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CENTRAL NEW JERSEY AFFILIATE
SPRING 2005 VOL. 7 NO. 1
OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE FOUNDATION
Every Meeting is a Learning Experience
WHY AM I OR MY CHILD ON THIS MEDICATION FOR MY OCD?
by, Rachel Strohl, Psy.M.
starts patients on Zoloft or Paxil. If the
terly meeting on December 13, 2004. Dr.
Branch, as a school psychiatrist in sever-
al local school districts, and has private
Through the use of different patient sce-
other SSRI’s to treat OCD. The SSRI’s
began his talk with a disclaimer explain-
ing that the following information repre-
pulsive disorder (OCD), but controlsymptoms. His general rule with pre-
scribing medications is to "go low and
go slow." His decision-making processes
Rachel Strohl, Psy.M. is a Doctoral
Candidate at the Graduate School of
Applied and Professional Psychology
(GSAPP), Rutgers University. She is
currently completing her clinical intern-
source, and want to get rid of the intru-
reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s). He prefers
See Page 4 for the
Article on the
side effect for the SSRI’s is the possibili-
March 14, 2005.
ty of suicide risk and suicidal thoughts,
Hope to See
stimulants, such as Ritalin or Concerta.
NATIONAL OCD FOUNDATION CONTACTS
is more tolerable. We arenow in the final stage of
creating an extensive treatment provider list,thanks to the help of our industrious volun-
YOU CAN HELP.
teers. If anyone wishes to enter the names of
With production cost and postage rates climbing and ourmailing list growing rapidly, we would like to mention that
the person(s) treating him/her to the affiliate,
any voluntary contribution would aid us to keep this NJ
The staff of the Newsletter encourages all comments on ourpublished articles. Also, any letters and articles, which youwish to submit for our quarterly publications, are welcome.
Please submit them to, Ina Spero, NJ OCF, 60 MacAfeeRoad, Somerset, NJ 08873.
The information in this Newsletter should not be taken inlieu of proper medical and/or mental health professionalservices. The Board of Directors of the New Jersey Affiliateof the Obsessive Compulsion Foundation, as well as all othervolunteers involved in the development and distribution ofthis Newsletter, do not endorse any particular viewpoint or information presented here. Again, nothing takes the placeof proper medical/mental health professional services.
The Affiliate is a community of those who have an interestin Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and whose goals are:
! 1) To educate the public and professional communities
! 2) To support individuals afflicted and their significant others.
! 3) To support research into the causes and treatments of
Dr. Allen Weg - Vice President, Newsletter Editor
Dr. Rita Roslyn Newman - Advisory Board member
OCD and the Family-You’re All in this Together
by Karen Landsman, M.A.
The whole family often gets "stuck" in
ly continue on with daily life, but giving in
the traps of OCD. Your loved one’s recovery
"pseudo-rituals." Pseudo-rituals serve you in
to the enticing lure of a quick fix is just
the same way that rituals serve your loved
another trap into which OCD hopes you will
one. Just as rituals serve to ward off some
can actively participate and thus have some
distressing emotion or feared outcome, you
Emotional reasoning will lead you down the
sense of control in the treatment process.
path of least resistance where "quick fixes"
You (as a parent, spouse, sibling, or other
distressing emotions or feared outcomes.
family member) have become intertwined in
are catering to OCD’s demands and making
this powerful and painful illness. OCD is
Emotional Decision-making: I Feel…and
causing distress and heartache for you as
Then I React
mon feelings and experiences as a result of
message that the OCD behavior is necessary
moments. Emotional reasoning is different
and important. This only validates and rein-
forces the need for checking, cleaning, and
Recognizing the emotions and reactions that
tions can lead to poor decisions and the use
you share can help you to better understand
Wishing for Change Overnight
occurs when tensions are high and everyone
is feeling overwhelmed in the moment.
here, but feel hesitant to introduce new ways
likely feel "stuck" in the way you respond to
Emotional reasoning interferes with effec-
of responding into the family. You may be
tive decision making because it’s more diffi-
asking yourself, "How will my loved one
stuck reacting to OCD with rituals. He or
cult to think clearly when we’re upset or
react?" Life may already feel hard enough at
home and you may not feel strong enough to
washes, organizes, or performs some other
base decisions on intense feelings or the
introduce more struggles. Although accom-
ritual. You are stuck reacting to OCD with
desire to avoid negative feelings, rather than
modating behaviors prove to be frustrating
a rational thought process and clear mind.
