In 1987, when I was 32 years old, I developed severe OCD and depression upon the birth of my first child. For seven years, I struggled with severe OCD, searching for help and support from others who could understand what I was going through. In 1991, in my quest to find anyone who could relate to what I was going through, I began an online OCD support group on the Prodigy network, which I led throughout the 90's. In 2001, I began a new online OCD group on YahooGroups, which grew to a total of 6,000 members from all around the world and to which several top OCD therapists contributed on a regular basis (including James Claiborn PhD, Michael Jenike MD, and Jonathan Grayson PhD). This former Yahoo group has now moved to Groups.io.
In 1995, after I had struggled with OCD for over 7 years, I started on an OCD medication and learned how to do the proper therapy for OCD, which is known as exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy. The combination of the medication and the ERP therapy enabled me to recover at least 95% from my pre-recovery condition. Because I recovered so well from such severe OCD, I have spent the last 24 years giving hope and encouragement to people struggling with OCD, to show them that - with the right treatment and tools - recovery IS possible. With the proper information, resources, treatment, and support, anyone struggling with OCD can regain a much better quality of life.
I currently lead the online OCD-Support group at https://groups.io/g/OCD-Support. I also lead an online support group for Parents of Teens and Young Adults with OCD, which is located at https://groups.io/g/OCD-POTAYA. I have been a member of the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) since 1989 and have attended 10 of their annual conferences since 1993. I was awarded the Patricia Perkins Outstanding Service Award by the IOCDF at their annual conference in Los Angeles in July 2014.
You can read about my OCD advocacy work in this article from The Orange County Register from July 2014.