OCDchatIconJoin us at 1:00pm EDT (1700 UTC) every weekday during OCD Awareness Week, while we answer your questions about OCD treatments, resources, and any other questions you may have about OCD in our daily chat series during the week of October 11-17, 2015. We’ll also host guest experts to talk about special topics. It’s free to participate.

In order to make this chat easy to participate in for EVERYONE, you no longer need Twitter to access the chat. If you do not have Twitter, you can simply use the chat window on our website here: http://www.iocdf.org/chat. There is no login, registration, account, or anything needed. Simply view the chat, and ask your questions in the text box below the chat window.

If you do have Twitter, you can still ask your questions by Tweeting at @IOCDF and using the hashtag #OCDchat, and we will answer the questions as usual. Or you can follow along in the chat window on our website here: http://www.iocdf.org/chat.

2015 #OCDchat Schedule

Date Topic Featured Expert(s) Join the Chat
Mon, 10/12/2015 @ 1pm ET The OCD Family — Chat and Support For Parents, Spouses, and Siblings Liz TrondsenLisa Coyne, PhD; & Jon Hershfield, MFT View Archive
Tues, 10/13/2015 @ 1pm ET Q&A with Keynote Speakers Clint & Joanie Clint & Joanie Malarchuk View Archive
Weds, 10/14/2015 @ 1pm ET Becoming an #OCDvocate! Q&A about OCD, Advocacy, & Stigma Jeff Bell, Ethan Smith, & Liz McIngvale, PhD View Archive
Thurs, 10/15/2015 @ 1pm ET What to do what you can’t afford/find treatment? Q&A about free/low cost treatment options Brad Riemann, PhD; & Liz McIngvale, PhD View Archive
Fri, 10/16/2015 @ 1pm ET OCD / TOC — Overcoming stigma and other obstacles in the Hispanic community Ro Vitale; Monnica Williams, PhD; & Fugen Neziroglu, PhD View archive

#OCDchat Archive!

Missed our last #ocdchat? View transcripts of previous chats here.

Date Topic Featured Expert(s) Archive
Monday, 10/13/14 OCD in Kids Q&A Dr. Evelyn Stewart & Dr. Jeff Szymanski
View Archive
Tuesday, 10/14/14 Coming Out with OCD Leo Smith, Jeff Bell, & Alison Dotson View Archive
Wednesday, 10/15/14 Q&A with Keynote Speaker Ethan Smith Ethan S. Smith View Archive
Thursday, 10/16/14 Mental Health & OCD Awareness Around the Globe Dr. Jeff Szymanski, Ro Vitale (Argentina), Ashley Fulwood (OCD-UK), & Minal Mahtani (OCD Hong Kong) View Archive
Thursday, 10/16/14 Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) Q&A Dr. Jamie FeusnerDr. Fugen Neziroglu View Archive
Friday, 10/17/14 CBT or Medication? OCD Treatment Q&A Dr. Chris PittengerDr. Jeff Szymanski
View Archive
Friday, 10/18/13 OCD Medication Q&A Wayne Goodman, MD View Archive
Thursday, 10/17/13 OCD Research Updates Jon Abramowitz, PhD View Archive
Wednesday, 10/16/13 OCD Q&A for Teens and Young Adults Fred Penzel, PhD, Chris Trondsen, Jack Lindley & Liz Lindley View Archive
Tuesday, 10/15/13 Starting your own OCD Support Group Denise Egan Stack, LMHC View Archive
Monday, 10/14/13 Coming Out with OCD Jackie Lea Sommers, Alison Dotson, & Shannon Shy View archive
Monday, 6/16/13 Q+A about the Annual OCD Conference Jeff Szymanski, PhD & Marissa Keegan View archive
Monday, 5/13/13 Body Dysmorphic Disorder Jamie Feusner, MD, & Carrie Asselin Not available
Monday, 3/18/13 Hoarding Disorder Randy O. Frost, PhD Not available
Monday, 2/18/13 OCD in Kids and Teens Fred Penzel, PhD Not available
Tuesday, 1/29/13 ABC News Chat with Dr. Besser Jeff Szymanski, PhD Not available
Monday, 12/17/12 General OCD Questions Jeff Szymanski, PhD Not available
Friday, 10/12/12 Related Disorders (Hoarding, BDD, TS) Fugen Neziroglu, PhD Not available
Thursday, 10/11/12 Teens and OCD Fred Penzel, PhD Not available
Wednesday, 10/10/12 OCD and Relationships Jon Abramowitz, PhD Not available
Tuesday, 10/9/12 OCD Treatment and Medication Q+A Jamie Feusner, MD, and Gerald Nestadt, MD, MPH Not available
Monday, 10/8/12 OCD Awareness Week and General OCD Questions Jeff Szymanski, PhD Not available

