Long Island OCD Support Network

LONG ISLAND OCD Education and Teletherapy Treatment Center and OCD SUPPORT NETWORK Since 1991 - Treatment by Professional who HIMSELF recovered from OCD & UNDERSTANDS YOU. ERP Therapy is now available OVER your PHONE and it WORKS!
Help for People with Lived Experience with OCD: And free OCDHelpline: (631) 486-4818.  NEW: Childrens' OCD and BDD (Body Dysmorphic Disorder) Therapy: We teach PARENTS how to help their own CHILDREN. Simple Instructions NOW AVAILABLE AT HOME by Telephone. See "OCD in Children" in the Reading Room. (Website Updated Monday, Aug. 4, 2020) - Nassau & Suffolk OCD support groups - Advocacy, Qualifying for Social Security Disability, and the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act - Federal protection for Disabled people)  - Fighting Stigma - People in the News about OCD and Anxiety, Information on recovering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (all that worrying, washing, checking, questioning...& the constant thoughts of 'Pure-O')***,
[If you find this page helpful, share it with others who are seeking help. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and any other social media you use.]
How to Use the COLORS on this page:
IMPORTANT items are RED;
NEWEST items are GREEN;
and OLDER items are BLACK.

Update: July 4, 2020   [I am working from home, and NOT giving this virus a body to multiply in. I hope you are doing the same. WEAR YOUR FACE MASK. Stay safe!]

Happy 4th of July - and enjoy the independence that comes with OCD recovery!

NEW and IMPORTANT: How to handle the fears of the new Coronavirus: How can I tell the difference between the real concerns of catching the virus, and ignore just the irrational OCD fears? Making new life-saving choices is total TORTURE for most of us with OCD. What kind of face mask is best? When should I wear my face mask? And is 6 feet apart safe enough? And when is it most important to do this social distancing? Learning to recover from OCD makes these important concerns SO much easier to handle. (I myself fully understand the pandemic, and it doesn't scare me like it would have before I recovered.)

New OCD symptom: "Fear Of Missing Out" on what others might be saying on your cellphone ("FOMO"). 

Many people have asked me to write a book on OCD. I have written a lot on the subject. But I'd rather make it available to everyone for FREE.
This is that 'book', published online as a website. And I can update this 'book' whenever it will help you.

It's summer here in New York. School is out because of the pandemic, but "experts" are playing games with the opening of schools. And for many people, thoughts of recovery from OCD are almost unbelievable!.  Dealing with Covid-19  may be the most depressing experience of our lives. And if you have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) on top of OCD, no matter what you try, you can't seem to shake the blues. But people who have asked for help and recovered from OCD and SAD don't get stuck in sadness - they have learned HOW to beat this stuff and feel so much better. And I have first-hand experience with this - I have the 'package deal' (LOL!) - OCD AND SAD. But I've learned to fight this, and now I teach everyone how to overcome these!

The new pandemic of coronavirus is real. It's not in your imagination. And some of the precautions they tell you sound almost like OCD rituals. But there are differences. I won't teach you not to be safe by not washing your hands, unless you are doing it constantly and can't stop. Recognizing the difference between real concern for safety and the anxiety-driven constant OCD fear and withdrawal from normal life isn't easy but you can become expert at this. And just that in itself can make your life 80% better and easier.

Free Help with COVID-19 for People helping People: Peers with Lived Experience with OCD (and ALL OTHER brain differences, trauma, addiction and other life events), Providers, Therapists, Doctors, Mental Health Organizations, Public Health Systems, etc:

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Here in NY it's hot and stormy. It's the middle of summer.  I hope you're doing well in this coronavirus disaster. ("Is 6 feet far enough apart? How can I be SURE??? Today I did it.. YES, but then again, maybe it's not enough...." Yes, I obsessed about staying well, but then I went on with my day - it wasn't so bad!)
   My name is Warren Barlowe. And I have OCD, also! Just like YOU (or the one you love). So I can UNDERSTAND. Not like all the others. I GET IT!
   I am the editor of this LI OCD site.
   It has been an ok 'stay-at-home' new situation for many of us.
   But maybe not for you. It may have been torture. Seeing all those others on old TV commercials enjoying life without face masks. Watching the news media. And YOU were stuck. Literally 'stuck'. Thinking, worrying, checking, re-washing, watching TV coronavirus reports ; thinking about politics, making SURE it would all end up OK (and missing out on a LOT of life in the meantime).
   Yes. ('Yes, BUT......'And then, damn it, checking or asking AGAIN!)
   It doesn't have to be this way.  I am here for you. Recovery from OCD is a CIVIL RIGHT. Not just a dream.
  In 1996 Congress declared Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day day a national day of service -
and the struggle for equality and freedom to live a normal life with a disability such as OCD is actually a human rights/civil rights effort. I am proud to lead the Long Island effort for freedom in this public health issue.
   We have to keep thinking about stay-at-home plans (and eventually the safe freedom to be close) without the torture of OCD for many. ("YES But which  would be the BEST plan or the RIGHT ONE?")
Decisions. UGH, decisions...how we struggle with them!
   (And for us, making 'the RIGHT' decision about the 'perfect facemask', which candidate to support, or the best hand sterilizer is just as terrifying as choosing the right job, the best therapist, the right place to live, or the right partner to spend your life with!)  

   Maybe a time for a new start? (We now have TOO MUCH TIME ON OUR HANDS!)
   If you now find the energy or the strength to create positive change in your life with OCD,  that's WONDERFUL!
  Let's talk and plan your OCD success story. Let's 'get it DONE'!
  Or you can call me at (631) 486-4818 and just talk about OCD. It's free.
And when you feel ready to start to work on your recovery from OCD, or to pick up from where that last therapist left off; to really, FINALLY 'get it DONE', there is a lot of OCD help here on this page, (below the 'thank you' cards) waiting patiently for you.
   When you are ready.
   Remember - I have it TOO...so I WON'T SAY 'that's crazy'! or 'Why can't you STOP?'  or 'There is no such thing as OCD.'
I am here for you.
I "GET" you! You can call me as soon as right now at (631) 486-4818.
 [By the way...  did you notice the repeated 'yes, buts' above? These are one clue that the OCD is doubting what YOU WANT to say. Call me and I'll help you recognize other classic OCD 'signatures'. -Warren]

* Warren Barlowe is a Long Island, NY OCD PEER Behavioral Therapist, serving all of Long Island, NYC and surrounding areas. Based in western Suffolk County, L.I., NY, helping people with lived experience with OCD for over 30 years,     Barlowe specializes in short-term, non-threatening Exposure-and-Response-Prevention behavioral therapy on the phone for all forms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This includes the much-misunderstood 'Pure-O' or 'pure obsessions'. Barlowe prefers to call this "obsessions without visible compulsions". Using special Exposure-and-Response-Prevention CBT, the symptom pattern of 'Pure-O' is easily understood, and its torture is quickly eliminated.  Click here to read an article with a good description of what used to be called 'Pure-O. And after you successfully complete your OCD therapy, Barlowe teaches you how to STAY RECOVERED PERMANENTLY and YOU BECOME YOUR OWN THERAPIST.  (It's called "Relapse Prevention") You will NEVER have to see an OCD therapist again! See https://sites.google.com/site/yourenolongerstuck/home (By the way, this therapy works well over the phone, or by video calling no matter how far you are from western Suffolk County, Long Island, NY. People in western Canada, New Mexico, and even Brazil have succeeded in doing this with Barlowe by phone.) Call (631) 486-4818.
Note to all watching news reports of the COVID 19 all over our country and other horrible events: You MAY experience obsessive thoughts about the tragedy. You may even find it almost impossible to 'get rid' of those thoughts. And you may even find yourself worrying that YOU YOURSELF infected someone. Or you may find yourself scared that YOU JUST MIGHT BE COVID 19 positive and they haven't got the right test for it and you're going to die soon. And you may even think about getting a whole lot of the best face masks and hoarding them for everyone you know.
  THIS IS ALL NORMAL for us with OCD. Yes, I said NORMAL. You DON'T KNOW WHAT to do. But somehow you have these doubts....'maybe I came closer than 6 feet to them last week' or 'I could be the next person rushed to the hospital.' OCD picks up on ANYTHING we experience that is dramatic, and starts to try to convince us that, because we don't have ALL the facts, that WE MAY BE IN GRAVE DANGER OR RESPONSIBLE. You may feel guilty, very anxious, or terribly worried for the unfortunate victims. AGAIN, this is ALL NORMAL for us. We with OCD will do this with ANY sudden, dramatic event.
  (In 1986, when the space shuttle Challenge exploded during its launch and killed all 7 astronauts on board, I myself obsessed ENDLESSLY that I had something to do with it. I especially got 'stuck' on Christa McCaullif, the teacher who was going to use the mission to teach her kids in class all about science. This was just months before I started ERP therapy for my OCD, I couldn't think about anything else and I couldn't get it out of my head.)
  Of course it turned out to be OCD. I have experienced MANY of these kinds of doubts about all kinds of things. And many clients have told me they have fears like that. Rest ASSURED (we NEVER 'rest assured') that YOU WILL NOT DO ANYTHING TO HARM YOURSELF OR OTHERS. NEVER. NO WAY. (I wrote this because it is likely that many people with OCD will have these horrible thoughts. IT NEVER HAPPENS IN REALITY. And I teach EVERYONE how to recognize them, understand they are just OCD, and learn to IGNORE THEM! If you HAVE these kinds of thoughts, you can call the FREE OCD HelpLine at (631) 486-4818.

FOMO: a new anxiety category: ("Fear Of Missing Out"). HELP A FRIEND WHO SUFFERS:   Fear of missing out on something "URGENT" that MIGHT be on your phone. "What did they say on FaceBook or Instagram or SnapChat (or any social media)" No, this is not an addiction because there is pain and anxiety experienced when you think you MIGHT have missed something your friends or family posted today. It fits the OCD profile And it could quickly become Depression.  Therapy will be Free of charge: I am doing a study to prove that FOMO would respond well to ERP (Exposure-and-Response-Prevention) behavioral therapy. I have a limited number of appointment slots for the study. Call (631) 486-4818 for evaluation to see if someone might benefit from ERP.

BIID: another POSSIBLE anxiety category: (Body Integrity Identity Disorder: the secret, burning wish to become disabled, as in parapaligia, by having healthy arms or legs amputated so you become 'disabled') Read about how some scientists think it might be similar to OCD and might be treated using cognitive behavioral therapy and antirepressant medication: 

..and the addiction to VAPING - the possibility that one can be freed from this new addiction using OCD/Phobia therapy.

"There's that same UNHAPPY FEELING, there's that ANGUISH, there's that DOUBT..."

  -Michael Jackson's "Never Can Say Goodbye" sums up exactly the experience of living with OCD. I couldn't say it better myself! Singer-songwriters have that perfect knack of putting the precise words to our feelings.

Update: Wed. Feb. 20, 2019
"Michelle" is one of the people I was almost finished helping last year. She had dreams she wanted to come true. Here is her story as she herself wrote it:

"It was about one year ago this week when I decided my anxiety and OCD was too much to handle any more. The agony from my OCD became more painful than the fear of taking the leap to help myself. My talk therapist of many years recommended Warren to me, and I am forever grateful to her for that. I was very scared, unsure, doubtful, anxious, and confused. My days were full of rituals on top of rituals on top of rituals: constant hand washing, obsessive guilty thoughts, worries, dwelling on the past, to name a few. It was EXHAUSTING, and sometimes could be really miserable. I knew I had OCD symptoms, but until I started talking to Warren I didn’t realize that OCD is not just a throw-away term about neat people, or something “everyone has a little bit of”. It is something specific that people can suffer from, myself included, and more importantly it is something you can overcome!

 Over the past year Warren and I have worked together, one small step at a time, towards my recovery. I am incredibly proud and grateful to be able to say that today OCD doesn’t get in my way the way it used to. It is still present sometimes, but its voice is so small now and that makes all the difference. It has been minimized so much so that thoughts/fears/memories that used to throw me off for days, weeks, months, or years, pass through my mind like a fleeting thought and I can say, “Eh, whatever” and get on with my day. I know that may sound scary and impossible to someone with OCD (because that’s how I felt), but it IS possible and it is okay.

 I want to emphasize how scared I was before starting exposure and response prevention therapy with Warren. I thought there was something really wrong with me, and I thought no one would be able to help me. Turns out I just didn’t understand I had normal OCD, and I didn’t yet have the tools to manage and conquer it. I remember before starting this therapy I was reading testimonials on Warren’s website thinking, “How could someone feeling the way I feel now ever write something like that!? How could they have the confidence to share something so personal, and how the heck did this work for them? It can’t work for me, I’m too messed up. They must have something more simple to treat than me.”

 Fast-forward a year later and here I am writing my own testimonial. So for anyone reading this who may be in that hole of fear and agony like I was, I want you to know that there is hope for you. It’s not your fault, and you can overcome this. Any fears that therapy will change you or make you do wild things and lose control, are probably your OCD talking. I didn’t know that when I started, but I know that now. And I couldn’t be happier and more grateful to be where I am today. I hope you can find the courage in yourself to take that first leap towards recovery.

