BOSTON--()--“I’m so OCD” has become a catchphrase of sorts—a laughed off excuse for any moment when nagging worries get the best of us (“Did I turn off the oven?”), or when a preference for neatness goes overboard (ironing bed-sheets, perhaps). In reality none of these traits alone is a symptom of obsessive compulsive disorder. On Saturday, October 13th, five individuals will be travelling to Boston to tell the truth about OCD through their winning films, stories, and songs.
“Ranger Ben Discovers the Mysterious Mr. OCD”
OCD is, in fact, an anxiety disorder that can be crippling without help. Research has found that it takes 14 to 17 years, on average, from the onset of OCD symptoms for people to have access to effective treatment.
The four winners of the IOCDF’s Dare to Believe Contest know first-hand the realities of OCD: Claire Watkinson is a filmmaker from Sheffield, England, who has been chronicling her struggles in the documentary, “Living with Me and My OCD,” which she will preview at the benefit; Vincent Christofferson is a 21-year old student and musician from Napier, New Zealand, who will be performing his dub-step song, “Till I’m Down,” highlighting the day-to-day effects of OCD; Jennifer Cullen is a mother and educator from Virginia who wrote a children’s story, “Ranger Ben Discovers the Mysterious Mr. OCD,” to help her young son understand his recent OCD diagnoses; and Jackie Lea Sommers is a college admissions counselor and writer from Minnesota whose short story, “Tipping Point,” portrays a young women struggling with a type of OCD called scrupulosity—a story based on Jackie’s own battle with the disorder.
These four artists will be joined by Denis Asselin, recipient of the inaugural IOCDF Hero Award for his campaign to spread awareness and raise funds for OCD research after the loss of his son, Nathaniel, to body dysmorphic disorder, a related disorder of OCD. Nathaniel took his own life at age 24, after a 13-year battle with BDD, despite having the support of family and friends and access to treatment. The Asselin Family’s tragedy highlights why the need for OCD awareness and understanding is so critical.
These five individuals will be honored on Saturday, October 13th, at the Sheraton Boston, at “A Night to Believe,” an event so-named to highlight that while this disorder can be severe, there is hope for recovery. Saturday’s event comes at the end of OCD Awareness Week, and coincides with Governor Deval Patrick’s recent proclamation to name October 13th Mental Health Awareness Day.
Tickets to the awards reception and silent auction are available at http://anighttobelieve.eventbrite.com