“OCD is treatable!” – Hope for OCD offered at OCD TEXAS conference in DFW area

Lisa Buchanan, author of The OCD Hope Book, was the keynote speaker the quarterly meeting and conference of OCD TEXAS, the newly formed affiliate of the International OCD Foundation, in the Dallas Fort Worth area on February 19, 2011.

Lisa wrote her book for parents of children with OCD, but her presentation encouraged anyone with OCD or anyone who loves someone with OCD to never give up hope because the disorder, once considered untreatable, can now be treated proper therapy and medication so that it need not get in the way of a full and enjoyable life.

OCD is treatableLisa’s son was 8 years old when he suddenly became extremely fearful of “poisons” possibly hidden in plants outdoors and tortured by dreadful thoughts that “something bad might happen” or that someone he loved might die. “When my son’s OCD busted into our lives, I just wanted someone to tell me he would be alright and not end up in a straight jacket locked up in a mental health facility. I searched for that reassurance all over the internet and could not find anything that sounded positive. I was fortunate enough to find some wonderful books that armed me with knowledge and hope. I think it is incredibly important for anyone suffering with OCD, or a parent or family member watching someone they love being tortured by this ugly disorder to know…….. There is HOPE!!!”

She told the story of how, with the help of a therapist specially trained in the treatment of OCD, she helped her son recover from OCD to the point that now, at age 15, has only occasional symptoms which he has learned to manage effectively. Her son offered his perspective, both during his mom’s presentation and on a panel later in the afternoon, describing strategies that work for him to keep OCD from getting in the way of enjoying his life.

Lisa wrote her book to lay a foundation of hope and provide a guide to success for young OCD sufferers and their parents. In her presentation, she described several specific OCD management strategies that have been helpful for her son, as well as general tips including keeping up with doing OCD “homework” recommended by the therapist.

Lisa’s Powerpoint slide presentation is available for download below here.

The theme of the meeting was: “OCD Treatment in Texas”. Peggy McMahon, PhD (right), psychologist and OCD TEXAS Dallas Meeting Coordinator, opened the meeting, saying that the aim of the meeting was to get the word out that OCD is treatable and to offer current information on effective treatment options available in Texas.

In a morning session, a panel of professional treatment providers from Austin and Houston spoke on various OCD treatment options currently available in Texas. Panelists (pictured below, left to right) included: Bruce Mansbridge, PhD – Intensive treatment; Vicki Easterling, LCSW – Child/family brief intensive treatment; Fabian Aguirre, MA, LPA – Tele-treatment (webcam & phone); Irene Tobis, PhD – In-home treatment; Seth Disner, BA – Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS); John Hart, PhD – Weekly outpatient therapy; Saharah Shrout, MA – Residential support intensive treatment.

In an afternoon session, a panel of 8 people with OCD spoke on their successful experiences with various OCD treatments that they had experienced in Texas and elsewhere. The panel included the keynote speaker’s son, as well as people with OCD from the Dallas and Austin areas who had had OCD for many years, several of whom currently participate in OCD treatment and/or support groups in their local areas.

The panelists answered questions from conference attendees, and conference attendees also offered information from their experiences with treatment. Numerous suggestions were also offered by panelists and other attendees on how OCD TEXAS and IOCDF could better meet the needs of OCD sufferers and their families via offering education and support opportunities and access to information on resources to help OCD sufferers who are unable to afford or access effective treatment and other help.

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