimuli.

Unfortunately, it is common for many people to wait years before seeking treatment due to fear of how others might react. This is a great time to educate yourself about OCD and encourage those who you may know who struggle with OCD to seek treatment, because education, support and understanding are the key to changing the world of OCD.

Judy DeKuehn,

Fresh Perspectives Counseling,