About the Panelists

Moderator: Jeff Szymanski, PhD | @DrJeffSzymanski
Dr. Szymanski is the executive director of the International OCD Foundation and author of The Perfectionist’s Handbook. Dr. Szymanski is also a clinical psychologist, who previously worked at McLean Hospital’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Institute (OCDI), a residential facility for individuals with severe and refractory OCD. Dr. Szymanski has a long track record of teaching and training. As a Clinical Instructor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School, he has supervised pre-doctoral psychology interns, psychiatry residents, and has run Cognitive Behavior Therapy seminars. He also keeps a blog on Psychology Today: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-perfectionists-handbook

Liz Trondsen
Liz Trondsen is the mother of a young adult with OCD. She supported her son through treatment and watched him recover from his mental illness. At this time her son is attending college, living on his own, working and facilitating two support groups for people with OCD. Liz is on the board of OCD Southern California, an affiliate of the IOCDF. She also helps facilitate a family support group in Orange County, CA. Liz, along with her son, was the keynote speaker at the 2011 Annual OCD Conference in San Diego, CA

Lisa Coyne, PhD
Dr. Coyne is on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, where she directs the McLean Child and Adolescent OCD Institute (OCDI Jr.). She is also an associate clinical professor at Suffolk University in Boston, MA, and a licensed clinical psychologist. An internationally recognized ACT Trainer, Lisa conducts research in parenting and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and chapters on ACT and OCD for children, teens, and families. She is the author of the recently released book for parents of young children, The Joy of Parenting: An Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Guide to Effective Parenting in the Early Years.  

Jon Hershfield, MFT
Hershfield is a licensed psychotherapist in the states of Maryland and California and is director of the OCD and Anxiety Center of Greater Baltimore. He received his Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University in L.A. Prior to entering private practice full-time, he was associate director of the UCLA Pediatric OCD Intensive Outpatient Program at Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital. Previous to that, he treated OCD and related disorders in individual, group, and intensive formats at the OCD Center of Los Angeles. Since 2005, Jon has been the moderator of the online support group Pure_O_OCD, a discussion board devoted to promoting a better understanding of mental compulsions in OCD. He is co-author of The Mindfulness Workbook for OCD and author of the forthcoming When a Family Member Has OCD.

Jeff Bell (@jbellnews)
Jeff Bell is an author, health advocate, and radio news anchor. His two books, Rewind, Replay, Repeat and When in Doubt, Make Belief, have established Bell as a leading voice for mental health awareness and “Greater Good” motivation. Bell serves as a national spokesperson for the International OCD Foundation and lends his support to numerous wellness organizations, including Mental Health America, which has honored him with its prestigious forWARDS Award, for “moving the cause of mental health forward.” In 2011, he co-founded the nonprofit A2A Alliance, aiming to showcase and foster the power of turning adversity into advocacy. As co-founder of Beyond the Doubt, Bell presents interactive talks and workshops for individuals and businesses looking to thrive through uncertainty and the fear and doubt it creates. Bell is a 20-year veteran of broadcast news and currently co-anchors the KCBS Afternoon News, winner of the 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Newscast in America.

Ethan Smith (@EthOCDvocate)
Ethan S. Smith is an IOCDF spokesperson and professional writer/director/producer/actor currently living and working in the Los Angeles area. Born with severe OCD, Ethan struggled maintaining a normal life until he hit rock bottom at the age of 32. After seeking intensive inpatient and outpatient therapy for close to two years, both in south Florida (NBI) and Boston (OCDI McLean), Ethan’s remarkable journey led him to discover himself for the first time and lead a proactive happy and healthy adult life. Ethan moved to Los Angeles shortly after his ten months in Boston and has found incredible success, both personally and professionally. Learn more about Ethan and view his Keynote Address at the 21st Annual OCD Conference in Los Angeles in July 2014 here.