for you, they have also served a function in
debate, reassure, participate, observe, or
nent of reacting to situations, rather than
given you short-term relief or a reprieve
each experience a change in the intensity of
responding and often occurs when you’re
from distress and other negative feelings.
trying to solve a problem or make a decision
Because your pseudo-rituals (i.e., accom-
passes, whether feeling positive or negative.
modating behaviors) "work" to some degree
You may feel relieved, more distressed, or
results in an emotional reaction versus a
in the short run, you cannot realistically
strategic and supportive response. The core
necessary changes overnight, anymore than
your loved one’s rituals are aimed at reduc-
you can expect your loved one to eliminate
ing anxiety and distress in the moment.
we’re feeling upset or overwhelmed. When
However, neither reaction ever really solves
we use emotional reasoning as a basis for
quite a while to get to where you are today,
the problem of OCD. Although it seems that
and continued patience will help you find
you are addressing the situation at hand, it’s
that are poorly thought out and sometimes
likely that another similar OCD moment is
hurtful. Oftentimes, in the intensity of the
recovery will include small steps in the right
right around the corner. The longer you both
moment, we don’t even consider the conse-
direction rather than perpetuating negative
rely on the same frustrating and ineffective
quences of our emotionally-based reactions
steps in the wrong direction. The required
reactions to OCD, the greater your struggles
changes are often difficult, even terrifying,
with OCD will grow. To recover, your loved
for everyone involved. You are all giving up
one must learn to cope with the anxiety of
Quick Fixes – The Path of Least
OCD moments without relying upon rituals.
fix for the long-term freedom from the grip
To recover, you must learn to live with your
of OCD. Agree together that it’s time to
relying upon accommodating behaviors.
tional reasoning lies in how it affects the
on a diet, restricting and setting limits on
are reactions that only strengthen the OCD.
one. In an effort to manage and move past
the situation at hand, you may find yourself
choosing what appears to be "the path of
hopeful and make more effective decisions
least resistance." You’re doing whatever you
The above is an excerpt from "Loving
do to end a difficult OCD situation/frustra-
Someone with OCD," to be published in
deflect your distress and help you feel more
tion as quickly as possible so that you can
2005, written by Karen J. Landsman, Ph.D.,
Kathy Rupertus, M.A., and Cherry Pedrick,
not have to overpower and "rewrite the
R.N. Dr. Landsman can be reached at (973)
cult situation is often based on emotional
895-2442 and practices in Westfield and
reasoning, and efforts result in a "quick fix."
Such quick fixes certainly can help the fami-
Next Quarterly Meeting - Dr. Allen Weg Presents.
to get a better appreciation for the phe-
Anxiety Services of New Jersey
development of intervention strategies.
well as mental health professionals.
in treatment that goes beyond traditional
facilities and organizations, at both thelocal and national level. He is also one
the Obsessive Compulsive Foundation.
what their loved ones are going through,in a way that typical case reviews might
Dr. Weg, Vice President of the OCF New
time, his presentation entitled, "Flying
Jersey Affiliate, runs an independent prac-
tice called Stress and Anxiety Services of
New Jersey in the East Brunswick area. He
can be reached at 732-390-6694, or see his
website at www.StressAndAnxiety.com.
Thought Exposure Therapy
- by an OCD sufferer
was to recoil at the very idea, to dismiss
tally repeating exposure, it makes it eas-
nique. I’m not yet to the point of han-
dling mail on a routine basis, but I’m on
plus on the road to recovery instead of a
ing "contaminated." When my therapist
"though exposure". Instead of immedi-
The Aviator, A Movie Review
By Life’s Soldier
its limitless possibilities of the future.
story is well Leonardo di Caprio’s por-
the sky but is chained to the ground.
NJOCF Newsletter Now Has a Subscription Fee!
After careful budget review, the NJOCF has come realize that in order to con-tinue the production and mailing of the quarterly newsletter, we are going toneed to charge a minimal annual Subscription Fee. This fee will directly cover
SAVE THE DATES
the printing and mailing of each quarterly newsletter.
FOR THE 2005
The Subscription Fee for 2005 is $5.00.