 I recommend Warren and exposure and response prevention therapy to anyone and everyone who is living with OCD. Warren teaches you the tools you need to become your own therapist, so you can sharpen your skills and carry them with you for life. Warren is so incredibly patient, relatable, friendly and knowledgeable. Everything I have learned from him has changed the course of my life. I can live life without paralyzing fear, I can try new things, and do things I was too afraid to do before, no matter how small or big. For example, something as simple as wearing a different colored shirt, to not having dry hands anymore since I don’t feel the need to constantly wash them, to getting a new job I would have been too afraid to start before. Sometimes the best part of this is just the mental freedom of not being stuck in my head constantly. I am less stressed, and don’t have the OCD running circles in my mind any more. Warren has taught me the tools to ensure that I can handle anything OCD tries to throw my way for the rest of my life. Thanks to Warren and the unending support of my loved ones, I am happy, I am grateful, and I am free."

Editor: Michelle was working, but she wanted to advance. Her boyfriend gave her a lot of good support. She was afraid of touching a sink because she might get sick from it. A few weeks of practice and she could handle any public bathroom. With her new confidence and using her OCD-control skills, she went on interviews and landed a better job with better pay. Continuing to work on her OCD, she lost the fear of talking to people, and the fear she had, that if she looked at another attractive guy, she felt terrible, thinking she was cheating on her boyfriend. With a few more weeks of practice, she was able to face her new supervisor or her colleagues and express her feelings. She also had a dream of living with her boyfriend and maybe starting a family. After a few more months of practice, she found an apartment and they moved in together.
-  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  -  - 

Update on "Michelle"     "And with that, I knew I had become my own therapist"

July 8, 2019

"Thank you again for your continued inspiration and all you have taught me!!

I had been working with Warren for about a year and a half and it had been a rough week for me. I was feeling very anxious and was really looking forward to my session with Warren. When I dialed the phone at our appointment time, the call would not go through! I called a few times and it was clear the phone line was down and I would not get through. I looked down at my journal and saw the points I had written down to discuss with Warren and thought to myself, "Well, I'm already here, I know what I wanted to say to Warren, and you know what? I think I know what he would say back to me..." Before I knew it I was having a session with myself, looking through past notes, reflecting on my current challenges and utilizing my tools. It turned my whole week around. And with that, I knew I had become my own therapist. The phones being down were a blessing in disguise! I can't thank Warren enough for all he has taught me and I hope for anyone struggling with OCD to have the same access and help that I did through Warren's expertise and support. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!"

Michelle has now completed therapy and is getting on with her life.

Thursday, July 11, 2019 - It's summer here in New York, and OUR OCD fears and worries are always MUCH MORE SCARY than a national emergency, thunderstorm forecast or not being ready and prepared for a possible hurricane... 
It's a perfect time to catch up on your reading here about this miserable condition. Or you might want to spend some time
calling the OCDHelpLine and talking about how to get some relief!  (631) 486-4818.

NEW SECTION: In "The Reading Room":

I have added Relationship OCD to the OCD-Related Arts, Culture, Research...
I have also added NEW special 'picture stories' to help YOU to explain OCD to others so they can better understand it..how your OCD scares you ... things that only WE can understand . . you can print them out to show people... And I have also added a section on Dental Phobia Therapy, for Adults, Children & Teens;
You will also find information on Natural OCD Recovery without drugs* & the OCDHelpLine: call 631-486-4818 & ask for the OCDHelpLine. (please note:  old numbers were 516-681-7861; & (516) 813-5909; both now out of service.)
My apologies for this confusing website - I'm competent at helping people, but not at creating great websites!

        How to Use the COLORS on this page: IMPORTANT items are RED; NEWEST items are GREEN; LINKS are BLUE; OLDER items are BLACK.
Wishing all a happy, joyous, prosperous full recovery from OCD - and a Happy new life that comes with it!
 Check this site weekly for new OCD info! [Editor's note: Save this page under www.ocd.hereweb.com, too. That name is a 're-direct' that will always take you here, regardless of where this page is someday moved to.] This website offers free local support groups, telephone support, listings of lectures, special events, TV shows & therapy to people on Long Island, New York, with OCD, including but not limited to Bethpage, Hicksville, Plainview, Syosset, Westbury, Levittown, Woodbury, Carle Place, Garden City, Hempstead, New Hyde Park, Great Neck, Sands Point, Manhasset, Port Washington, Muttontown, Plandome, Franklin Square, Malverne, Hewlett, Woodmere, Cedarhurst, Oyster Bay, Glen Cove, Roslyn, Mineola, Wantagh, Bellmore, Merrick, Seaford, Massapequa, Farmingdale, Island Trees, Melville, Huntington ,Cold Spring Harbor, Northport & East Northport, Centerport, Dix Hills, Deer Park, Commack, Islip, Smithtown, Hauppauge, Amityville, Lindenhurst, Babylon, Bayshore & all other Nassau & Suffolk towns) and Williamsburg / Greenpoint; & online resources to OCD sufferers worldwide. (for people who check, wash, save, with obsessions & compulsions or  'pure-o'  pure obsessions without visible compulsions.)

People often ask me "You have OCD, and YOU became a therapist? How did THAT happen?" Here's my story...   -Warren Barlowe
   Born in 1951, I have had OCD behaviors for many years before my self-recovery work. My parents were totally confused by my strange behaviors, and I knew nothing about OCD, just that I had these very scary thoughts and I HAD to think or do something to feel better. I felt totally out of control. and in the  1960's and the 1970's I went to therapists for many years to talk about this, but no one had any help for me. Some therapists even insisted there was no such thing as 'OCD' - "...you're just very insecure - get a hobby or some volunteer work and you'll feel better!" I did those and nothing helped.
   Then one day in the mid-1980's* my father saw a talk show on OCD. He called me and said that it looked so much like what I have, and that he recorded the show on a VHS cassette (that's how long ago I learned about OCD) and he wants me to watch it. I watched the tape and it was incredible! Other people talking PUBLICLY about these secrets! At the end of the show there was a phone number on the screen for help from an "OCD Foundation". I called and learned about support groups in my area. (*Today's SSRI antidepressant medications for OCD were first developed in the early 1980's, and that is what made it possible to treat OCD successfully. Before then, it was considered almost impossible.)
   I went to a support group for several years, learning a lot about OCD, but never really believing the people who raved about their doctors. They all sounded like a 'cult'! (difficulty trusting is a common problem caused by OCD.) Eventually, after years of procrastinating (another very common problem with OCD) I decided to try and see one of these specialists. We worked out a therapy plan, I understood how it works, and I followed it daily. After just one week of practicing the therapy exercises, I was able to do some things that I had not been able to do for many years! I returned to the support group and told my story and they all fell all over me with congratulations!
    I participated in that group for several years, listening and learning a LOT. I was excited by my recovery, but more importantly. I found the 'mechanics' behind OCD actually fascinating, and I read a lot and went to lectures and conferences about it. Soon I found myself answering new group members' questions about the condition, and how therapy and medication or a vitamin, used properly, can each make positive changes. I wanted to help these people. Over time, the original founders of the group moved on with their lives, and I took over facilitating the group that had helped me years ago.
   After about a year or so of talking to people and encouraging them to try therapy, several people asked me to help them do therapy. I said I couldn't; "I'm a sufferer myself with no formal training in this." They told me 'I don't want to hear that - you know your stuff better than my therapist. Please come to my home.' So I visited a few people and taught them the 'exposure-and-response-prevention' (ERP) techniques, and they started getting better! They offered to pay me for this, but I wouldn't accept it - 'I'm not a therapist', I said. (That's another common symptom of OCD - called 'hyper-morality' or the fear of taking unfair advantage of another person.)  They didn't want to hear that - and they insisted on paying me even if it
was just for the cost of gas to drive to them. The local Mental Health Association offered us a nice room for our group, and we met there for over 15 years.
   Word somehow got around on the internet, and people from California, New Mexico, Canada and Brazil were asking me to work with them over the phone, and I did, and they succeeded in recovering!  I came up with new ways to make the therapy non-threatening. Over time, many people asked me to work with them, and I began to believe in my ability to help. I began to see this as a possible new way to earn a living someday. (Beginning to believe in yourself is a major goal and sign of recovery.)
   The Long Island Press interviewed me for a
cover story on OCD in 2006, {the original article) or https://sites.google.com/site/lipresssecretsuffering/ (our permanent copy; click either one to read it) and Sally Jesse Raphael's TV show producers called me to discuss doing a show on OCD. Stony Brook University's radio station interviewed me on my work, and listeners calling me started telling me that their therapists referred them to me.
     I have helped at least 450 people learn to use the right therapy to recover from their OCD for over 25 years now. I feel that my own personal experience with OCD helps me to really understand our pain in ways few other therapists can, and my work on developing less threatening ERP therapy techniques may be one reason why I get so many successes. And I believe that actually sharing my very own true stories with others is very encouraging to them.
  [ Note: You will NOT find me (Warren Barlowe) in most "ESTABLISHMENT" THERAPY PROVIDER LISTINGS because, unlike 'licensed providers' who CLAIM TO KNOW ALL ABOUT OCD, I don't have those letters after my name. I just have a lifetime of experience with my own OCD.  The 'powers that be' in this country dictate that OCD therapists have to be psychiatrists, psychologists or licensed social workers. I do not have those degrees on top of my Bachelor of Science* in Special Education.. All I have is over 25 years' experience successfully using Exposure-And-Response-Prevention behavioral therapy (still the "gold standard" in OCD therapy) to help people with OCD affordably recover and live positive, productive lives. I guess that just isn't enough for our government and private insurance healthcare establishment. (And it prevents experienced specialists like myself from being able to accept your medical insurance. As a Long Island activist in mental health, I am trying to get that changed.) ]
*I wanted a career in helping people like myself to live better lives. At that time no one (including myself) knew there was such a thing as "OCD", but I knew something was 'wrong' with me. I had been in talk therapy much of my young life and it didn't help. I went to a special high school for kids with 'emotional problems' (that's what they called it back then) and met a lot of new friends with unique behavioral and thinking difficulties. (I'll bet many of them had OCD!) In my senior year I had an opportunity to help a special-ed teacher in a middle school classroom in that school, and the school arranged for me to teach that class, myself, one period every day for the entire school year, and I really got excited about doing this someday! After I graduated, I went to college to learn the field of special education and get my degree, the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Special Education, which is a unique, rare specialty. Most teachers have a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Education. I chose to take as many science and psychology and chemistry courses as I could, and I focused on studying the science behind the human learning process, which, it turns out, is the cornerstone of how OCD works and how it is treated successfully. For example, in my second year of college, I studied biochemistry and organic chemistry, which enabled me to understand the molecular structure of the brain cells (and eventually to understand the specific medications we take and how they work, and how they really do help in our recovery.) And in my fourth year of college, I had to register for a very boring statistics course called "Measurement and Evaluation in Education", which was designed to help teachers understand the timing, repetition practice, and testing that helps them decide how to structure the child's education. Little did I or my professor know that I eventually used this study, many years later in the 1990's, to re-structure the Exposure-and-Response-Prevention (ERP) process that is the key behind OCD recovery, and make the treatment much more comfortable for you! We who suffer from OCD incorrectly LEARNED to BELIEVE that our rituals will stop our anxiety, when it really is the time we spend doing the ritual, during which the brain gets 'tired' of the anxiety and feels less and less of it. True recovery involves understanding that. It requires us to 're-learn' that our worst fears will not happen even if we do NOT do our OCD rituals. No amount of "can't you just STOP that?" or "thought-stopping" or "punishment-and-reward behavior-modification" will accomplish this.

Someone recently contacted me, and asked me about self-harming obsessions (which are very common.) I replied back.....and then I decided I'd like to share my own story with YOU:

Hi <name>

   I have suffered from them too. I avoided certain things that I thought I could hurt myself with. At its worst, I was avoiding places I really wanted to go to, and opportunities for interesting things. As early as a teen, in electrical shop class, in 1963, I knew you could get a shock if you touched certain parts, and I had this strange feeling of scare/dare/scare/dare, where I'd look at the dangerous wires, move my hand close to them ('dare' myself) and then pull my hand back in horror that I would do such a thing ('scare'). I kept moving my hand closer and closer to the wire, then back, then even closer because I 'thought' (actually my OCD said)  I had to get as close to them as possible without actually touching the wires. I was totally concentrating on this obsession/compulsion, in pure terror, and did not do or learn anything the shop teacher was teaching the rest of the class. Eventually I actually DID touch them and got a strong shock. Then I 'thought' (my OCD said) "you did it once, but in order to complete the action, you had to do it AGAIN" so that one action was paired with a second one (2 shocks). I was terrified, but felt I had to 'even-out' the first shock (1 is an 'odd' number) by doing it a second time so it was an even number! I braced myself emotionally, scared of doing it but went through with it a second time! OUCH!! But I was relieved, but then I 'felt' (my OCD said) I had done JUST ONE complete even-number-pair, and I had to even THAT OUT by doing it a 3rd and then a 4th time so I'd have done an 'even pair of pairs'!! I did it, sweating profusely. Slightly relieved, but then my thoughts said (my OCD said) I have to do ANOTHER TWO PAIRS of shocks (5, 6; then 7 and 8th) in order to 'even it ALL out'! Eight shocks in total! I started to sweat, and cry, and I ran out of the classroom and hid in the bathroom. What was I hiding from? The wires? The shock opportunity? or hiding from myself? Who knew back then? Of course, not knowing anything about OCD (and OCD hadn't even been DISCOVERED yet by psychologists, who themselves would probably have called me crazy and not known ANYTHING about how to handle this 'mental patient'!). I was at a total loss.

