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OCD Workshop August 23, 2019 in Orlando

OCD: An Update for Professionals

2 Workshops and Training Designed For Professionals

Free For All Attendees

Workshop #1: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for OCD by Joshua Nadeau, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

Workshop #2: Psychopharmacology, Medication Management, and Complex Cases in OCD by Rashesh Dholakia, M.D., MPH, Board Certified Child, Adolescent Adult Psychiatrist

Friday, August 23rd, 2019 5:00pm-8:00pm University of Central Florida (UCF) Student Union Garden Room, Live Oak Event Center 4115 Pyxis Lane, Orlando, FL 32816

Registration available at under Events and Programs or by clicking here.

Questions? Email us at

Hosted By OCD Central & South Florida, an Affiliate of the International OCD Foundation OCD Central and South Florida (OCDCSFL) is a local affiliate of the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF), a non-profit organization, whose mission is to help individuals with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and related disorders live full and productive lives. The IOCDF aims to increase access to effective treatment, end the stigma associated with mental health issues, and foster a community for those affected by OCD and the professionals who treat them. You can learn more about our nonprofit program at, or email us at if you are interested in getting involved with our organization!

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Definition of OCD

“I’m soooo OCD” + Other Common Myths About Obsessive Compulsive Disorder


FACT: OCD is not a personality quirk or a character trait—it is a very real mental health condition that affects about 2 to 3 million adults, and half a million youth, in the US alone. While many people can have obsessive or compulsive traits, OCD stands for obsessive compulsive disorder, and people who are diagnosed with OCD cannot simply “turn it off.” Research has shown that their brains are wired differently than the brains of people without OCD, and as such OCD strongly influences their thoughts and actions.



FACT: Having OCD is not simply an overreaction to the stresses of life. While stressful situations can make things worse for people with OCD, they do not cause OCD. People with OCD face severe, often debilitating anxiety over any number of things, called “obsessions.”  This level of extreme worry and fear can be so overwhelming that it gets in the way of their ability to function. To try to overcome this anxiety, people with OCD use “compulsions” or rituals, which are specific actions or behaviors.  These compulsions are not activities a person with OCD does because they want to, but rather because they feel they have to in order to ease their fears. OCD is not about logic—it is about anxiety and trying to get relief from that anxiety.



FACT: Triggers related to cleanliness and symptoms related to washing make up only a small part of the range of OCD triggers and symptoms. People with OCD can have obsessions related to a wide variety of things, including losing control, hurting others, unwanted sexual thoughts, and many more. Similarly, the anxiety caused by these obsessions can be lessened by different compulsions, such as “checking” (e.g., re-checking door locks, repeatedly making sure the oven is off), “repeating” (e.g., doing the same action or ritual over and over to be sure it was done “correctly”), and “counting” (e.g., doing things in certain numbers, counting items to certain numbers).



FACT: With proper treatment, it is very possible for people with OCD to lead full and productive lives. Many people respond positively to behavioral therapy and/or medication. Specifically, Exposure and Response Prevention or ERP is considered the first-line treatment for OCD. Additionally, medication (such as anti-depressants like SSRIs) may also be recommended for people with OCD. Family therapy can also be very beneficial since family members (including parents, siblings, and spouses) often play a major role in recovery. Finally, many individuals report that support groups are very helpful. Support groups provide a safe, understanding place for people with OCD to feel less alone, as well as to teach and learn from their peers. People with OCD use one or several of these options to help them manage their OCD, as well as the support and understanding of their loved ones.



Stigma is one of the biggest problems faced by people with OCD, but oftentimes, people don’t realize that their words or actions are stigmatizing or trivializing the suffering of those with OCD. The next time you hear someone say that someone or something is “so OCD,” engage them in conversation about what OCD really means and why what they’re saying is dismissive and inaccurate.

Educate yourself about OCD, and work to raise awareness in your community however you might feel comfortable.



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Facts about OCD

Facts About OCD

What is OCD?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder that affects people of all ages and walks of life, and occurs when a person gets caught in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions. Most people have obsessive thoughts and/or compulsive behaviors at some point in their lives, but that does not mean that we all have “some OCD.” For a diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorder to be made, this cycle of obsessions and compulsions becomes so extreme that it consumes a lot of time and gets in the way of important activities that the person values.



Obsessions are unwanted thoughts, images, or urges that may be extreme or disturbing. The obsessions are accompanied by uncomfortable feelings, such as fear, disgust, doubt, or a feeling that things must be “just right.” These obsessions occur over and over again and feel outside of the person’s control.



Compulsions are excessive, repetitive behaviors or “mental acts” (e.g., thought suppression, counting, praying, etc.) that a person uses to try to neutralize or make their obsessions or distress go away. People with OCD usually recognize that using compulsions is only a temporary solution, but without any other way to cope, they rely on compulsions as a brief escape.


How is OCD Treated?

The most effective treatments for OCD are Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and/or medication. More specifically, the most effective and evidence-based treatments are a type of CBT called Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and/or a class of medications called serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs.