In order to continue receiving the newsletter, please either bring payment to
meeting or return the form below with payment by cash, check, or money order
CNJAOCF, 60 MacAfee Road, Somerset, NJ 08873-2951
We at the NJOCF appreciate your continued support and interest in OCD.
meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. andwill be held at Robert Wood
City ______________________________State ________ Zip __________
Johnson Hospital in NewBrunswick, NJ. We hope to seeyou there!
Home Phone __________________ E-mail ___________________________
HIT AND RUN OCD
By, William M. Gordon, Ph.D.
After five years or perhaps even thirty years of relatively safe driving you suddenly think you’ve become a menace onthe road, “an accident waiting to happen.” Your confidence behind the wheel is shot. Each time you take a driveyou’re plagued by anxieties and doubts about whether you ran over an innocent bystander. Bumps on the road becomebodies; shadows get transformed into helpless pedestrians squashed by you negligence; road kill abounds. As the anxi-ety intensifies, you start to engage in numerous checking rituals. You go back to the scene of the bump to make sureyou didn’t clip somebody. You find no one there. Maybe, though, he limped away. Maybe he’s lying in the bushesbleeding to death. Maybe the ambulance already whisked him away to a local hospital. (And you did hear a siren, did-n’t you?) Better call the police and hospital to make sure. No recent admissions. Hum. Better check some more hos-pitals; you can’t be too careful! Let’s check local papers and the internet too. In the meantime you go back to thosebushes to reassure yourself that you didn’t miss the corpse when you checked earlier. You notice that the leaves lookflattened out near the curb. Maybe you did hit the poor guy but he then got back up. Well at least he’s not dead, or ishe? And on and on and on…
Hit and run OCD turns a Sunday afternoon drive, and especially a Sunday evening drive when visibility is
reduced, into a living nightmare. This type of OCD is fairly common, and it shares many similarities with other typesof OCD. Its two main characteristics are fear-driven checking and avoidance. At best the checking only reduces thefear temporarily. Often it actually increases anxiety because you notice a new ambiguity during the check. Most detri-mentally, the checking prevents you from learning that anxious doubt can be safely ignored. As the anxiety increasespeople start to avoid driving. The avoidance further erodes your confidence. People with hit and run OCD seek reas-surance by staring, mirror checking, retracing the route, and asking others if they hit someone. All of these behaviorsneed to stop before you start feeling safe.
Treatment consists of repeated exposures to scary situations without doing any checking or reassurance seek-
ing. Don’t even try to convince yourself that you drove safely-just keep driving. You can start out with fairly easy sit-uations (e.g. driving in a quiet neighborhood during the day) and then work up to more difficult ones (e.g. on a heavilytrafficked street at dusk). Helpful points to keep in mind include:
All drivers notice ambiguous sounds and sights.
People with OCD transform the ambiguities into road kill.
Keep your eyes moving. Don’t lock your gaze onto some object or person.
Drive every day whether you are anxious or not.
If you think you might have hit someone (i.e., if you experience doubt), assume it’s OCD. Do not retrace your route.
Real accidents are not ambiguous of iffy; you know with absolute certainty when they occur.
Make an exposure loop tape of your most terrifying fear. Listen to it until you feel less scared.
Treatment can be complicated by coexisting depression or living situations that might accidentally foster dependence.
If your efforts at self help fail, seek professional help so you can get back on the road soon. (NJ has lousy public trans-portation!).
Dr. Gordon has a private practice in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. He may reached at (973) 744-8791.
WANT TO HAVE A SUPPORT GROUP IN YOUR AREA? WE CAN HELP!
If you look at the back of this Newsletter, you will see that there is only a small handfull of support groups for OCD aroundthe state. It is one of the goals of NJAOCF to help create more of these groups. We at NJAOCF recieve several phone callsevery month asking for support groups in areas of New Jersey where there are none. Northern counties and southern counties are especially devoid of groups.
If you are interested in having a group in your area, we can help. Here's how:
1)If you want to have a group, you need to find a place to meet. Local churches, synagogues, libraries, high schools, hospi-tals, and community mental health centers are good places to find free rooms. If you say you will be working with the NJAffiliate of the OC Foundation, it might also give you some "clout." 2)Determine the day and time- this will in part be determined by room space availability- no more than twice a month isneeded, and once a month is often a good place to start. An hour and 15 minutes or an hour and a half is usually the length.