  It would be 36 years until psychologists discovered OCD, and began to develop therapy experiments for it. ...Just 36 years, that's all.....and for every one of those 36 years, I struggled with similar fears and compulsions, just with different objects and different situations. [Side note - two years after the shock 'scare-and-dare' experience, I was expelled from public school for these 'strange' behaviors, and I found myself commuting by train daily to a special school for 'exceptional children' in New York City ...... and I got 'stuck' ......again...same scare/dare/scare/dare....this time on the thought of reaching out and touching the electric third-rail that powered the trains I was on. Fortunately, I never DID act on this.]

  Yes,....I've been there (stuck in those kinds of scary situations) and done that (and done that and done that and done that again!) so I know it well. Feel free to call me at 631-486-4818 anytime and we can talk about it (and maybe even share some of these strange and scary memories with each other, if you want.) There IS effective therapy for this exact kind of thing, called "Exposure-and-Response-Prevention" (ERP) behavioral therapy that anyone with OCD can do at home and recover from this torture in a few months.
   <client> has completed therapy! Has recently solved a major problem by themself, using the tools learned in therapy. Has realized they can be their own therapist and not need to be concerned about new OCD situations.

Clinical notes as of Feb. 20, 2019
   <Client> is finished working with touching the dirty bathroom sink. We are now working on "guilty feelings" (morbid obsessions)from the past.
Clinical Notes as of Jan. 14, 2019
   I am currently assisting the supervising dentist at the State University of NY / Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine's "Dental Phobia" division to make students aware of our psychiatric problems and fears. I have been a guest speaker there, 4 times, on a panel of persons with phobias over the past five years. He has asked me recently to help an extremely frightened patient overcome her fear of dental work. (See "Dental Phobia" section below.) And he is asking me again to speak to new incoming dental students on our OCD fears of the dentist, this April.
*UPDATE: 4/3/18:
   I am currently working with parents of a 6-year old child, and they are getting good results.
*UPDATE: 4/8/18
   We are almost finished with this child’s recovery from OCD, and it has only been about 4 weeks since we started.

UPDATE: May 2018.
   This child has successfully recovered. End of therapy.

...and here are some congratulations to people I have helped:

July 20, 2017
EXCELLENT WORK, "T"! Those terrifying thoughts that held you in their grip are now just silly ideas; easy to ignore!

June 25, 2013
Great work, "S"! Yes, even an 11-year-old can learn and understand how to use Rational-Emotive Therapy, to avoid getting upset about
bad things that happen. And congratulations on learning how to be able to play alone, without Mom and Dad being in the same room!

June 25, 2013
CONGRATULATIONS to "B" on your successful recovery therapy outcome, and your new-found freedom and confidence!

Aug. 27, 2012
CONGRATULATIONS! I recently heard that one of my past clients, (who 'graduated' and is doing well in successful recovery from "Pure-O" OCD involving severe doubts
about personal straight sexual identity and preference), met the dream opposite-sex sweetheart, got engaged, and invited me to the wedding! After which, this very happy
person and elated parents & siblings all thanked me for 'saving <client>'s life!' , and assured me 'this happy day would never have happened without your help!!'

Aug. 22, 2012
CONGRATULATIONS to "M" on your recovery from 'Pure-O' OCD with therapy with Warren Barlowe! And best wishes in your chosen career and your new anxiety-free life!
...and here are some 'thank you' cards from people I've helped:

Nov. 9, 2017
Warren...Thank you again for all your help with <my husband>.
Sincerely, 'C' <his wife>.

Aug. 19, 2017
Warren. Again, a big thanks!
'T', (recovered from obsessions without visible compulsions, formerly called 'Pure-O'.)

Aug. 4, 2017
Thank you for your help. I just have to keep after [my husband] to do your [therapy] homework.
Sincerely, "C" (wife)

Dec. 1, 2016
Much improvement lately [in my son]!
Thanks so much!  -'T' (parent)

Aug. 9, 2015
<Name> is doing so well! Thanks! -

Jun 28 2015
You have given me so many tools and they're working so well! I
don't know how to thank you. It's amazing. I really always thought medication
was the only option but exposure and response therapy is a miracle. Thank you
from the bottom of my heart. -

May 2015
This person wrote to me from this website, saying:
"Looking for a therapist who understands."
We are now working together on this person's OCD issues, and today I get this note, intended to encourage others:
"Warren has provided me with the tools to
fight OCD. I have learned so much and have come so far in such a short time! I am forever grateful!"
[The following May and June notes were both from another client's mom.]
June 2015
Hi Warren –
I want to share this with you – because my son is a little “gun shy” of new
couselors, people, etc due to his ocd (I think)
when I asked him this morning how his visit went with you, he replied “Good”. 
Let me just say that is a 'ringing endorsement' for sure.
I am so happy and now I do believe the right person/counselor has come into
his life finally.
Talk to you soon
- (his mom)
[note - the large letters above were actually her own; I didn't change them.] - Warren

May 2015
Hi Mr. Barlowe-
I am confirming my son’s apt with you next Tuesday at your office in e.
northport – he looks forward to meeting with you.  I also thank you for our
conversation today – it made me feel so much better and with a lot of hope…
- [parent]

Thank you so very much for the apt  – <my son> is so thankful
someone REALLY understands, finally, his thought process.  He will be there
<next week>
Thanks, - [Parent]

April 2015
Hey Warren
I'm excited to work with you, and make real progress in overcoming my OCD!
Thank you.   -'M'

July 14, 2011
"John" 's Mom gave me your name and told me you were her son's salvation, I hope you will also be my son's.  As a parent I feel helpless.  Can you help my son?.
Nov. 9, 2009
Dear Warren,
I just wanted to thank you for the time you spent on the phone with me today regarding my son's OCD.
I have read about OCD a million times, looking for help, and trying to understand it  Thank you for taking the time
to explain to me in "regular people" terms, how it works!  Finally, after listening to you for a few minutes  today.....I GET IT !
You were a world of information.
Thank you so much
'L. K.

Feb.8,  2011                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Warren, Evan and I are doing great, we use our [RET practice] sheets and talk each day. We are fabulous and happy.  Although we were always  happy,  we  just  needed to
better understand each other!  Thank you! We will call you if need be and you can always use us as a reference!

Dec. 2006
 You have been great! Thanks for everything.
                                    -Brianna; 13
 ...and from her mom:
Oct. 25, 2006
  You have been wonderful.
 Your words of wisdom have done wonders for us as a family as well. Words cannot express how much you mean to Brianna and I. You have been a blessing..Thank you,
thank you!
 Brianna feels great about herself after this evenings' session by the way!
Have a nice nite.
  Sincerely,  Nicole M. =)    Long Island, NY  

  I was just reading your member directory information...And wanted to tell You, that I Admire you very much in the work you are doing to help people...My daughter had this
problem at one time, but I had no idea what she was suffering from...I am sending You My Deepest Compassion !!!  If there is anything I can do, please e-mail me back and
let me know...
This world needs so many  more people like yourself that gives with such wamness....God has given us so much and most all other people seem never to care...  
Have a Great Day !!  -Mary" 
On 'Pure-O', or Obsessions without visible compulsions:
 "Oh my God! You may have hit the nail on the head. Thank you so much..... I just looked at it after an obsession was in my head not to finish my dinner. These mental
obsessionsstick with me ALL day and there is no [visible] compulsion to rid them, now I think you just told me how! [this is a person struggling with 'Pure-O', or Obsessions
without visible compulsions]
 Thank you so much." 
...and this, also on Obsessions without visible compulsions:
 "You are so right! Once I found a therapist who understood that my thoughts were, in essence, my ritual, we began to work on me resisting those thoughts or redirecting or
ignoring  my thoughts. Once that "light bulb" went off in my head, I began to get better, very quickly. I can relate to that WHAMMO experience you had."
"I believe the key is having a therapist who really understands OCD and all of its subtle nuances. It can take many different forms and a good therapist will get creative and
 tailor a program to fit the client." 
 "Hi Warren
  Thanks for thinking of me.  You haven't heard from me b/c I have been doing very well OCD wise. Am enjoying the fruits of the work we have done. Have been doing my best
  to catch any "slips".   Was telling my family how amazing it is to be able to enjoy things, appreciate them as they happen and not have to run to the bathroom all the time to
  wash my hands. I told them you have no idea how much simpler life gets when you are able to use a public washroom without feeling totally contaminated all day.
  They asked what happened to cause all this "recovery". I told them it was working with you.
  I said I had read all about the things to do to get better but your telephone therapy coaching really made it happen. Thanks for that.
  I still think they have a hard time truly appreciating how far I have come but I guess that is partly my fault b/c I hid so much from them. Truly I don't think they could have
  handled any more. You are the only one, along with me, who can truly appreciate the progress.
  Have noticed that my brain seems to be freeing up a little more as I am able to listen to people in a conversation. Feel more like I am there during it if you know what I mean.
  Still working on that.
  I do try to keep up on the tools I have learned by reading, once in a while so as not to research it to death, the internet.  I am at the end of my to-do list. Only two things
  items left. Have broken them into steps and working on them."
-Deb B., Saskatchewan Province, Canada  [I worked with this client living in Canada by phone.]

Dear Warren - I have been blessed with you in my life. Thank you for all your guidance & support & strength that you have brought to my life.
I know that this is something that doesn't go away, but it doesn't mean life with misery, fear and burden anymore.
I can be happy & I am greatful for that & for you.
Keep faith - God bless you   -Nikki in N. Carolina

Dear Warren - We're so glad we met you. You're a wonderful person and we want to thank you for all
you have done so far.
Sincerely, Joanne,  John and our daughter Jessica

News as of August 4, 2020:
Aug. 2020 THROUGH May 2021: S.A.D. ALERT:...If you soon begin to feel a bit MORE DEPRESSED: It's not necesarily because a cure for COVID 19 hasn't been developed yet, or  the warm summer weather is almost over, or going back to school or studying at home is scaring you, or your friend or boss is having second thoughts....  It may just be Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a neurobiological annomoly that interferes with some of us (myself included) needing sunlight to feel good. This is science; specifically astronomy: Because of the constantly changing position of the Earth in its orbit around the Sun, the Northern Hemisphere soon will be receiving less sunlight than it does during the summer. Outdoor sunlight in the NY area will become NOT BRIGHT ENOUGH to mitigate the depression of SAD,  so you'll need to start or continue to use a special bright SAD lamp for 30 mins daily again until next May, 2021. (Sitting outside in the autumn sunlight all day, or normal home or office lighting is still much too weak to do this.) For more on these lamps and to try one in your home, call me at 631-486-4818 or email me at woodge1@hotmail.com . (Note: I do not sell these lamps;  this is NOT an advertisement for them. I have a few of these lamps and I'lI lend one to you if you want to try it.  You don't need a prescription to borrow one, but if you find the lamp helpful, you may want to purchase one from a company that makes them. Your medical insurance MIGHT cover the cost if your prescribing professional writes a prescription or a letter stating that your MEDICAL CONDITION needs this.) Some people with SAD find relief from it by using the medication Welbutrin. I can't prescribe medication; ask your prescribing professional about this.
    If you find yourself feeling more depressed after mid-August every year, ask your psychiatrist if s/he noticed a yearly pattern of depression ; if you have SAD, this is when you need to use your lamp. This is a yearly cycle.

    Children with OCD: I am an OCD Peer Behavioral Therapy coach, utilizing family engagement. I am teaching Exposure-and-Response-Prevention behavioral therapy (the evidence-based effective therapy for OCD) to adults, and parents of young children, who then carry out the therapy process with their kids. Anyone in their family is welcome to support, assist, and teach the process. This way, the child is not facing a stranger/therapist, but is instead learning from a parent or sibling they trust. I do the parent training weekly by phone, with calls between training sessions to adjust details and address any difficulties.

Clinical Notes as of 4/3/18:
   I am currently working with parents of a 6-year old child, and they are getting good results.
*UPDATE: 4/8/18
   We are almost finished with this child’s recovery from OCD, and it has only been about 4 weeks since we started.
UPDATE: May 2018.
   This child has successfully recovered. End of therapy.

