Thank you, Allen, for speaking for helping to educate the media about #RealOCD.
Letter from Allen Weg, EDd to media outlets
I am a NJ licensed psychologist and President on the Board of Directors of OCD New Jersey, a non-profit organization dedicated to the education of professionals and lay people about the psychiatric disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. We are a recognized affiliate of the International OCD Foundation, a worldwide organization of more than 10,000 professionals who treat OCD and lay people and their families who live with OCD.
I saw this morning on NJ 12 that you continue to cover the story about the controversy over the placement of decorations at the Holland Tunnel. While I think that this is a harmless "community comes together" kind of story that is fun to follow, I am writing because as you repeatedly report this story there continues to be references made to how this situation would trigger anyone with OCD. This is incorrect and a misrepresentation of the OCD that I, and many of my colleagues, believe needs correction.
It perpetuates the myth that people with OCD are nothing more than quirky, picky, demanding people who get bothered by things not being "a certain way" to their liking, and then require that those around them cater to their specific idiosyncratic and eccentric demands. Nothing could be further from the truth. In addition, editorial comments around this news story seems to poke fun at persons with OCD, making light of their suffering in way that no one would ever consider making fun of someone suffering with something like cancer or diabetes.
I would ask that NJ12 News take the responsibility of giving equal time to properly educate their viewers about what OCD really is and what it is not, as a way of rectifying this information. You can find out lots about the disorder at the web site for the International OCD Foundation, and also about local learning opportunities, many of them free and open to the public, that are available through the OCD New Jersey affiliate.
Please feel free to contact me directly should you have any questions. Please also note that this story was published on December 13th in the NJ Star Ledger, and they made some of the same kinds of errors in their story. My response to that article was published in the Ledger this past Saturday.