Globe and Mail: It’s not my OCD, it’s me

“OCD is a condition most people see as something to hide, for the simple reason that it falls under the category of “mental illness.” Admittedly, its sufferers indulge in obsessive, ritualistic behaviour, both internal and external…. I was 10 when I developed OCD. What began as a new, frightened awareness of death – really, a horrible case of anxiety – led to a number of compulsive behaviours….But regardless of all this, I have come to view my abnormal brain chemistry in a new light. I’m not saying these disturbed rituals are ordinary or healthy – far from it. When OCD intrudes negatively on a person’s life, the obvious solutions are therapy or medication. But there are benefits to having an OCD brain and personality type….I have learned to manage the urge to perform rituals, and my childhood OCD helped me nurture some very positive skills and abilities…. OCD, once my enemy, has become an accepted part of who I am. I am proud of my unique, flawed, eccentric, but ultimately good personality.”

Read the full article here.

Sleep Medicine via PsychCentral: Teen Sleepless Nights Linked with Depression and Anxiety

“Night-owls were found to have a greater risk for insomnia and depression.

The results, published in the journal Sleep Medicine, may have implications for the clinical treatment of teens experiencing sleep and mental health issues….

‘This is a widespread sleep disorder among the general public, and in most countries about 11 percent of teens aged 13-16 years’ experience insomnia at some stage,’ says Ph.D. student Pasquale Alvaro….

‘There is a growing awareness among the scientific community that insomnia, depression, and anxiety disorders are linked with each other, and these disorders contain overlapping neurobiological, psychological, and social risk factors….

‘Having insomnia in addition to anxiety or depression can further intensify the problems being experienced with each individual disorder….

‘It can lead to such problems as alcohol and drug misuse during adolescence,” he says.

Alvaro’s study found that the presence of insomnia was independently linked with depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and panic disorder among teens….

Teens who were more active in the evenings were more likely to have depression and/or insomnia.

This group was also more likely to have obsessive-compulsive disorder, separation anxiety, and social phobia, although these disorders were often not independently linked with insomnia.

‘Based on our evidence, we believe that prevention and treatment efforts for insomnia and depression should consider this combination of mental health, sleep, and the eveningness chronotype, in addition to current mainstream behavioral approaches. Prevention and treatment efforts for anxiety subtypes should also consider focusing on insomnia and depression.’”


Read the full article here.