3/15/2018 update:
and read the information in the section: "WHAT IS OCD?" further down on this page in THE READING ROOM.
...and--Read a parents' guide to ADHD and how it differs from OCD: 

NEWS:  Feb. 5, 2018
The concept of in-home therapy for children with OCD , (being researched at The Pediatric Anxiety Research Center (PARC) at the Bradley/Hasbro Children’s Research Center) has been awarded funding to proceed to prove that what I do with children with OCD in their homes is as or more effective than in-office therapy.
Editor's note: ------- THIS is what I DO.------------
From the LIFESPAN article dated January 29, 2018:
"Innovative model expected to increase care access and improve outcomes"
"The Pediatric Anxiety Research Center (PARC) at the Bradley/Hasbro Children’s Research Center, has received a $3.4 million funding award from The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to compare patient-centered (primarily in the home/community) to provider-centered (primarily in the office) outpatient treatment for kids with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). The aim of the study is to devise an alternative outpatient treatment model featuring a bachelor’s [degree] level clinician (like myself), or mobile exposure coach (I've done that too), working in conjunction with PhDs to conduct in-home therapy visits.

“We know from our research and work with pediatric patients that exposure therapy is a highly effective behavioral treatment for anxiety and OCD, but it is very challenging for kids and families to practice those skills at home,” said Jennifer Freeman, Ph.D., director of research and training at PARC and the study’s principal investigator. The current outpatient treatment model for youth with anxiety disorders includes shortages of appropriate providers, logistical problems with getting to treatment, and trouble getting an adequate dose of exposure treatment in the home. “We’re exploring creation of a comprehensive patient care model that delivers home-based exposure coaching at an outpatient level of care to better meet the needs of families with anxious children.”

PS: I have been providing exactly this model of therapy for over 25 years. It is not new. But it is now finally gaining professional clinical recognition.
Read the entire article about the awarded study at https://www.lifespan.org/news/34-million-fund-anxiety-ocd-outpatient-treatment
Lifespan, Rhode Island’s first health system, is a comprehensive, integrated, academic health system affiliated with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.]

Thank you for WISHING ME LUCK with my treatment 3 months ago!!!
UPDATE: December 11, 2018: I returned to Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine for a routine 6-month follow-up check-up, and while I was in 'the chair' awaiting the exam, the Director of the Dental Phobia Program came by and asked me If I would talk with another patient, who has a severe fear of the sound of the drill. Of course I would, I said! I knew exactly what would be helpful and I planned to start as soon as they needed it. I felt honored to be asked for this kind of therapy help.
UPDATE: March 15, 2018: The resident dentist at Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine, who has been working on my 'case' as part of
her residency, has chosen ME, (out of about 40 patients) to be her CASE PRESENTATION at the end of her residency!
['poster child' LOL!]
UPDATE: February 22, 2018: I am now finished with all my long-neglected dental work, oral surgery, extractions, etc. etc....
The dental professor and dentist who supervised the dentist working on me now calls me 'the POSTER CHILD" for dental phobia! And I have been invited AGAIN to speak to new dental medicine students next month about anxiety, dental phobia and how OCD tortures us when we consider going for medical treatment. I hope this experience helps the future dentists-in-training to help people like us (with anxiety, fear, dental phobias and OCD) to receive treatment without fear.
Oct. 20, 2017  NEWS
: As part of our ongoing Dental Phobia therapy research project, I am now undergoing a series of weekly dental appointments at the SUNY Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine, where I am collaborating with Dr. Mark Slovin, DDS, director of the school's Dental Phobia program.. I am learning to experience and undergo dental work (getting an injection of novocaine and drilling and filling cavities) which only a few years ago would have been a terrifying, dreaded thing to be avoided at all cost! My fear is the pain of the needle. (And from what I have read, if YOU also fear the injections, that turns out to be the MOST COMMON dental phobia. THAT was reassuring to find out I'm not alone in this fear!) My phobia experience could be described like this: Imagining being tied down on a conveyor belt which is slowly and unstoppingly moving me closer and closer to a machine that I know will be torture! I can't escape unless I cancel the appointment, in which case I feel terribly guilty that I couldn't do it and opted out. That's EXACTLY what I used to feel 2 weeks before an appointment. I was counting down the HOURS and MINUTES I had left before the appointment, dreading the time passing each day as the appointment drew closer.
  My colleague and research partner is undergoing dental work also at the same time as myself. She doesn't have the same phobia of needles and injections. Hers is a fear of choking on the suction tube. We are participating in this project where we alternate weeks - one week she goes and I'm there to support her, the next week I go and she's there to support me. It's been successful so far for me, having had 3 procedures over the past 2 months. Today is her appointment, but she's got a 'lot on her plate' today and doesn't feel ready to go. I VOLUNTEERED TO TAKE HER APPOINTMENT TODAY ON JUST 3 HOURS' NOTICE!!! I will have another cavity drilled and filled (they call this 'restored' now) in about 2 hours. What, me wanting to go to the dentist????  Yes....well, I'm not thrilled and looking forward to 'enjoying  it', but I'm going to do it for the practice. This will be a first for me. WISH ME LUCK - but I think I'll get through it, thanks to the Dental Phobia therapy treatment project we are pioneering. Read more about this project further down on this page. And, yes, I am available if YOU want to overcome this phobia. Call me at (631) 486-4818.
Update: Oct. 21, 2017: Yes, I got through it. Not much more difficult than getting a haircut!
Update: Jan. 25, 2018: It's all done!!!  Had 6 teeth 'restored' (cavities drilled and filled), 7 teeth extracted; all extraction sites now healed with no discomfort! (Each healing period took about 5 days.) Ready now for partial dentures next month, or implants some time in the future.
I am available if YOU want to overcome this phobia. Call me at (631) 486-4818.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017: The NY State Office of Mental Health has put together this collection of articles on STIGMA:
"Several Articles about the Stigma of Mental Illness---If you don't have time to read the articles, please take a second to read the quote from Prince William that we highlighted." Find the articles below in the Reading Room Advocacy for OCD section, under Social and Lifestyle with OCD

New Article: Sunday, Mar.19, 2017:
You've found a therapist who has OCD HIMSELF - so he UNDERSTANDS YOU!
NEW ARTICLE: Should your OCD therapist participate in your Exposure-and-Response-Prevention "exposures"? (I do.)

"Mental Illness" and Gun Violence: What you can do Right Now:

An article about stigma surrounding mental illness and the Oct. 2015 Oregon school  shooting. This applies to the recent shooting in Florida as well.
NEW: Scientific experts have developed the
Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO), a law that allows law enforcement and family members to temporarily remove firearms from a loved one in crisis. ERPO-style laws have passed in Connecticut, Indiana, California, Oregon, and Washington, and is based on data-driven behavioral risk factors for dangerousness rather than a diagnosis. Focusing on behavior helps identify individuals at risk of violence towards themselves or others without unfairly stigmatizing those living with mental illness, the vast majority of whom will never be violent. Read more at https://medium.com/@_CSGV/what-you-can-do-right-now-about-gun-violence-prevention-3f821a036b9

I've also added some diagrams , to help you show people how your OCD scares you ... things that only WE can understand . . you can print them out to show people.

Welcome to the Reading Room! I am in the process of re-arranging the articles in our website so you can easily find what you need, based on how OCD affects your life. Look for the blue squares on this site: they are the topic headings. Topics include:

 Helping loved ones who struggle with OCD

  What is OCD?

  Feeling OK about yourself living with OCD

 How can I recover from OCD? Therapy

 How OCD Makes me Suffer - Articles grouped by 'symptom'

 Social and Lifestyle with OCD

 OCD & School 

 OCD & Work

 OCD & Family

OCD & Love Relationships

 OCD & Children

 Advocacy for People with OCD

 Project Space (OCD Research, new OCD medications, related Art & Culture, Creating the Future of OCD, etc.)

Subscribe to alerts when site is updated: Scroll to bottom; click Recent Site Activity & click Subscribe to changes in upper left corner.

If you find this page helpful, please click the "g+1" button, and other people concerned about OCD will find the page even more easily.

Use these diagrams to help others understand you. You may print them out.

Support Program for "Worriers"
Doubter's Anonymous - [note: this is NOT OCA Anon]. Faith-based group meets at a church. [ NOTE - these groups are not run by me] - they say "Join us for this 4 part series to help people struggling with doubt, meets consecutive Sundays, each session has a different theme. Themes are bout with doubt, doubting God's goodness, I doubt God will do it for me, and I doubt God can use me, respectively."
South Bay Bible Church  578 Montauk Hwy.   East Moriches - 11940
Tel: 631-909-8241  Times: 9 & 11 AM

Hoarding/Cluttering: "Clutters Anonymous", a self-group based on 12 steps, meets every 1st and 3rd Friday of the month at the Community Reformed Church in Manhasset. There are no fees or dues for membership and meetings are open to all who wish to rid their lives of clutter.

 Helping loved ones who struggle with OCD

YOU may be the KEY to someone's NEW LIFE.

Many people with OCD live in a silent prison in their mind. He or she may live at home, with friends, on the street or even in the prison of jail or a mental "treatment" facility.

Many of these places have no idea how to "help" people with OCD.

There IS help and hope. YOU may be the person who gives him our OCDHelpline phone number: (631) 486-4818. Over the phone, she can learn of effective self-help treatment. He can discover he's not 'crazy' and certainly not alone. Our volunteer can give her emotional support, strength, and hope. Imagine... you can help someone change his life. And she will remember forever the day you gave her this number. 

(PS - SOME people do NOT want help or are not ready. Be careful not to try to 'save' or 'rescue' this person. Many times family members drag their UNWILLING kids/parents/spouse in for me to 'cure' them.  This is almost always useless. This only creates anger between people. Bring someone help IF and WHEN THEY ASK FOR IT. This often takes YEARS.This will ONLY work if and when THEY are ready and REALLY WANT HELP.)

* HAVE AN OCD QUESTION? CALL WARREN at the LI OCD HelpLine 631-486-4818.

 What is OCD?

What is OCD? Here's a good quick intro.. (and read what happened to "Bob" and "Sue"!)

OCD cannot be "cured" yet*, but thanks to recent developments in medicine and psychology, you can now learn to live without the agonizing worry, anxiety and compulsive "rituals" that paralyze us. The World Health Organization classifies OCD as one of the top ten most debilitating illnesses, yet it is often considered a mild, quirky or even amusing affliction. OCD sufferers worry that people will think they are "crazy" and so do not always seek help. This has led to a lack of public awareness. You are not "crazy", and you're not alone. *Research on curing OCD is made possible by funding raised by groups like the people at the OCFoundation.   Your continued support will someday eliminate this torture.

       'The World Health Organization classifies OCD as one of the top ten most debilitating illnesses, yet it is often considered a mild, quirky or even amusing                 affliction. OCD sufferers worry that people will think they are 'mad'; (British slang for 'crazy') and so don't always seek help. This has led to a lack of public                    awareness. The devastating effects of the widely misunderstood mental illness, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) are being exposed by the charity,                   OCD Action.' --Epoch Times, Feb. 18, 2013
         ARTICLE: DEC. 23, 2013 What does it really feel like to have OCD?
          See the diagrams above, (you can print them out and use them to help others understand you!)
         Is it OCD, or just a phobia or anxiety?  There are many 'faces' of anxiety, and the correct treatment depends on correct diagnosis.