3) Contact us. Call Ina Spero at 732- 828-0099. We can put your name and contact number on our website and in ourNewsletter. We will announce the formation of your group at our quarterly meetings. We will help to put out the word.
You can also do your part by letting local mental health professionals and facilities know about the group (sometimes thismeans going door to door with a flyer). Decide whether this is a group only for adults, only for sufferers, or open to every-body- we recommend the latter- friends, family, and children with OCD.
4) Once you have a minimum number of people- 5 is enough to get started, let us know. We will give you some guidelinesabout how to run the group, provide you with handouts that you can give to members of the group, and answer questionsthat you may have regarding the mechanics of how to facilitate group discussion.- Don't worry if you've never done any-thing like this before. We will "hold your hand" in the early phases of the group until you feel more comfortable. WE AREHERE TO HELP!
5)If you have any questions of a clinical nature regarding running or forming a group, you can phone Dr. Allen Weg at 732-390-6694.
SUPPORT GROUP IN
SUPPORT GROUP TO
New Support Group In
ATLANTIC COUNTY AREA
BEGIN IN LIVINGSTON, NJ
Princeton Area Looks
attend a meeting once per month on the last
Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. We will meet at
group, please call her at (973) 535-0826.
the Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation
Institute is located in the same building as
NEW OCA SUPPORT
the Atlantic City Medical Center, Mainland
GROUP IN MATAWAN
Road and can easily be found by followingthe blue “H” signs (Hospital) on the White
Horse Pike, which is also Route 30. Use the
main entrance to the hospital and take the
SUPPORT GROUP IN
right corridor to the end. Make a right and
then the 2nd left. The Conference Room is
about 50 feet ahead on the right. We expect
to have guest speakers from time to time,
but mostly it will be a gathering of people
who, like you, suffer from OCD. The dress
is casual, the format is informal, and no one
Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m.
is expected to share if they choose not to do
so. You may come and just listen to others,
if you wish, and you may bring a relative, if
desired. Please contact Wayne at (609) 266-3666 with any questions.
We videotape our annual conferences and the speakers from our quarterly meetings, and provide copies of them to anyone interested. Allmoneys charged are pumped back into NJAOCF to help defray the costs of the organization. The following are videotapes now availablefor purchase and pickup, or delivery:
"Red Flags, Relapse, and Recovery," Jonathan Grayson, PhD
"Families and OCD: How to Coexist," Elna Yadin, PhD
"Flying Towards the Darkness", NJAOCF First Annual Conference: Parts 1 & 2 (combined discount price)
"Flying Towards the Darkness"- Part 1 only, Allen H. Weg, EdD, NJAOCF 1st Annual Conference
"Flying Towards the Darkness"- Part 2 only:The OCD Panel, NJAOCF 1st Annual Conference
“Generalized Anxiety Disorder and OCD”, David Raush, PhD
“OCD Spectrum Disorders”, Nancy Soleymani, PhD
"Living With Someone With OCD.", Fred Penzel, PhD, Part I- NJAOCF 2nd Annual Conference
"The OCD Kids Panel" Part II- NJACOF 2nd Annual Conference
NJAOCF- 2nd Annual Conference, Parts I and II
“Medications and OCD”, Dr. Rita Newman
"You, Me, and OCD: Improving Couple Relationships", Harriet Raynes-Thaler, MSW, ACSW
“Freeing Your Child from OCD”, Dr. Tamar Chansky, Part I - NJOCF 3rd Annual Conference
“The Parents Panel of Kids with OCD” Part II - NJOCF 3rd Annual Conference
NJOCF - 3rd Annual Conference, Parts I and II
“Neurobiology of OCD,” Dr. Jessice Page
“Getting Past Go”, Dr. Allen H. Weg, EdD
“Improving Outcomes in Treatment for OCD”, Deborah Roth Ledley, Ph.D
“Using Scripts to Counter the Voice of OCD”, Jonathan Grayson, Ph.DPart I - NJOCF 5th Annual Conference
“Panel of Drs. Grayson, Springer, & Weg” Part II - NJOCF 5th Annual Conference $15.00______
NJOCF - 5th Annual Conference, Parts I and II
Add $3.95 each for S & H: ________@$3.95 ea_________ Your Total cost:_____________
Send check or money order, made out CNJAOCF, and mail to:CNJAOCF, 60 Mac Afee Rd, Somerset, New Jersey 08873-2951Questions? Call Ina Spero at 732-828-0099
Address __________________________________________City _______________________ State ______ Zip Code_____________
TO OUR MEETING LOCATION!
