In an average elementary school, there are likely five children suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder. In a medium to large high school, there are typically 20 students battling OCD. And in a workplace of 500, there would be about five employees who have OCD, most likely hiding their symptoms from their colleagues. OCD is in our community, and residents of New Orleans should not feel ashamed or embarrassed.

In most cases, OCD is a treatable disorder; however, studies show that people suffer unnecessarily for years because of lack of information and a shortage of therapists trained to properly diagnose and treat OCD. The International OCD Foundation helps people find treatment that will curtail suffering and allow them to lead more productive lives. It also funds research and provides support for OCD sufferers and the families and caregivers of OCD patients. A variety of IOCDF resources can be found online at www.iocdf.org.

The IOCDF not only supports individuals with OCD and their loved ones, it focuses on how to overcome OCD on a global level through supporting researchers, clinicians and trainees who hope to make significant contributions treating OCD within their local communities.

Currently, Louisiana does not have a local IOCDF affiliate chapter, and the unmet needs for individuals with OCD and their loved ones across our state is unknown.

As a supporter of the IOCDF for the past 10 years, and now on behalf of a group of New Orleans-area based clinicians, researchers and individuals with OCD, my colleagues and I feel there may be a need to create a network to connect Louisiana’s OCD treatment community.

We hope to reach out to all individuals across the state that may share in a mission to increase support so that all individuals can overcome the difficult challenges related to OCD.

If people are interested in joining our discussions to form a Louisiana OCD support network, individuals are invited to contact the group at ocdlouisiana@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing from the community.

Julia Becker Cretu

Tulane University Health Sciences Center

New Orleans