Liz McIngvale, PhD
After her diagnosis at age 12 and treatment, which included both inpatient and outpatient therapy, Elizabeth has made it her life mission to make a difference in the lives of those living with OCD. Elizabeth launched her advocacy platform at age 17 when she was featured on the first ever IOCDF public service campaign for OCD, titled “What does OCD Look Like? Me, my name is Elizabeth.” Elizabeth’s journey with OCD has been featured on international, national, and local news outlets, including Good Morning America with Barbara Walters, Inside Edition, and The View. Elizabeth received her undergraduate and master’s degree from Loyola University Chicago and her PhD from the University of Houston in social work. Elizabeth is currently a post-doctoral fellow at the Houston Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and began a faculty position at Baylor University’s school of social work this fall. Elizabeth is the founder of the Peace of Mind Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to obsessive compulsive disorder, which runs ocdchallenge.org — a free interactive self-help website for obsessive compulsive disorder based on the principles of exposure with response prevention. Elizabeth is an IOCDF spokesperson, therapist, advocate, and researcher who dedicates her time to OCD, mental health stigma, and issues surrounding access to care. In her lifetime, she hopes to see everyone diagnosed with a mental illness have access to evidence-based treatment and to be a part of the movement that stamps out the stigma of mental illness.

Brad Riemann
Bradley C. Riemann, PhD, a leading expert in the assessment of anxiety disorders and use of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) treatment, is the clinical director of CBT Services at Rogers Memorial Hospital. He supervises the training of graduate and post-graduate students from around the country for CBT in anxiety disorders and collaborates with colleges and universities on research projects investigating obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and other anxiety disorders. Dr. Riemann serves as chairman for the Clinical Advisory Committee of the International OCD Foundation and serves on its Scientific Advisory Board.

Monnica Williams, PhD
Dr. Williams is the director of the Center for Mental Health Disparities and associate professor of psychology at the University of Louisville. She completed undergraduate studies at MIT and UCLA, and received her doctorate from the University of Virginia. Dr. Williams has authored over sixty scholarly publications, primarily on OCD and cultural issues. She is also a member of the IOCDF Scientific Advisory Board and the clinical director of the Louisville OCD Clinic, where she treats clients and supervises graduate student therapists.

Ro Vitale (@rovitale)
Ro Vitale is an award-winning singer and songwriter from Argentina who suffers from severe OCD. Not long after her diagnosis she decided to go public with her struggles in a major magazine. The article made a huge impact (more than 40,000 hits), marking the beginning of an intense advocacy journey. She has since been featured on several TV shows, magazines (including the Spanish version of Newsweek), newspapers and radio shows. As for her messaging, Ro decided to combine both her musical career with her advocacy work, marking the importance of dis-identifying from the symptoms: she shows herself as an artist and a writer that happens to suffer from severe OCD. This differentiation is key to accurate communication, since one of her goals is to encourage people to rebuild confidence in their uniqueness (while battling the disorder through therapy). Ro is in the process of writing a book titled “TOCada” and creating a short film titled “A Little Taste of Freedom” to capture the process of OCD treatment. She was the keynote speaker of the Spanish Program at the 2014 OCD Conference in Los Angeles, where she stole the show with her honesty and openness. Ro wrote the song “My Inspiration” especially for the 21st Annual OCD Conference, and is donating all of the proceeds from song sales to the International OCD Foundation.

Fugen Neziroglu, PhD (@biobehavinst)
Fugen Neziroglu, PhD, ABBP, ABPP, is a board certified behavior and cognitive psychologist and leading researcher on anxiety disorders. She is the co-founder and executive director of the Bio Behavioral Institute in Great Neck NY, a clinic specializing in anxiety and obsessive compulsive related disorders. Dr. Neziroglu is a full professor at Hofstra University, Department of Psychology and Clinical and a professor of psychiatry at New York University. Dr. Neziroglu has presented and published over 150 papers in scientific journals, including the American Journal of Psychiatry, Behaviour Research and Therapy, and the Journal of Anxiety Disorders. Additionally, she is the author and co-author of fifteen books on obsessive compulsive spectrum disorders, including, most recently, Children of Hoarders, Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding and Overcoming Body Dysmorphic Disorder. She is board certified in cognitive and behavior therapy from the American Board of Behavioral Psychology (ABBP) and in clinical psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP). She is a fellow of ABBP’s Academy. Dr. Neziroglu is also a member of many national and international societies and is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Obsessive Compulsive Foundation and President of OCDNY.

