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Today’s blog is part 2 in our weekly countdown to #OCDweek! IOCDF Spokesperson Ethan Smith joins us today to explain why OCD Awareness Week is so important, and how you can help.

I was diagnosed at the age of 14 with OCD but didn’t find proper treatment or the right help until I was 32.

That’s 18 years working full-time for OCD. Not graduating college, not moving out of my parent’s house to pursue my dreams. Not really living fully, in the moment.

OCD awareness is beyond crucial so that everyone diagnosed with OCD or a related disorder doesn’t have to walk in the same footsteps I did — and so the distance between diagnosis and treatment continues to grow shorter and shorter.

Could you imagine having a serious foot injury, going to the doctor, having it diagnosed, but then searching for 15+ years until you found a podiatrist? Sounds completely ridiculous, but that’s the reality OCD sufferers and their families face every day. It just shouldn’t be that way, and yet, there are countless stories just like mine.

OCD Awareness Week is a very special time where, globally, we can gather as a community to promote awareness and change. You can get involved with a local affiliate or just take to your own social media and educate the masses on OCD, debunk its “cool” and “trendy” public image, motivate others to seek treatment, get help, and change their lives. Spreading this information, this message, is so necessary in helping others find good help and break the stigma surrounding not only OCD, but mental illness overall. We are a lot stronger together. OCD Awareness Week is the perfect opportunity to join together, become a force and make a significant difference for the better.

Learn more about what you can do, and how you can get involved here.

You can start making a significant difference now. Earlier this morning, we posted a question on the IOCDF Facebook and Twitter page and we want to hear your input! Your answers may be featured in an article we’re collaborating with The Mighty on for OCD Awareness Week. Check it out now!

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