It’s about that time again! The International OCD Foundation’s Annual OCD Conference is upon us in less than a month and this year, it’s in the IOCDF’s hometown of Boston, Massachusetts. This can only mean one thing…LOTS OF CLAM CHOWDER!!! Research has shown that consuming delicious clam chowder has absolutely no effect on OCD. However, attending the Conference does. If you’re on the fence about going, here are my top 3 reasons to get on a plane, train, bus, or car and join us this summer.
The OCD community is a massive “family” comprised of sufferers, family members and friends, therapists, doctors, and even a couple of therapy dogs that enjoy being pet, chasing toys, and sniffing butts. Most importantly, the Conference facilitates a place of belonging and understanding. The Conference represents a safe place for anyone and everyone touched by OCD and related disorders to come, learn, and socialize. It’s an unsung rule that the Conference is a “stigma free” zone. It’s an amazing experience where lifelong friends are made, and loneliness is not an option.
The Conference gathers the greatest minds in psychiatry and psychology who specialize in OCD and related disorders from around the world, from individuals with 12 degrees who treat patients, to sufferers who successfully manage their OCD, all with a wealth of knowledge ready to share with you. To be blunt, we all know therapy is expensive. This Conference is an incredible opportunity to access an abundance of resources in one place. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve spoken to whose journey to mental health began at the Conference through meeting therapists and friends that laid the foundation for recovery. My own recovery started there, and I promise you from breakout sessions and panels to just stopping someone in the hall and talking to them, you will walk away with priceless knowledge and potential action steps that can lead to lifelong change.
So often in our quest for wellness, we read, sit, think, ponder, and discuss. Taking action initially can be an elusive and scary step. The step is necessary however to reach successful OCD management. The Conference as a whole creates a phenomenal opportunity to TAKE ACTION, on your own, toward beating OCD once and for all. Whether you’ve just been diagnosed or you’re in maintenance, you can never take enough action in an effort to live a beautiful life without OCD. The Annual OCD Conference is the ultimate action step. With countless activities, panels, and discussions, the Conference offers one-of-a-kind content no matter where you are in your process. And the best part is, you’re not alone. You’re surround by 1500 other people all trying to do the exact same thing. Take action in an effort to squelch OCD and have a little fun in the process.
Community, access, and action are such crucial steps to getting better, and to have them all in one beautiful, completely accessible location…there’s nothing else like it!
And the secret reason to go? You’ll discover, no matter where you are in your journey, that just by attending and interacting, you will help others with your story in ways you don’t even know. We are all unique and our paths original, but are all joined by the common thread of OCD. We are all students and all teachers. Even if you feel completely helpless and can’t fathom how you could possibly help someone else, EVERYONE has the ability to help others. Just by being there, by sharing, by relating, by helping to create that community and taking action, you will touch people in a way that could alter their own path for the better. Dr. Michael Jenike once told me “The best thing you can do for you OCD is to help others.” There’s no better place to give that a try than the IOCDF’s Annual OCD Conference. See you in Boston