OCD Sacramento offers hope, support for those suffering from mental illness

SACRAMENTO | Brian McPeak suffered with obsessive compulsive disorder for more than six years, meeting with therapist after therapist, each of which was unable to diagnose or properly treat his disorder.

Dr. Robin Zasio, a Sacramento OCD expert, has treated thousands of patients like McPeak who have suffered for years with obsessions and compulsions that they could not control. Zasio, in conjunction with the International OCD Foundation, has launched OCD Sacramento, an affiliate of the foundation that will help OCD sufferers in the Greater Sacramento area. Her goal in starting the affiliate is to provide resources to patients and their families

“We’re saving lives when people get proper treatment for OCD,” Zasio said. “Our mission is to provide access to resources ,lead support groups and educational programs, and eventually work to train other therapists in the techniques to treat OCD.”

The affiliate in Sacramento is the 8th local affiliate of the International OCD Foundation.

“While we provide services on a national level, our local affiliates are able to connect to the people most in need,” said Dr. Jeff Szymanski, executive director of the International OCD Foundation. “OCD Sacramento will bring awareness new programs and more resources to a major urban area that is surprisingly short in treatment programs for OCD.”

McPeak, a married father of four and a professional in the high-tech industry, was terrified and obsessed with thoughts of getting sick and dying. He’d insist his doctor see him immediately for even the most minor ailments, and then McPeak would push for blood work and test after test to seek reassurance. The obsessive thoughts were a drain on his marriage, family, work, and quality of life.

Visits to therapists and doctors brought McPeak no relief from his relentless anxiety and compulsions.

Finally, through research, he believed he may have OCD and found Zasio’s practice where he was properly diagnosed and treated. His core treatment was through a technique known as Exposure Response and Prevention therapy. McPeak learned how to manage his OCD symptoms. McPeak is helping others ,and hopes to be a voice and advocate for those suffering from OCD. He now serves as vice president of OCD Sacramento

“When you have OCD, you feel like you’re the only one in the world who is suffering and that no one understands you,” McPeak said. “But there is hope and there is help out there. I don’t want anyone to feel alone like I did.”

Dr. Zasio is a member of the International OCD Foundation’s speakers bureau and Scientific Advisory Board, and is the founder and director of The Cognitive Behavior Therapy Center. Dr Zasio, a licensed clinical psychologist and licensed clinical social worker, is also a featured doctor on the hit series Hoarders airing on A&E.

OCD Sacramento will host a monthly speaker’s series that launches May 24. See the full program schedule and learn more about OCD Sacramento at www.ocdsacramento.com

About the International OCD Foundation:

The International OCD Foundation is the foremost resource about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and related illnesses. It is an international organization that exists to raise awareness among policy makers and the general public about OCD, educate the mental health community about the latest treatments and research, connect people suffering from OCD with treatment providers, and advance research for more effective treatments. Based in Boston, the OCDF has affiliates in Boston, Chicago, Florida, Minneapolis, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Sacramento, and San Francisco. The IOCDF was founded as the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation in 1986 by a dozen OCD patients at Yale. Twenty-three years later the organization has an annual $1 million annual operating budget, has granted $2.5 million for treatment research and is a resource for tens of thousands of people. For more information visit www.ocfoundation.org.

The affiliate in Sacramento is the 8th local affiliate of the International OCD Foundation.