         ARTICLE: Anorexia? No... this is how it's so easy to misdiagnose OCD:
          AFTER spending more than four hours cleaning the kitchen before she would allow herself to eat, a Carmarthen woman has spoken out about her battle with
          anorexia and OCD.
           Manon Haf Lewis, of Johnstown, is using her experiences with mental health to encourage others not to be ashamed to talk about what they are going through.
          The 24-year-old has spent the past 10 years battling with both anorexia and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
          She said: "I have suffered with anorexia for 10 years and for a long time I found it very difficult to admit that I had a problem.
          "I was ashamed of it and of the stigma that surrounds mental health."
          Manon said her battle with anorexia goes back to when she was at school.
          "It started in school. I was diagnosed when I was 14."
          Manon said she would go to the library to do work during her lunch break instead of having dinner. "If I failed my exams I would not be allowed to eat.
          I felt like I had to punish myself," she said.
          Manon battled all the way through school and through two attempts to study at university — the first being a dental technician course at Kings College London in 2007.
          Manon's anorexia and OCD has led to her spending up to 18 months in hospital —  at an eating disorder hospital in England and at a hospital in Carmarthen.
          Talking about her OCD Manon said: "Before I would eat everything had to be clean.
           I would spend about four hours cleaning the kitchen before I would even start  thinking about eating food.
           "It got so bad that I would only have half hour in the day because all my time was spent cleaning."
           Barlowe says "This is NOT an 'eating disorder'. Manon had an obsession that if she failed her exams, she could not let herself eat.
           So she would skip lunch in order to study very hard so she could avoid failing. Of course she lost weight in the process.
           But the 'professionals' misdiagnosed the weight loss in her problem as Anorexia. But Manon was NOT trying to lose weight, to be thin, to like her body image.
           She was compulsively studying to an extreme, and she was willing to forgo eating to have more study time.
           And she also felt that if she failed, she had to compulsively 'punish' herself by not eating. Her OCD was telling her "What if you fail your exam?"
           See those two words 'what if'? That's the signature of OCD. And as we all know, OCD frequently changes obsessions - then it became cleaning.
           Before eating  everything had to be clean. The 4 hours she spent cleaning was her compulsive behavior".
           "I worked with a young Long Island woman preparing to start college* who had essentially the same kind of pattern", says Barlowe:
           "if she didn't do something  perfectly, she couldn't eat. She had to count the peas or beans or cereal on her plate and it absolutely had to add up to a certain 'safe'
           number, before she could allow herself to eat. She WASN'T on a diet to lose weight. She had to do things perfectly or she couldn't eat. Misdiagnosed with Anorexia,
          'professionals' tried to help her address her diet to change her behavior and gain some weight, and it didn't work. It was only after I recognized the OCD "perfection"  
, and helped her to use Exposure-and-Response-Prevention behavioral therapy to break it and allow imperfections in her life, that she began to gain back her 
           normal weight. *Update; May 31, 2014:  she has graduated college now, with honors, is working in another state and doing quite well. We are continuing to talk by 
           phone. See above article (June 6, 2014); "Why it doesn't pay to be a Perfectionist".
          RECENT ARTICLE: July 21, 2015: Read more at http://www.childmind.org/en/posts/articles/2013-1-29-more-picky-eating
          And read this article in the Wall St. Journal: "When Healthy Eating Calls For Treatment:
          A Desire to Eat ‘Clean’ [or refusal to eat specific] Food Can Become an Obsession

        NEW: as of 3/15/2018 - Read a parents' guide to ADHD and how it differs from OCD:   

            Dec. 19, 2012 - Mistaking OCD for ADHD has serious consequences. Often confused, misdiagnosis can jeopardize patient care, warns Tel Aviv University researcher

            And below is the link to the article below:

            Mistaking OCD for ADHD has serious consequences. On the surface, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appear very similar, with impaired                              attention, memory, or behavioral control. But Prof. Reuven Da of Tel Aviv University's School of Psychological Sciences argues that these two neuropsychological disorders have very different roots — and there are                    enormous connsequences if they are mistaken for each other.

      Prof. Dar and fellow researcher Dr. Amitai Abramovitch, who completed his PhD under Prof. Dar's supervision, have determined that despite appearances, OCD and ACHD are far more different than alike. While groups of               both OCD and ADHD patients were found to have difficulty controlling their abnormal impulses in a laboratory setting, only the ADHD group had significant problems with these impulses in the real world. According to                Prof. Dar, this shows that while OCD and ADHD may appear similar on a behavioral level, the mechanism behind the two disorders differs greatly. People with ADHD are impulsive risk-takers, rarely reflecting on the                  .. consequences of their actions. In contrast, people with OCD are all too concerned with consequences, causing hesitancy, difficulty in decision-making, and the tendency to over-control and over-plan. Their findings,                 ....  published   in the Journal of Neuropsychology, draw a clear distinction between OCD and ADHD and provide more accurate guidelines for correct diagnosis. Confusing the two threatens successful patient care,                           ....warns Prof. Dar, noting that treatment plans for the two disorders can differ dramatically. Ritalin, a psychostimulant commonly prescribed to ADHD patients, can actually exacerbate OCD behaviors, for example. an OCD     .......patienr, prescribed it will only worsen symptoms.

        Separating cause from effect

        To determine the relationship between OCD and ADHD, the researchers studied three groups of subjects: 30 diagnosed with OCD, 30 diagnosed with ADHD, and 30 with no psychiatric diagnosis. All subjects were male with ..........a mean age of 30. Comprehensive neuropsychological tests and questionnaires were used to study cognitive functions that control memory, attention, and problem-solving, as well as those that inhibit the arbitrary impulses ..........that OCD and ADHD patients seem to have difficulty controlling.

        As Prof. Dar and Dr. Abramovitch predicted, both the OCD and ADHD groups performed less than a comparison group in terms of memory, reaction time, attention and other cognitive tests. Both groups were also found to    .........have abnormalities in their ability to inhibit or control impulses, but in very different ways. In real-world situations, the ADHD group had far more difficulty controlling their impulses, while the OCD group was better able to   .........control these impulses than even the control group.

         When people with OCD describe themselves as being impulsive, this is a subjective description and can mean that they haven't planned to the usual high degree, explains Prof. Dar.

        Offering the right treatment

        It's understandable why OCD symptoms can be mistaken for ADHD, Prof. Dar says. For example, a student in a classroom could be inattentive and restless, and assumed to have ADHD. In reality, the student could be   ........distracted by obsessive thoughts or acting out compulsive behaviors that look like fidgeting.

        "It's more likely that a young student will be diagnosed with ADHD instead of OCD because teachers see so many people with attention problems and not many with OCD. If you don't look carefully enough, you could make .........a mistake," cautions Prof. Dar. Currently, 5.2 million children in the US between the ages of 3 and 17 are diagnosed with ADHD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, making it one of the most  .........commonly diagnosed neuro-developmental disorders in children.

         The correct diagnosis is crucial for the well-being and future trajectory of the patient, not just for the choice of medication, but also for psychological and behavioral treatment, and awareness and education for families and   .........teachers.

         Contact: George Hunka
         American Friends of Tel Aviv University

      Feeling OK about yourself living with OCD

NEWS: The Mental Health Community, in its ongoing efforts to fight the stigma of mental illness, has replaced the 1990's old word 'CONSUMERS' with the wording 'PERSONS WITH LIVED MENTAL HEALTH EXPERIENCE' . The word "Consumers" implies you are using the services of a provider. This is a disrespectful invasion of personal privacy. The LI OCD website has been updated to reflect this change in attitude. (And there is another conversation underway right now as I am writing this, to improve EVEN THAT new terminology so that people with psychiatric disabilities can feel more like those 'chronically-normal' people out there! See http://www.inclusionproject.org/nip_userfiles/file/People%20First%20Chart.pdf )
Article: July 8, 2014: How you think about "how you think" can really influence your mood, your level of depression, and your outcome from OCD therapy: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/rethink-your-thoughts-about-thinking/

Warren's Therapy Tip of the Week - Anxiety over the start of winter, school projects and papers, national emergencies, what is happening here and in other parts of the world (American mid-term elections, politics, wars, natural disasters, extreme weather) can exacerbate OCD. So can success in your recovery; your life; your career. OCD reacts badly to stress from any changes in life; good or bad.  Use your RET (Rational-Emotive Therapy) techniques to stop upsetting yourself over things you have no control over.  This should be discussed in OCD Support Group meetings and in effective therapy sessions.

 How can I recover from OCD? Therapy:

['may'? There is nothing new about this - it's been the gold standard for OCD therapy for over 20 years.]

How to find a competent, effective OCD therapist

NEW: How to Evaluate your ERP Therapy - Excellent, 'right-on-target' advice to help you know you're getting the right help! -Warren

     Posted on June 7, 2015 by Janet (ocdtalk)

by stuart miles freedigitalphotos.net

photo by stuart miles freedigitalphotos.net

 I believe one of the most difficult aspects of obsessive-compulsive disorder is finding the right treatment. Evidence-based exposure-and-response-

prevention (ERP) therapy, a type of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is the first-line treatment for the disorder, and it works. Yet so many people

(including therapists), have never even heard of ERP. I am doing my best, along with other advocates for OCD awareness, to spread the word.

But knowing that ERP therapy is what you need is only half the battle. The other half is finding a good therapist who is properly trained in ERP and

really knows how to utilize it correctly. Imagine thinking you are getting good ERP therapy when in actuality you’re not. You wonder why you’re not

getting better; after all, ERP is supposed to work. Maybe you’re even feeling worse. You worry that your OCD is not treatable, or 'treatment-

resistant'. After all, ERP is the gold standard for treating OCD.  You lose hope.

So how do you know if you are getting good ERP therapy?

In this wonderful article, Finding the Right OCD Therapist, we are given some great suggestions on how to find a good OCD therapist, including

questions to ask and things to look for in a health-care provider. What I think is particularly helpful is the last section of the article which lists some

ways to evaluate the effectiveness of your ERP therapy. We are told that good OCD therapists:

  • Collaboratively create hierarchy items WITH YOUR INPUT(organized lists of things we get 'stuck' on; arranged in order of difficulty.)
  • Collaboratively choose exposures and agree on specifics. A therapist should not force you to complete an exposure.
  • Individually tailor treatment for you. Even standardized treatment is not a "one size fits all".
  • Do not provide reassurance that will temporarily reduce anxiety and interfere with natural habituation and learning.
  • Identify rituals that get in the way of progress, (mentally reassuring yourself, mentally undoing/neutralizing the exposure, distracting, or counting silently.)
  • Get at the core fear. As therapy comes to the successful end, (NEVER AT THE BEGINNING), choose exposures at the top of the hierarchy
  •  that go “above & beyond” normal situations to fully target core fear, without being unsafe, harmful, or  outside of what is accepted in your culture or religion.
  • Help you grow into the role of becoming your own therapist. [Learning relapse-prevention. -Warren]

When my son left his intensive residential treatment program we connected with a therapist who told us he specialized in treating OCD with ERP therapy.

Once we heard that, my husband and I didn’t ask any questions or request any specifics about his approach. I realize now how incredibly lucky we were,

as this psychologist turned out to be an excellent therapist with extensive experience using ERP. Of course, not everyone is so fortunate.

If you are in the process of looking for a therapist, or things aren’t going well with your current health-care provider, please take a few minutes to look

 at the above-mentioned article. It could help steer you in the right direction – toward the road to recovery from OCD.             

OCD MYTHS and non-truths:                    

There are many people who do not know how to treat OCD, and there are many professional-looking websites that offer the wrong information.

Here is one example from a professional site that LOOKS very educational:

https://www.verywell.com/psychological-therapy-for-ocd-2510628?utm_source=exp_nl&utm_medium=email&utm_term=list_ocd&utm_campaign=list_ocd&utm_content=20150510  )

  Untrue "Drawbacks"

Although ERP behavioral therapy is highly effective for about two-thirds of people who complete treatment, some people believe there are drawbacks, including:

  • ERP Behavior therapy involves facing your worst fears. Many patients dropout before treatment is complete. NOT TRUE
  • ERP Behavior therapy is hard work and requires completing homework in between sessions. NOT TRUE
  • ERP Behavior therapy may not be that effective for people who experience primarily obsessions without compulsions." NOT TRUE


  • ERP therapy means starting with your least-disturbing thoughts. A skilled therapist can be valuable here in building a compassionate treatment plan.
  • Most patients complete ERP behavior therapy successfully when it is done in gradual steps..
  • ERP behavior therapy is fairly easy, taking only about 5 minutes, 4 times a day. Real recovery DOES require completing homework in between sessions.
  • ERP works for people with obsessions without visible compulsions, (once called 'pure-O'. There's no such thing as "obsessions without compulsions.")
 "I've been in therapy for a long time, but I'm STILL not getting better. Why?"
Call me and I'll help you figure out why it's not working as well as it should. For no charge. (631) 486-4818.
And get involved in your local activists' efforts at improving access to good healthcare.

Watch the film "The King's Speech" and see how effective
a para-professional therapist can be, even without an advanced degree or license.
Raeanne Dumont is another effective behavioral para-professional therapist, located in
Staten Island, N.Y., and the author of "The Sky Is Falling". 
(Call Warren at the OCDHotline: 631-486-4818 to learn how to choose a therapist
for the proper short-term therapy for OCD that will result in recovery).

Can you find the errors in the treatments descibed here? "Rituals define OCD"
 How OCD Makes me Suffer - Articles grouped by OCD 'symptoms' (in red)

OK...here it is...what everyone thinks OCD is: HANDWASHING

Video on Handwashing

"FOMO" - ("fear of missing out") - reading friends' Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. & obsessing about "what am I missing out on?"

(as WCBS TV reported; May 12, 2015)

"I'm sorry....(did they hear me?)... I'M SORRY!  ..... (I still feel bad)..I'M REALLY SORRY!! " All about compulsive apologizing.

 BOOK ON HIV OBSESSION: Why OCD Is 'Miserable': A Science Reporter's Obsession With Contracting HIV
  Read story:
 Or you can listen to the story: there is a link on the page.  You can even read an excerpt from his book:


PICKY EATING or AVOIDANCE of certain foods

Recent Article as of July 21, 2015: http://www.childmind.org/en/posts/articles/2013-1-29-more-picky-eating

Recent article (Nov. 17, 2014) "When Healthy Eating Calls For Treatment: A desire to eat ‘Clean’ [or refusal to  eat specific] food Can Become an Obsession(in the Nov. 17  Wall St. Journal) http://online.wsj.com/articles/when-healthy-eating-calls-for-treatment-1415654737?mod=e2tw

        June 6, 2014  "Why it Doesn't Pay to be a Perfectionist" with comment by Warren Barlowe.

