National Network for Mental Health is commited to people with disabilities


By Valerie Strauss

People with obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, suffer from unwanted and intrusive thoughts that they can’t seem to get out of their heads, called obsessions, which often compel them to perform ritualistic behaviors and routines, or compulsions, over and over to try to ease their anxiety. Children and teens may not realize they have it — and parents and educators often misunderstand or misdiagnose the condition. Continue reading

by Jedidiah Siev

Candace has repeated, intrusive thoughts about losing control and stabbing her children with a sharp knife. She becomes intensely anxious and is concerned that these unwanted thoughts signal her impending loss of control, or at the very least indicate that she is fundamentally a bad person. In an effort to be certain that she will not act on these horrific impulses, Candace insisted that her partner remove all sharp knives from their house. Continue reading

On the wall of Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou’s office hangs a framed photo of a lone toddler. The boy, a patient of hers, is captured pedalling away from the camera on a plastic orange tricycle.

A quote attributed to U.S. journalist Hodding Carter Jr. floats above his head, and Dr. Anagnostou reads it out loud: “There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots; the other wings.”

It’s a gift she received years ago from the boy’s father, she explains. It’s also a reminder of the challenge she faces. Roots and wings are a tall order for a doctor who’s striving to understand and find new treatments for autism spectrum disorder. Dr. Anagnostou, a senior clinician scientist at Toronto’s Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, has spent more than a decade trying to unearth the causes of autism, with the aim of improving the lives of children affected by it. Continue reading

Kashmira Gander

The secret thoughts, fears and hopes of people living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are being laid bare on a dedicated website.

Admissions of guilt and shame by those with the debilitating condition fill The Wall on The Secret Illness arts project website.

OCD is a mental health condition characterized by unwanted and unpleasant thoughts, images or urges repeatedly entering a person’s mind, according to the NHS. An estimated 12 in 1,000 people are affected by OCD.

Filmmaker Liz Smith started piecing together a documentary on the mental illness in 2015, but was soon inspired to widen the project as a means for those with the condition and professional artists to explore OCD.

People with OCD post their thoughts on The Wall by emailing Ms Smith, who curates the submissions.  Continue reading

By Philip Lewis

The general knowledge of mental health disorders has grown with access to the internet and health care. However, obsessive-compulsive disorder is one of the most commonly misunderstood disorders in the United States, even though millions of people in the United States have the illness.

“When people use the terms ‘obsessed,’ ‘obsessive’ and ‘compulsive’ incorrectly, it leads to misunderstanding about OCD,” OCD Education Station, a school resource for school employees, reads. “You may have even heard someone say, ‘That person (or child) must have OCD,’ when describing someone who is preoccupied with orderliness, has a strong interest in a subject or frequently performs the same activity (e.g., washes the kitchen floor every day).” Continue reading

It started when I was 13 years old. My mom was throwing a party and called us inside from playing basketball to join the fun. As I entered my bedroom to put away the ball, I saw a young child sleeping in my bed. Careful not to wake him, I tiptoed toward the bathroom. And that’s when it happened: I had a violent thought about harming the child, too terrible for me to share here. It felt like a thousand razor blades took flight in my stomach.

I did my best to shake hands with guests, entertaining small talk about report cards, grades, and girls. But the images just kept flashing. And it’s been happening for years—in college, at work, and in my relationships. Despite having had been in a relationship for 13 years, I never shared anything about my worsening condition with my ex-wife. I remember her standing in the kitchen when I saw a butcher knife on the counter. Suddenly, I saw myself mutilating her face and body with the knife. Killing her. Horrified, I quickly walked to the knife and put it in the drawer to eliminate the threat. I found myself living in a horror film where graphic, violent, sexual, and blasphemous thoughts overlay reality. Continue reading

Three in every hundred people suffer from some form of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and they may not even be aware of the problem. At Nimhans, psychiatrists call OCD a “silent enemy”.

Most people fail to seek treatment at the initial stages but approach a specialist only after three or four years of suffering from the condition. By then, the treatment becomes difficult as the obsession may have reached an uncontrollable state, doctors say.

A person suffering from this chronic and long-lasting disorder has uncontrollable, recurring thoughts and behaviours, and feels the urge to repeat an action over and over again. Continue reading