ERP therapy involves working with a licensed mental health professional (such as a psychologist, social worker, or mental health counselor) to face your fears through “exposure” without doing your compulsions — the “response prevention.” ERP is typically done in an outpatient setting, which means you visit your therapist’s office at a scheduled time weekly or a few times a week. In collaboration with your therapist, you will use structured exercises and tasks, as well as homework assignments to help you along the way.


Medication may also be used, either by itself or along with ERP treatment. Most of the SSRI medicines that help OCD are known as antidepressants. Only a licensed medical professional (such as a psychiatrist or physician) can prescribe medication, and they would ideally work together with the therapist to develop a treatment plan.


How Many People Does OCD Affect?

  • Approximately 1 in 100 adults and 1 in 200 kids and teens have OCD. This means that over 3 million adults and half a million kids and teens currently have OCD.
  • OCD can start at any age, though there are generally two age ranges when OCD first appears. The first is between ages 10 – 12 years, and the second is between the late teens and early adulthood.
  • OCD equally affects men, women, and children of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds.
  • It takes an average of 14 – 17 years from the time OCD first appears for people to receive appropriate treatment.
  • Once connected to appropriate treatment, most people with OCD (around 70%) will benefit from therapy, medicine, or a combination of the two.


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Mark your calendars for OCD Awareness Week 2018!

Mark your calendars for OCD Awareness Week 2018!
October 7-13, 2018

What is OCD Awareness Week?

OCD Awareness Week is an international effort taking place during the second week in October each year to raise awareness and understanding about obsessive compulsive disorder and related disorders, with the goal of helping more people to get timely access to appropriate and effective treatment. Launched in 2009 by the IOCDF, OCD Awareness Week is now celebrated by a number of organizations across the US and around the world, with events such as OCD screening days, lectures, conferences, fundraisers, online Q&As, and more. Learn more about OCD here.


Courtesy of International OCD Foundation

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What causes depression in children?

Depression Frequently Asked Questions from the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

Depression has no single cause. Both genetics and the environment play a role, and some children may be more likely to become depressed. Depression in children can be triggered by a medical illness, a stressful situation, or the loss of an important person. Children with behavior problems or anxiety also are more likely to get depressed. Sometimes, it can be hard to identify any triggering event.

What are the signs and symptoms of depression?

Common symptoms of depression in children and adolescents include those listed below. In “major depression,” five or more of these symptoms last for over two weeks, and cause difficulty in everyday life. In a less severe but longer lasting condition called “persistent depressive disorder” (formerly “dysthymia,”), two or more of these symptoms are present, more often than not, for a year.

  • Feeling or appearing depressed, sad, tearful or irritable
  • Decreased interest in or pleasure from activities, which may lead to withdrawal from friends or after-school activities
  • Change in appetite, with associated weight
  • Major changes in sleeping patterns, such as sleeping much more or less than normal
  • Appearing to be physically sped up or slowed down
  • Increase in tiredness and fatigue, or decrease in energy
  • Feeling worthless or guilty
  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating, which may correlated with worsening school performance
  • Thoughts or expressions of suicide or self destructive behavior

In children it is important to keep in mind that an increase in irritability or even complaints of boredom may be more noticeable than sadness. Children also may have more physical complaints, particularly if the child does not have the habit of talking about how he or she feels. Talk of suicide or not wanting to be alive can be difficult to interpret, so it must be take seriously and brought immediately to a mental health professional’s attention.

Full list of Depression FAQ’s available at

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Autism Frequently Asked Questions

What is Autism?

Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition which is usually diagnosed in the first 3 years of life. Generally parents become concerned when their child has delays in speech development, limited social relatedness, and restricted interests and activities. The child may avoid direct eye contact and exhibit odd behaviors such as focusing on parts of objects (e.g. the spinning wheel of a toy car). There may be unusual motor movements such as hand flapping, self stimulation or walking on toes.

Although the cause of autism is unknown, it is generally believed that etiology may be due to multiple factors. Many genetic, environmental, metabolic and neurological conditions that affect the normal functioning of the brain are being researched. The diagnosis of autism requires disturbances in each of three domains: (1) social relatedness, (2) communication/play, and (3) restricted interests and activities.

  • Social relatedness includes marked impairment in non-verbal communication, peer relationships and social-emotional reciprocity.
  • Communication/play includes either a delay or total lack of spoken language and lack of developmentally-appropriate make-believe or social play.
  • Restricted interests and activities includes encompassing preoccupations, adherence to non-functional routines or rituals, stereotypies and motor mannerisms.

Treatment planning is complex since each child has different strengths and deficits. Evidence that earlier detection and provision of services improves long term prognosis makes early diagnosis particularly important to improve the child’s adaptive skills and future functioning. The diverse expression of these disorders both across and within individuals presents particular challenges for clinical diagnosis and treatment.

Full list of FAQ’s available at

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