 "When LOOKS are EVERYTHING: 'Selfies' and Social Media can aggravate Body Dysmorphic Disorder" 
(or "imagined ugliness"...how do I look?)

When Is Exercise an Addiction or Healthy Lifestyle Choice? Individuals With Exercise Addiction Often Struggle
 With Co-occurring Disorders; (OCD) 15 to 20 Percent of Exercise Addicted Individuals Are Also Dependent on Nicotine, Alcohol, or Illicit Drugs

Article: Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013: Anorexia? No... this is how it's so easy to misdiagnose OCD. (See below)

But 'what if' I don't just 'check' or 'wash my hands too much'? What if it's my 'racing thoughts? ("Pure-O")
  What if it's all in my head - obsessing and worrying? What if I DON'T wash my hands a lot?
This is still OCD. This used to be called 'Pure-O' - meaning purely obsessions but no obvious physical compulsions. It is now known that compulsions can be in the form
of thoughts, too
, like continuous repeated worrying, reviewing past events over and over, rehearsing future events, or thinking
special secret 'magical' words, numbers, songs
 or pictures. These thoughts are NOT OBSESSIONS. They are COMPULSIONS. 
 A therapist who is not confused by this, but who understands it, and who understands how to use Exposure-and-Response Prevention (ERP) behavioral therapy in gradual,
 non-threatening ways, can help treat it easily, and recovery doesn't take long. And a new support group is really needed now, especially for people with "Pure-O".
An article I read recently tried to sum up OCD, but completely missed the 'Pure-O' concept: 
It mentioned that "A critical feature in this disorder is an overinflated sense of responsibility, in which the patient's thoughts center on possible dangers and an urgent need
to do something about them. Over half of patients with OCD have obsessive thoughts without the ritualistic compulsive behavior."
I disagree with the statement that some patients with OCD have obsessive thoughts without the ritualistic
compulsive behavior. 'Obsessions' are intrusive, unwanted scary
thoughts that generate anxiety, and the sufferer feels an urgent need to invent a 'compulsion'; an action or internal thought that seems to 'neutralize' the obsessive thought
in a desperate attempt to end the anxiety. Every obsession is paired with a compulsion; what used to be called "pure o" (obsessions only) is a misnomer; the compulsions
can be invisible internal compulsive thoughts like worrying or reviewing past events, excessive praying, thinking special magical statements, words or numbers.
(If a person had obsessions without compulsions to attempt to reduce the pain and fear, they would believe they will never get relief and would suffer a lot more anxiety).
 I prefer to call this expression of OCD "obsessive thoughts without visible compulsions".
[I'm glad to see that the media is beginning to recognize this 'hidden' expression of OCD. Epoch Times, Feb. 18, 2013 features an article by Rosemary Byfield, explaining that
 "OCD has two parts: Obsessional thoughts and the compulsion to dampen those thoughts. The compulsion becomes a ritual like hand washing or checking the front door.
 It can also be a mental routine used to stifle a feeling of anxiety or stop a particular thought." IMPORTANT NOTE - we CAN NOT 'stop' the obsessive thoughts - everyone
has 'silly thoughts' - 'recovery' from OCD is learning how to 'ignore' these thoughts - see them as just thoughts - recovery is deciding to respond differently to the thoughts. We
"Exposure-and-response-prevention" (ERP) behavioral therapy is the only effective technique for "obsessive thoughts without visible compulsions". It's the same technique
used to successfully help people with visible compulsions. It can be accomplished successfully with a competent therapist, who knows how to make it non-threatening.  A skilled
 therapist can separate the obsessive thoughts from the compulsive thoughts.  Planning the non-threatening way to do this therapy process starts with having the sensitivity to,
and empathy for, the client's pain. (This does not mean telling you to 'stop worrying' or 'that will never happen to you'. That's NOT understanding.) A therapist with experience
will work with you and understand your different obsessive thoughts. This will enable them to chose the precise level of exposure that you can handle in reasonable comfort,
for each week's step in the process. 
FREE OF CHARGE - To talk about this struggle and the therapy for it, call Warren Barlowe at 631-486-4818 or email him at woodge1@hotmail.com .

 Social and Lifestyle with OCD

STRESS ALERT: OUR OCD MAY TEMPORARILY INCREASE due to our personal emotional excitement about winter, school or job assignments, the changing     weather, & responses to what's  happening in the news, national emergencies, politics, medical/dental appointments, and any new changes in your own life. We

should discuss how to deal with these concerns in online support groups and in therapy.

When Is Exercise an Addiction or Healthy Lifestyle Choice? Individuals With Exercise Addiction Often Struggle With Co-occurring Disorders; (OCD) 15 to 20

Percent of Exercise Addicted Individuals Are Also Dependent on Nicotine, Alcohol, or Illicit Drugs.

 -Dealing with Current Difficult Events in our lives-
 In light of the conversations around the school shootings and mental illness, we at LI OCD felt it would be
helpful to offer some articles, on a separate page, in support of our peers and those needing talking points. 

 OCD & School

1 New Article as of May. 2017:

OCD & Transitions - Graduation, coming home, starting life after school   

Not All Attention Problems Are ADHD
It's a common assumption, but there are other causes that are easily
overlooked, such as OCD 

What Does OCD Look Like in the Classroom?
How to recognize the signs a child is struggling, even if he is hiding his

(Note: the following 2 items* are part of advertising for a private NYC therapy center. OCD LI does not endorse this company.)

*Going Back to School after a Tragedy   http://www.childmind.org/en/posts/articles/2012-12-16-going-back-school-after-tragedy

*OCD: To Tell or Not To Tell? http://www.childmind.org/en/events/2013-1-8-tell-or-not-tell

 OCD & Work

A Story about 'Susan' and 'Bob', two fictional people suffering from OCD:
'Bob' loves his job, but his OCD is getting in the way. His job performance begins to suffer,                                              
 and his boss starts to lose patience.                                                                                                                                         
'Susan' loves her job, but her OCD is getting in the way. Her job performance begins to suffer,                                        
and her boss starts to lose patience.                                                                                                                                          
Bob talks to his regular counselor, who tries to learn about OCD by reading about it in old grad school                          
textbooks, and tries the wrong, scary techniques. He spends time talking with his trusted counselor,                             
snapping rubberbands on his wrist, listening to relaxation tapes, and taking anti-anxiety  drugs like Xanax & Valium.   Nothing works.                                                                                                                                                                               
Susan meets with an OCD behavioral therapy specialist, who identifies her problem areas, and sets up                       
the correct, non-threatening  treatment plan.                                                                                                                            
Bob waits a week until his next counseling session, and gets more frustrated at not getting any better.                          
Susan goes home and follows the easy instructions daily, and makes remarkably fast progress .                                    
Bob struggles with the wrong therapies for years, and his OCD just keeps getting worse.                                                  
Susan practices her therapy exercises daily, meets with her behavioral therapist weekly for more advanced                 
help, & recovers in just months.                                                                                                                                                    
Bob's uncontrolled OCD causes him to lose his job, and he retreats into a deep depression at home.                                
Susan's job performance improves dramatically, and she gets a promotion and a raise.                                                      
Learn how to find a competent OCD therapist anywhere. (This is Not an advertisement for Warren Barlowe.)

 OCD & Family

Feb. 2019 - Winter is here on Long Island.  
But storms still happen, and a disaster of that magnitude can bring incredible suffering.
Here is some advice from the American Red Cross:
 Coping with the aftermath of tornados, severe storms (and life after Hurricane Michael)

[Note: LI OCD does not endorse this information; we are not connected with the Red Cross.]

(Advice from the American Red Cross, on handling the anxiety of living in the affected area; "sheltering in place" rather than staying

in a storm shelter.)

Typical Reactions

 Understanding typical reactions to the experience of sheltering in place can help one to cope better.

  • Personal emotional reactions during difficult times are unique. Reactions of those who have experienced shelter-in-place emergencies
  •  have varied widely, ranging from feelings of stress to uncertainty or even fear.
  • During a shelter-in-place emergency, emotional reactions that may occur include the following:  
    • Anxiety, particularly when separated from loved ones
    • Uncertainty regarding how long one will need to shelter in place
    • Concerns for the physical safety of ourselves and others
    • Confusion or frustration regarding questions left unanswered by public officials or the media
    • Guilt about not being able to fulfill responsibilities, such as work, parenting or caring for dependents
    • Feelings of boredom or isolation
    • Thoughts of blame, worry or fear  
  • People who have sheltered in place for more than a few hours have also reported the following:
    • Concerns about meeting obligations and about lost income
    • Problems making decisions or staying focused on topics
    • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns

What You Can Do

Actions that will help protect emotional well-being during a shelter-in-place emergency include the following:

  • Remain informed, if possible, by checking in with local news sources. Take care, however, not to become overexposed to such sources.
  • Excessive or repeated exposure to media can increase feelings of stress, uncertainty and fear, especially in children.
  • Pay attention to your emotional health while sheltering in place, remembering that many different feelings are common. Know that others
  •  are also experiencing emotional reactions and may need time and patience to put their feelings and thoughts in order. Try to recognize
  • when you or those around you may need extra support.
  • Monitor your physical health needs. When sheltering in place for more than a few hours, remember to eat, rest and take regularly prescribed
  •  medications. Avoid alcohol or substance use.
  • Focus on positive actions you can take right away, such as taking an inventory of emergency supplies, obtaining accurate information and
  • providing support to others.
  • Try to maintain contact with family, friends and those around you. The telephone and the Internet can be helpful when physical separations
  •  become necessary.
  • Hold a picture in your mind of the best possible outcome. Make a list of your personal strengths and use these to help both yourself and
  •  others stay emotionally strong.
  • Maintain religious and/or spiritual practices that you have found to provide comfort and emotional strength.


Special Situations

  • Children: Be creative, and think of fun activities that will occupy your child’s time. Keep a schedule, set appropriate limits and maintain
  • usual rules of behavior.
  • If you are alone: The same tips for staying emotionally strong also apply if you are alone. If possible, try to connect with others and stay
  • informed.
  • Pets: Plan to shelter in place with them. If something is not safe for you, it is not safe for them. Like people, pets’ behaviors may change.
  • Keep track of their well-being and, as best you can, take care of their needs.


     OCD & Love Relationships

            [This new section is still 'under construction'].

 Doubting your relationship is real; doubting you love your partner... or if they love you. Doubting the relationship can survive while living apart. Doubting if they will still love you after

the pandemic is over. This is a form of OCD that I have my own  personal experience with. I feel it almost every day.

I have learned how it works, and how to beat it, and I am using these tools to this day. It responds well to Exposure-and-Response-Prevention behavioral therapy, just like all other

expressions of OCD.The doubts are the obsessions, and asking your partner for reassurance, or worrying about if your partner still loves you are typical compulsions. Worrying about how your partner feels  about you falls under the category of obsessions without visible compulsions, since you are not 'doing' any obvious rituals. In my search for articles for you to read to get

real help, I have come across one site that I would NOT recommend; https://www.relationshipocd.com/ because it is still in the 'dark ages', telling you to do 'thought-stopping' by

snapping a rubber band on your  wrist, or imagining a stop sign, both of which were already found to be useless almost 30 years ago! It encourages talk therapy, which we all know

doesn't work for OCD. It never mentions Exposure-and-Response-Prevention behavioral therapy. (This is one reason why searching for help online often leads to incorrect information,

despite the fact that the websites look very professional - unlike mine which is written by me, an amateur at website creation but an experienced treatment professional.)   

 Children with OCD
NEW as of 4/3/18:
I am an OCD Peer Behavioral Therapy coach, utilizing family engagement. I am teaching Exposure-and-Response-Prevention
behavioral therapy (the evidence-based effective therapy for OCD) over the phone, to parents of young children, who then carry out the therapy
process with their kids. Anyone in their family is welcome to support, assist, and teach the process. This way, the child is not
on the phone with a stranger/therapist, but is instead learning from a parent or sibling they trust. I do the parent training weekly by
phone, with calls between training sessions to adjust details and address any difficulties. I am currently working with parents of a
6-year old child, and they are getting good results.*
*UPDATE: 4/8/18

We are almost finished with this child’s recovery from OCD, and it has only been about 4 weeks since we started.
Update: May 2018
This child has now recovered from OCD. Therapy was successful and is now finished.