Our next quarterly meeting, which will take place on Monday evening, December 13, at 7:00 p.m
. The location is: Robert
Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick, NJ, in the Medical Education Building, Room 108A.
From the New Jersey Turnpike:
Take Exit #9 (New Brunswick) and proceed on Route 18 North, approximately 2 miles to the exit Route 27 South (Princeton
Exit). Follow Route 27 South (Albany Street) to the 4th light (New Brunswick train station on left). Make a right onto Easton
Avenue. Proceed one block and make a left at the next light onto Somerset Street. Proceed one block to the first light and make a
left onto Little Albany Street. The hospital is on the right side and the NJ Cancer Institute is on the left side. Pass the Emergency
Room entrance and the hospital’s Parking Deck on your right hand side. (Parking Deck fee: $1 per hour). To get to the meeting, in
Room 108A, follow the directions under Medical Education Builiding.
From Southern New Jersey:
Take Route 18 North to Route 27 South (Princeton exit). Follow Route 27 South (Albany Street) for 4 lights (New Brunswick
train station on left). Make a right onto Easton Avenue. Proceed one block and make a left at the next light onto Somerset Street.
Proceed one block to the first light and make a left onto Little Albany Street. The hospital is on the right side and the NJ Cancer
Institute is on the left side. Pass the Emergency Room entrance and the hospital’s Parking Deck on your right hand side. (Parking
Deck fee: $1 per hour). To get to the meeting, in Room 108A, follow the directions under Medical Education Builiding.
From Route 1 (North or South):
Take Route 18 North to Route 27 South (Princeton Exit). Follow the Route 27 South (Albany Street) directions above. To get to
the meeting, in Room 108A, follow the directions under Medical Education Builiding.
From Route 287:
Take Exit #10 (formerly Exit #6) “Route 527/Easton Ave./New Brunswick” and continue on Easton Avenue for approximately 6
miles. Make a right onto Somerset Street. The hospital is on the right side and the NJ Cancer Institute is on the left side. Pass the
Emergency Room entrance and the hospital’s Parking Deck on your right hand side. To get to the meeting, in Room 108A, follow
the directions under Medical Education Builiding.
From the Garden State Parkway:
Exit Route 1 South. Proceed approximately 9 miles to Route 18 North. Take Route 18 North to Route 27 South (Princeton Exit).
Follow Route 27 South (Albany Street) to the 4th light (New Brunswick train station on left). Make a right onto Easton Avenue.
Proceed one block and make a left at the next light onto Somerset Street. Proceed one block to the first light and make a left onto
Little Albany Street. The hospital is on the right side and the NJ Cancer Institute is on the left side. Pass the Emergency Room
entrance and the hospital’s Parking Deck on your right hand side. To get to the meeting, in Room 108A, follow the directions
under Medical Education Builiding.
Medical Education Building (MEB):
Take the hospital’s parking deck elevator to the first floor and upon exiting make a right. Walk across the Arline & Henry
Schwartzman Courtyard to the double glass doors; the sign above will read “Medical Education Building”. For Room #108-A,
make an immediate right and the room is on your left-hand side.
Parking is also available by the
Clinical Academic Building (CAB)!
Parking at the CAB is provided by the NewBrunswick Parking Authority in thePaterson St. Parking Deck (across fromthe CAB). To park in this deck you have toaccess it via Paterson St. From Rt. 287N,make right onto Paterson St. From Rt.
287S, make a left onto Paterson. From theTurnpike, take exit 9 to Rt. 18N, exit at Rt.
27S (towards Princeton), pass the trainstation and CAB is on left. After it, makesharp left onto Paterson St. Parking deckis on right. For Rt. 1N or S follow directionsabove from Rt. 18. For Garden StateParkway, follow directions above fromTurnpike.
NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE NOTICE
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Support Groups
NON PROFIT ORG.
US POSTAGE PAID
PERMIT NO. 151
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