(MASS APPEAL) – In this age of COVID-19, it’s common to hear people, who are being extra careful, joke that they are “so OCD!”. But Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is no laughing matter. It involves a lot more suffering than many are aware of. We are joined by Ethan Smith, a national advocate with the International OCD Foundation, and Dr. John Sonnenberg, licensed clinical psychologist at Uptown Research Institute in Chicago and principal investigator of an OCD clinical trial, to shed light on the disorder.

For Ethan Smith, his behaviors were time-consuming and interfered in a significant way with several aspects of his life. As a young child, he was already struggling with OCD and things continued to get worse as he aged. For example, in his 20s, his health anxiety was out of control and by his 30s he was bedridden, scared to eat or drink and barely existing. OCD had forced him to put his burgeoning acting career on hold, along with the rest of his life.

Today, with the help of evidence-based treatments, Ethan is living a productive, happy, and healthy life as a successful writer/director/producer, business owner, and internationally known mental health advocate. But effectively managing OCD takes time. In fact, a survey of adults with the disorder reported that it takes about 14 to 17 years to find effective treatment and studies have shown that even the individuals who follow treatment advice are still highly symptomatic.

Alarmingly, there hasn’t been a new medication approved for OCD in more than two decades, despite the fact that between two and three million individuals in the U.S. suffer from the disorder.

Further, the COVID-19 pandemic has made matters worse for those with OCD, among a sample of adults who participated in online OCD support communities, 93-percent experienced symptom worsening and 96-percent stated that having OCD made dealing with the pandemic more difficult.

If you or a loved one may be suffering from Obsessives Compulsive Disorder and aren’t aware of your resources you can visit ocdtrials.com for more information. There you can also locate volunteer opportunities in upcoming clinical trials.

Sponsored by: Biohaven Pharmaceuticals