 You saw it on ABC 20/20 that Friday night - You saw the teens do miracles. Is it real? Yes! This is how YOU will succeed over YOUR
     The documentary was realistic. It honestly showed how the RIGHT therapy works. If you didn't get a chance to watch the show,
 watch it here online.
http://abc.go.com/shows/2020/listing/2014-05/23-2020-0523-the-children-who-break-away ,
And if you didn't get a chance after the show to tweet the therapists who helped them, you can ask me those questions on the phone.
And I'll answer them FREE. Right now. Just for YOU. Call (631) 486-4818. I understand you - I've been there myself with MY OWN OCD!
You can be  the next success story. And, YES...it only takes a few months! Just like what you saw on 20/20!
Children: Sometimes it's not just OCD.
We know how to identify OCD in many of its forms and expressions, and we know how to dramatically reduce the suffering through proven-  effective therapy. But OCD isn't always the only problem, even though it often causes a multiplicity of problems throughout a person's living  activity. Family dynamics and communication problems can exacerbate OCD, and can cause other unrelated suffering. Some non-OCD issues      can best be addressed through conversations with other parents who have been there and found solutions. It would be very helpful if there were experienced childhood counselors who were also parents of kids with family and friend issues in addition to OCD. Counselors with
years of experience working with children in educational settings and family issues.
But REST ASSURED - Unlike some well-known North Shore Long Island OCD therapy specialty centers, we will NEVER assign someone
who comes looking for help for OCD to a non-OCD professional or an inexperienced student intern just because 'the waiting list for
Barlowe is closed at the moment'. NEVER.
..is this Obsessive Compulsive Disorder?
" I'm 15 and I think I have OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). I have always been told that I act OCD by my friends because I have to put things in order all the
time. I just ignored them because I guess I didn't want to think of myself as having a mental disorder. I also didn't really know what the disorder actually was. I looked it up
and realized that I was basically reading about my life. I had so many of the symptoms that I didn't even know about. I have intrusive, violent thoughts (and sometimes
behavior), I put things in certain orders, I'm a HUGE germaphobic, I do things repeatedly because sometimes it just doesn't feel right the first time, I check things over and
over to make sure they're right, I have religious and sexual thoughts ALL THE TIME... I really do think I may have OCD, and I'm kind of scared because lately, I've been
having very bad intrusive thoughts. I've thought about suicide, I've been tempted to hurt my pets, and today, without even thinking, I pushed my baby sister down and
made her cry just because I felt like it. I'm not the kind of person to do these things, but I can't help it. My parents think I'm being a hypochondriac, but I really am worried
 about this. My anxiety has been theough the roof for the past month or two and I don't know what to do. They won't let me see a doctor because apparently it's just a
"teenage thing." Any help or advice at all would be really appreciated. I just don't know what to do."
For my answer, go to http://answers.yahoo.com/question/answer?qid=20130906183848AAVy4K9 and read the 3rd answer.

Advocacy for OCD & Mental Illness

NEW ARTICLES: Tuesday, May 30, 2017:The NY State Office of Mental Health (OMH) has released a
collection of articles on STIGMA and Mental Illness:

[MHANYS Update] Several Articles about the Stigma of Mental Illness---If you don't have time to read the articles,
please take a second to read the quote from Prince William that we highlighted.
Glenn Liebman <gliebman@MHANYS.ORG>


 This is the constant refrain we hear in the mental health community. The following stories continue to point out the impact of the stigma of mental illness. New York has been a leader in making inroads in recent years with the passage of a mental illness public awareness income tax check off bill, the mental health education in schools bills and hopefully this year with the passage of a      license plate bill, but we know there is much more that needs to be done.  We have attached portions of an interview in GQ United Kingdom featuring an interview with Prince William. A great quote from the interview states,

 “Smashing the taboo is our biggest aim. We cannot go anywhere much until that is done. People can’t access services till they feel less ashamed, so    we must tackle the taboo, the stigma, for goodness sake, this is the 21st Century." --Prince William


Also attached are two articles from New York involving stigma.  The first article highlights a recent survey from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield regarding perceptions about mental illness in upstate New York. While overall the survey results are encouraging, they      still fall far short of the empathy and support expressed for physical illness. The second article highlights the work of the MHA  in      Erie and MHANYS Board Member Karl Shallowhorn, in the work they are doing for the Just Tell One campaign. (Thanks to eagle eye stigma busters Jamie Papapetros and Bennett Liebman for finding these articles)

 Survey results identify empathy gap on mental health issues:

 UTICA — Sixty percent of upstate New York adults feel people are caring and sympathetic to those who suffer from mental illness, according to research findings issued recently by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. A closer look at the data reveals a less rosy view from people who have mental health issues. Using   self-reported survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield found that 46 percent of upstate New York adults who have a depressive disorder feel that people are generally caring and sympathetic to individuals with mental illness. “There’s an empathy gap when it comes to  mental illness,” Ann Griepp, M.D., Excellus BlueCross BlueShield medical director for behavioral health management, said in a media release. “Our analysis of public  survey data shines a light on the need for society to bridge that gap.” The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) defines mental illness as a condition that  affects a person’s thinking, feeling or mood, and may affect an individual’s ability to function and relate to others. “One in five U.S. adults experiences a    mental  health condition over the course of a year, making mental illness more common than cancer, diabetes or heart disease,” Griepp said  “The myths and the stigma   that surround mental illness can result in feelings of shame and isolation that can cause affected persons to deny symptoms, delay treatment, and refrain from  taking part in daily life.”

The CDC data show that four of five upstate New York adults agree that treatment can help people with mental illness. Mental Health America, a nonprofit that addresses the needs of those living with mental illness, promotes individual or group treatment for many who are diagnosed with mental illness. A variety of treatment options is available. According to NAMI, less than half of U.S. adults who had a mental health condition received treatment last year.
Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s review of the CDC data found that in upstate New York, 15 percent of adults are currently taking medication or receiving     treatment for mental illness. “People who suffer from a mental condition are less likely to seek and adhere to treatment for their illness,” Griepp noted, “and are     also less likely to adhere to treatment for such other chronic health conditions as diabetes, heart disease, respiratory conditions, arthritis and asthma. This puts   them at risk for health complications and a lower quality of life.” Medication reminders, such as pillboxes with alarms and smartphone notification apps, can help remind people of their need to take their medications as directed. “In addition to encouraging people who have a mental illness to get treatment, we can help     bridge the empathy gap by reframing how we think about mental illness,” Griepp said. “We can do that by seeing the person and not the illness, and offering him     or her support by saying, ‘We will get through this together’ or ‘I’m here for you.’” Griepp recommends initiating open and honest conversations about mental     illness to help close the empathy gap that exists between those who have a mental illness and those who don’t. “That includes starting conversations between patients and doctors, and among family members and loved ones,” she said. The World Health Organization and the World Economic Forum report that mental illness represents the biggest economic burden of any health issue in the world. They project that by the year 2030, mental illness will result in $6 trillion in associated health-care costs (two-thirds of which are attributed to disability and loss of work) worldwide.


View Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s analysis of CDC survey data online at http://tinyurl.com/mpyn3ba.

Download a free infographic poster, “Empathy and Mental Illness: Bridging the Gap,” at http://tinyurl.com/kpwetw7.

For an animated version of the infographic: https://youtu.be/nPHMuRLcOs4.


  Access to Mental Health Services Key to Reducing Youth Suicide Rates

By LaMonica Peters

Updated Monday, May 29, 2017 at 06:06 PM EDT

 BUFFALO N.Y. -- According to research from the National Alliance on Mental Illness, at least one in five teenagers

will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime.

Suicide is now the second leading cause of death for young people ages 10 to 24. 

Advocates in Buffalo Public Schools (BPS) say a 2015 survey showed 13 percent of high schoolers and 16 percent

of middle schoolers have seriously considered suicide. Social workers who counsel BPS students say parents need

to be more proactive and talk to their children about how they're feeling. 

"Please try to think of somebody in your life that you trust that you can tell something's going on," said

BPS Social Worker Lisa Boehringer. "I think as a school and all districts, not just Buffalo, have a responsibility to do

more suicide prevention and awareness."

Boehringer says more access to services for students, as well as parents, is key to reducing youth suicide rates.

Advocates at the Mental Health Association of Erie County say the resources are available, but people need to have

the courage to reach out. 

"We have a campaign called 'Just Tell One.' Justtellone.org is a website that you can go to for both young people as

well as parents and adults," said Karl Shallowhorn, director of Community Advocacy for the Mental Health

Association of Erie County and Compeer Buffalo. "So they can find out how to start that conversation, how to open

up and talk to someone, how to find that trusted adult. Also how to help that parent or even educator know how to

respond if someone comes to them to seek help." 

Boehringer says records showed nine percent of BPS high school students and eight percent of middle school

students attempted suicide in 2015.



  OCD Project Space (Research, new OCD medications, related Art & Culture, Creating Future Help for OCD)

            [Note: LI OCD is not connected with OCD NY or any of these treatment facilities. Our view is that many people with OCD who think they are 'treatment-resistant' have not done
           Exposure-and-Response Prevention behavioral therapy with an experienced, competent, caring professional. Most who DO get this help succeed and recover to full, productive
          And, as mentioned previously, we do not believe in using ancient, outdated terminology such as 'patient'. We have kept up with the times, and show the respect our peers deserve,
           and so we use the 21st century phrase 'Persons with Lived Experience with OCD", which has even replaced the old 1990's word 'consumers'. ]
OCD-related Arts & Culture:

  OCD-related Research:

     Dec. 1, 2014: Click here to read NEW RESEARCH:  3D Structure of Neuron-Connecting Synapse Molecules Discovered:
     Seeing microscopic structures may help developing new OCD Meds! We have been waiting for this for YEARS.

    Telegraph; Oct. 7, 2014 
    Dogs' Repetitive tail chasing
    Q: I have a three-year-old rescue terrier who has always chased his tail when he gets excited, but it’s getting worse. He now does it when I am doing something
     else and he feels ignored. It’s getting so bad that he even makes his tail bleed. What can I do?
     LA Tyne & Wear

     A: Repetitive tail chasing is a recognised type of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) but some vets believe it’s a variation of epilepsy, and some cases may be

     initiated by disease around the tail base (such as old trauma). No treatment is effective in every case: anti-anxiety medication helps some dogs; anti-epileptic

     medication others. Drug therapy needs to be combined with training techniques to distract him from tail chasing. The best answer is to talk to your vet about a

     referral to a behavioural specialist.  [Note: Warren Barlowe is NOT a pet behavioral specialist...yet, lol ;) . Please refer questions like this to your vet.]

     Dec. 7, 2012 - Medication is BIG BUSINESS! (of course you knew that already...)
     Here is a company selling a business report for $3,500.00, that tells investors, doctors, and researchers that medication is the ONLY ANSWER to OCD:
     "GBI Research, the leading business intelligence provider, has released its latest research, “Antidepressants
     Market to 2018 - Despite Safety Concerns, Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) Continue to
     Dominate in the Absence of Effective Therapeutic Alternatives”, which provides insights into the
     "...absence of effective therapeutic alternatives"? Haven't they heard that Exposure-and-Response-Prevention Behavioral Therapy has been the effective gold standard
     for over 25 years?
     ("The leading business intelligence provider"? Duhhh...  obviously they haven't read our website.)
     Creating Future Help for OCD:

                      - - - Looking for a BIG Way to Help LI People with OCD?: - - -
    Attention Owners of TEMPORARILY-VACANT Office space:
     We sincerely appreciate the meeting space graciously offered to us over many years by the Mental Health Association in Suffolk County.
     To replace the use of their old space for 25 years for our OCD Support Group, we are looking for a donation/loan of space to hold additional group meetings,
     and to establish a new, free facility just for people with OCD and anxiety and their families and concerned friends.
     One of our dreams has always been to create The Long Island Center for OCD and Anxiety Studies, to be directed by Warren Barlowe, OCD behavioral
     therapist and support group facilitator. This new entity will include a lending library, a conference room for guest lecturers and new support groups. It will also
     feature classroom space for the first-of-its-kind OCD-IPRT (Intensive Psychiatric Rehabilitation Training; following Persons with Lived Mental Health Experience
     -directed recovery models; but based on the original four-domain IPRT concept as introduced at Hofstra University in the 1990's and definitely NOT just a
     hangout). We will also offer a computer/ media center, and a CBT therapy training center where therapists in underserved communities in eastern LI, Brooklyn,
     Queens and elsewhere can learn the basics of best practices in the treatment of OCD and anxiety. We would also like to offer training in establishing and
     facilitating new OCD support groups in underserved communities.
     In order to maintain free services, most of the events we intend to offer will be facilitated by experienced, skilled volunteers, and the equipment and furnishings will         be donated or purchased from community surplus stores. We may also apply for grants to cover utilities and maintainance. We are looking for a western-Suffolk     
    County or eastern-Nassau County location with off-street parking and public transportation nearby. This facility may possibly be used as a tax-write-off for the  
     owner. Please contact Warren Barlowe at 631-486-4818  or email ocdtherapist@hotmail.com

                                                                   -IN THE NEWS-
Feb. 2019 - Warren Barlowe invited AGAIN to explain our OCD fears to new dental students at SUNY Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine, in April.
April 2018 - Warren Barlowe invited STILL AGAIN to speak on Dental Phobia to Spring Semester 2018 students at SUNY Stony Brook in May 2018.
[Barlowe's successful, comfortable dental experience at Stony Brook prompted Dental Phobia faculty to name him the 'poster child' for dental phobia!]
See the new section on Dental Phobia below.
March 2017 -
Warren Barlowe invited AGAIN to speak on Dental Phobia to Spring Semester 2017 students at SUNY Stony Brook.
June 2015 - Warren Barlowe invited AGAIN to speak on Dental Phobia, Fall Semester 2015 to dental students at SUNY Stony Brook Dental School.

