Can you imagine being in a room full of people like
Tony Shalhoub’s character Monk? Well
this weekend, you can have that experience as the annual International
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder meeting takes place in San Diego.
The LA Times reports that the meeting combines presentations of new research data from scientists
as well as educational forums for therapists, people with OCD and their family
The meeting also has a special track for
children with OCD. One such program leads groups of patients on the streets of
the city to practice exposure response prevention therapy, a type of treatment
that helps people confront their fears.
“It’s such an interesting conference,”
said Jeff Szymanski, executive director of the International OCD Foundation.
“About one-third of the conference attendees have the disorder.”
Jerry Seinfeld once jokingly asked,
“What’s the handicapped parking situation at the Special Olympics?”
Similarly, one might wonder what the
restrooms are like at an OCD conference, since excessive hand-washing or germ
concerns are common issues with those who suffer from the disorder.
The sessions include a presentation on
OCD in different cultures around the world as well as scientific presentations
on medication treatment and deep-brain stimulation.
The International OCD Foundation is a great resource
for those who are looking for help, whether it is support groups, therapists,
or specialty clinics.
Since 1993, the Annual Conference has been the only
national meeting focused solely on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and OC
According to the Foundation’s website, over 1,000
attendees are expected. The conference will feature more than 100
presentations, workshops, and seminars as well as nearly two dozen support
In addition to seminars being led by medical professionals the conference
will also be hosting nearly two dozen evening support groups. Each group is
free to attend (with a conference registration) and run by experienced leaders.
Here are the groups offered this year:
- Parents of children with OCD
- Parents of adults with OCD
- Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)
- Support group for those with compulsive hoarding
- Support group for family members of those with hoarding
- Obsessive Compulsive Anonymous (OCA)
- G.O.A.L. group
- Intrusive thoughts
- Middle school children with OCD
- Teens and Young Adults with OCD
- Compulsive skin picking
For more information about the disorder
or more details about the conference in San Diego, see the foundation’s website.
LA Times article: