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The 2nd installment of the new show “Obsessed” aired tonight, and again, I am impressed.  It’s about time a television show gave a realistic peek into the world of a person who has OCD.  Lately I’ve heard the term OCD used as an adjective more times than I care to count and it angers me each time.   OCD is not an adjective, people!

The exposure and response therapy was much more intense this time.  Trina, who suffers from intrusive thoughts that she might harm others, had to hold a knife to her therapists throat.  As Dr. Shana stated several times, this is the ultimate therapy– the ultimate exposure.  You could see the anxiety on Trina’s face.  But as her therapist pointed out “She has an anxiety disorder, she’s not a serial killer!”  I loved that quote– so completely apt.  OCD is an ANXIETY disorder, pass it on!  Not sure America knows that.  Trina has OCD thoughts of hurting others, of being afraid she will ‘lose control’ and do something horrible.  We all have a fear of losing control, but of course with OCD it’s magnified a thousand times.  It affected Trina’s life to the point that she denied herself a social life and missed out on things; she isolated, she felt lonely.

Nicole’s OCD was a little more problematic, a little harder to understand.  I do get the plugging of her ears:  there are certain sounds I can’t stand either, and just like Nicole, not sure where that stems from.  I’d be interested to know the root of Nicole’s obsessions with her mother and brother’s hands, and the ‘k’ sound.  Nicole did a lot of painful exposure therapy as well, but not much was said about the root of her obsessions.  I did feel very tearful when Nicole talked about the guilt that she felt, especially in regards as to how this was affecting her family.  She also said something about feeling guilty because she knew she wasn’t strong enough– I felt she was blaming herself for her OCD and that made me sad.  A person can’t blame themselves for having OCD any more than they can blame themselves for any other disease!  But guilt seems a strong component to this disease, and I wish her therapist had addressed that a little more.  But in the end, Nicole had the support of her family & felt more assured that they would not give up on her.

I felt a familiar twinge when Nicole said that she didn’t “know what life is like without OCD.”  The fear and anxiety is so strong with this disorder, that sometimes you can even fear its absence.

I guess some of the symptoms and issues shown on this show might be weird or shocking to some; to those of us who have OCD, these symptoms are familiar, easily recognized.  Fifty or so years ago, we didn’t even have this diagnosis and there was no treatment.  I’m thankful that is no longer the case, and that there is help for the many suffering from this ‘doubting disease.’

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