Clint and Joanie Malarchuk
Clint Malarchuk, a former National Hockey League (NHL) goalie, might be best known for a life-threatening injury that happened on the ice. But what many people did not realize is that he had also been fighting OCD since childhood. Clint and his wife Joanie will be discussing the highlights of their keynote address delivered this past summer at the 22nd Annual OCD Conference in Boston. The address covered Clint and Joanie’s journey of combating OCD, substance abuse, and mental health stigma. They described their struggles confronting shame, isolation, and the many obstacles to getting the help and support they both needed. Mental illness takes a toll on one’s life and relationships, and while there are many challenges in any marriage, when OCD and substance abuse enter the picture, the difficulties created feel almost insurmountable. Clint is also the author of A Matter of Inches: How I Survived in the Crease and Beyond, and works as a certified equine dentist and chiropractor. Joanie is a professional skating coach. Together, they have been outspoken and effective mental health advocates.

Dr. Evelyn Stewart
Evelyn Stewart, MD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia and is the founding director of the Pediatric Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Clinic and Research Program at B.C. Children and Women’s Health Centre. She is a clinical, genetic and neuroscience researcher, as well as a child and adult psychiatrist. Her research focuses on genomic, phenotypic, and treatment aspects of childhood-onset neuropsychiatric disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Dr. Stewart has authored over 50 original papers, reviews and chapters on genetic, clinical, and treatment aspects of OCD, Tourette’s Disorder, and related illnesses. She sits on the Scientific Advisory Board of the International OCD Foundation, on the Medical Advisory Board of the Tourette Syndrome Association and is Co-director of the International OCD Foundation Genetics Collaborative.

Leo Smith | @LeoSmithOC
Leo Smith is a heath editor with the Orange County Register in Southern California. He also oversees faith, travel and some entertainment coverage. Leo, a native of Oakland, California, has had OCD since he was a young teen. He didn’t realize it, though, until he was a health reporter with the Oakland Tribune and in that role came across Dr. Judith Rapoport’s groundbreaking book, The Boy Who Couldn’t Stop Washing. He can be reached at leosmith@ocregister.com.

Alison Dotson | @BeingMewithOCD
Alison Dotson is a frequent contributor to the IOCDF blog, and is the author of Being Me with OCD: How I Learned to Obsess Less and Live My Life, a nonfiction book for teens and young adults with OCD. Part memoir, part self-help guide, Being Me with OCD let’s readers know they’re not alone in their struggle to get better — and that there is hope. Alison is also president of OCD Twin Cities, the IOCDF affiliate based in Minneapolis.

Jamie Feusner, MD | @OCDresearch and @BDD_anorexia
Jamie Feusner, MD, is Associate Professor of Psychiatry at UCLA, Director of the UCLA Adult OCD Program, and Director of the UCLA Eating Disorder and Body Dysmorphic Disorder Research Program. He obtained his medical degree and completed his psychiatry residency at UCLA, followed by a psychopharmacology fellowship and a postdoctoral fellowship in neuroimaging. He is currently funded by the NIH to study the effects of CBT on brain glutamate levels in OCD. He has also received funding from the NIH to study visual and emotional processing in body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) and anorexia nervosa. Dr. Feusner has published articles and lectured nationally and internationally on OCD, BDD, hoarding, anorexia nervosa, and anxiety. He teaches psychopharmacology and CBT in the UCLA Anxiety Disorders Clinic.

Dr. Chris Pittenger | @DrChrisPitt
Christopher Pittenger, MD, PhD, is Director of the Yale OCD Research Clinic, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Psychology, and in the Child Study Center at the Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Pittenger’s laboratory studies the contributions of the basal ganglia to normal behavior and to neuropsychiatric disease, using genetically modified mice and other model systems.  His work has an explicitly translational focus; in addition to understanding basic striatal mechanisms, he seeks to model disease pathophysiology and to investigate new treatment strategies for Tourette syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and related conditions. His blog about weighing CBT or medication based treatments inspired this chat topic. Read the blog here.