*Nov. 1, 2012 - Warren Barlowe invited to speak on Dental Phobia at SUNY Stony Brook Dental School.

  Nov. 2013 - Barlowe has been invited back to SUNY Stony Brook again to speak in April 2014.
 (Future Dental School programs are under consideration where the general public may hear Barlowe speak on the subject.)
 Addressing a group of about 50 new dental students, Barlowe spoke on February 6, 2013 on the experience of having extreme fears of the dentist,
and fears of dental procedures. Much of this came from his own personal experiences of fear, how it originated and what it feels like to be 'paralyzed'
with extreme fear; avoidance, guilt and anticipatory terror in the dental chair. He gave an introduction to OCD and how it works, and also discussed
the dental fear experience from the viewpoint of a person with OCD, and what the obsessive thoughts were like, and how he resorted to compulsive
worrying, rehearsal, touch-don't touch, and attempting to face making dental appointments and not being able to keep them or go through with them.
Feelings of loss of control, trust, the power dynamic of  'I am the DENTIST, you are just the cowardly patient, do what I tell you and stop complaining,
you big crybaby!' Barlowe felt the students personalized the experience and developed a higher level of sympathy, possibly even empathy for the patient
with phobic reactions.
        July 30, 2012 - LI OCD Congratulates Dr. Wayne K. Goodman!
         Wayne K. Goodman, MD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, has been chosen to receive the 2012 Outstanding
         Career Achievement Award from the International OCD Foundation. (PRWeb July 30, 2012)
         Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2012/7/prweb9749212.htm 
        July 29, 2012 - LIOCD congratulates Dr. Edna Foa!

  OCD information continues after this section. Scroll down.)
New section: Behavioral Therapy for DENTAL PHOBIA - FEAR OF THE DENTIST ===
(This section can be helpful for anyone, not just for us with OCD.

News Item: Long Island Dental Phobia/Fear Treatment

Feb. 2013

The dentist found a large cavity today. I am not afraid of having it drilled and filled the next time I visit the dentist.

It is a temporary filling, because the x-rays showed it may need to be replaced or restored. That means ANOTHER dental visit. (I AM concerned about what to do with it, but that's normal.

 I'm not really afraid.) Next Wednesday I'm going back for a cleaning.

Update: Feb. 20, 2013: Went for the cleaning today. No problem. Even though the hygienist was very thorough and scraped firmly between my teeth, I felt about the same as if I was getting a haircut.

Was advised I need a night tooth-grind guard, (another appointment). OK, no problem.

How would you like to feel this way about your dentist?

New behavioral therapy process eliminates patients' fear of the dentist, so they don't need sedation.

Many dentists used an injection needle to give IV sedation drugs, or had you inhale a gas to put you to sleep, in an effort to comfort patients' fears. 

This new treatment process instead actually ends the fear.

 Many of you already are aware that I myself have OCD, which is why I am able to understand and empathize with your struggle, and it is how I am able to design
 non-threatening, precision exposure therapy remediation for the most misunderstood rituals. But were you aware that I also suffered from a terrifying fear of the
 dentist for over 30 years? And a fear of needles and being put to sleep (losing control).
    Part of my therapy education included an internship in a Phobia Clinic, where I studied the science behind phobic (fear) behaviors and behavioral treatment.
Over the years of my practice helping people with OCD, I have been studying the psychological mechanics and processes of phobia (fear) behavior. With the
assistance of three of my colleagues, I have developed a new, much more effective technique for the treatment of dental phobia than the popular "solutions".
Most dentists claiming to help dental phobia in reality are just offering sedation. (Read their ads carefully & you'll see that.)  I am using specially designed
psychological systematic desensitization phobia exposure therapy approaches to help people on Long Island who suffer from dental phobia to actually
eliminate the phobia itself.
This technique does not use drugs, relaxation, music, or having a stranger touch and caress your body. The technique does 
intrude into your personal space, and respects your right to privacy by experiencing it through a trusted friend or 
family member who has been trained
 in the technique, rather than having it done to you by an outsider. Thus, no more need for sedation, no more "soft music", ...just no more fear.
    Eager to run tests on the model, I trained one of my colleagues in the use of this new therapy technique. Then I had HER give ME the dental phobia treatment I had
designed. With the assistance of a dentist who was willing to let me experience samples of typical dental operations that my colleague had prep
ared me for, I put my
recovery to the test.  I  had successfully overcome my dental phobia in a few weeks, and was able to undergo a complete dental examination, hypodermic needle
injections of novocaine/lidocaine, and the extraction of a damaged wisdom tooth that had bothered me for years
! All this while feeling comfortable, calm, and safe
 in the dentist's chair without general sedation.
   The technique is somewhat similar in some ways to the daily behavioral therapy I use to help people overcome their OCD, but with many marked differences.
Like OCD behavioral therapy, it does not use hypnotism, nor does it involve any sedation, music or distraction; you are fully awake and aware of the dental work
being done.
It involves the help of a trusted friend or family member, who learns the techniques in their entirety, and who then functions as your dental phobia therapist, helping
you actually overcome your fear of the dentist. I talked about this in a panel discussion on Feb. 6, 2013 at SUNY Stony Brook's School of Dental Medicine,
as part of the expansion of the Dental Phobia Clinic.
    I happily look forward to the day, in the near future, when people who were once as terrified of the dentist as I was, will be able to completely undergo years of
neglected, necessary dental treatment, feeling comfortable, calm and safe in the dental chair!
    We are considering starting a support group, as part of the SUNY Stony Brook Dental Phobia Clinic for people on Long Island with dental phobia, and I am doing
 some writing on the new subject.
    ps:   I am looking forward to having a large cavity drilled and filled the next time I visit the dentist!
Update: Feb. 19, 2013: I DID visit the dentist last week and had that cavity filled!
I was relaxed and comfortable, from getting into the chair, to having the procedure completed! It was emotionally as easy as sitting here and typing this. It is a
temporary filling, because the x-rays showed it may need to be replaced or restored. That means ANOTHER dental visit. (I AM concerned about what to do with it,
but that's normal.  I'm not really afraid.
) Tomorrow I'm going back for a cleaning.
Update: Feb. 20, 2013: Went for the cleaning today. No problem! Even though the hygienist was very thorough and scraped firmly between my teeth, I felt about the
same as if I was getting a haircut. Was advised I need a night tooth-grind guard, (another appointment). OK, no problem.
Update: May 12, 2013: [Dental work had to be put on hold the past 3 months because of other healthcare concerns.] The dentist examines the xrays of the
temporarily-filled tooth, and tells me it will need to be replaced with a bridge or an implant. I will need to come in for the dentist to take impressions of the
surrounding teeth, which will be the model for a bridge if I decide to go that route. I make the next appointment.
Update, May 18, 2013: Went for impressions this morning. No problem. The dentist and the assistant worked together over me; pressing soft wax or plastic around
 the teeth to create impressions for possible bridge details or implant creation. I was relaxed. (It is SO convenient not having to struggle with fear now!)
Update, June 25, 2013: Yesterday I went to the oral surgeon and had the tooth extracted. I actually felt relaxed getting into the chair, and even more relaxed as the
assistant reclined the chair. I was given a local anaesthetic injection which I barely felt because they swabbed the area with something to numb it first. Then the
surgeon told me I'd feel pressure and it might hurt slightly, which is what happened, but not extreme, so he injected more numbing liquid. 
I was told he was going to stitch up the opening, which I didn't feel. Then it was over, and I was given after-care instructions.
Update, July, 2013: Went to have a temporary plastic bridge installed. Dentist examined the space left from the extraction, and used a drill to shape the plastic bridge.
He 'prepared'  one front tooth (ground it down in size) so the bridge would cap it. This tooth had been cracked in a fall when I was about 10, and had darkened
considerably. He made some final shaping adjustments to the bridge, then cemented it over the prepared tooth. It looks very similar to the other natural teeth, and
unless you knew it was a bridge, you'd think it was natural. Now I have a really nice smile for the first time in over 50 years!
Update, April 4, 2014: This Monday I'm going back to the dentist to have the permanent bridge installed. (The temporary bridge fell out a few times over the months,
necessitating a few visits to the dentist to have it cemented back into place.) The last time I came in, they again took impressions for the permanent piece. The dentist
 also had to re-shape the next tooth, with the drill, so the bridge would have more support. Yes...I was tense...but that faded and I had no problem with it!
Any questions on this subject will be answered by Warren Barlowe; call my Dental Phobia Helpline at (631) 486-4818  (Don't worry - I'm NOT a dentist.)
 I'm here for you.
I would be happy to speak to groups on the new work. 
Update: Nov. 2013 - Barlowe again invited to speak on dental fear at SUNY Stony Brook Dental School panel discussion March, 2014 for new dental students.
Update: April 25, 2012: Barlowe invited to incorporate his therapy research work into SUNY program.
  For the past 2 years, Barlowe has been doing new research in the field of phobic anxiety as it pertains to one of the most common and terrifying fears: the fear of
going to the dentist. He developed a
protocol for reduction of dental fears, built upon state-of-the-art exposure-and-relaxation therapy techniques. Barlowe first
studied the underlying concepts in the phobia and anxiety therapy he was trained in, as an intern at Peninsula Counseling Center's Anxiety and Phobia Reduction
  Upon hearing of the new work in April 2012, Dr. Mark Slovin, DDS, Director of SUNY Stony Brook's School of Dentistry Phobia Clinic has asked Mr. Barlowe to
 share his new techniques with their dental interns as part of the expansion and enhancement of the School's behavioral component. Barlowe has spoken on the new
 work in a University Dental School panel discussion.
Update: November 1, 2012:  Barlowe invited to speak at SUNY Stony Brook Dental School panel discussion February 6, 2013 for new dental students.
(Future Stony Brook Dental School presentations are under consideration where the general public may hear Barlowe speak on the subject.
Barlowe is also glad to speak to YOUR group on this subject.)
   Addressing a group of about 50 new students, I talked about the experience of having extreme fears of the dentist and fears of dental procedures. Much of this
came from my own personal fears, how they originated and what it feels like to be 'paralyzed' with extreme fear; avoidance, guilt and anticipatory terror in the
dental chair.
 I gave an introduction to OCD and how it works, and also discussed the dental fear experience from the viewpoint of a person with OCD, and what the obsessive
thoughts were like, and how I resorted to compulsive worrying, rehearsal, touch-don't touch, and attempting to face making dental appointments and not being able
 to keep them or go through with them. Feelings of loss of control, trust, the power dynamic of  'I am the DENTIST, you are just the cowardly patient,
do what I tell you and stop complaining, you big crybaby!' I feel the students personalized the experience and developed a higher level of sympathy, possibly even
empathy for the patient with phobic reactions.
====== OCD Website continues here =================

Coming soon: TEENS LikE Me: Kids with OCD - A New Page on LIOCD=
Enjoy the autumn of 2018 with FEWER OCD SYMPTOMS! 4 weeks of therapy
 can begin to make the difference! Call 631-486-4818 or (631) 708-2092 
*New Approach and New Page! Natural OCD Recovery
 Group currently resumes meetings! 
As listed on the International OC Foundation web page http://www.ocfoundation.org/map.aspx?id=1086
                                  LONG ISLAND PRESS 9/28/06 Cover Story:
 "Secret Suffering": The Press Discovers Our OCD Support Group for Adults & Kids
***The Long Island OCD Support Network
The Long Island Press REPRINTED our 2006 story:
Or read the story in the new book "Alphabet Kids" by Robbie Woliver
OCD-Ireland also loved our story and reprinted it! http://www.ocdireland.org/secretsuffering.shtml 

Example of Incorrect OCD treatment:

(Warren is  NOT IN  Chatroom right now.)
Enter Chatroom by right-clicking HERE , then click "Open in New Window".

Note: The blank space below this point is a problem with the software. We are working to correct this. Please scroll down a few inches to where our website continues after the blank space.

AT LAST! WE NOW HAVE FEDERAL Mental Health Insurance Parity! Click here.

Looking for the OCD Foundation? www.ocfoundation.org    203-315-2190      Fax: 203-315-2196    email: info@ocfoundation.org
 [Note: WE are not the OCFoundation]

Help for Seniors
Are you a senior who would like help paying for your Medicare benefits and prescription drugs? Free assistance is only a phone call away if you qualify for extra help because of limited income. There may be a way to alleviate some of the cost of Medicare – deductibles and coinsurance, Part B premiums, prescription drug plans (Part D). Reducing monthly premiums, annual deductibles and co-payments, aiding with coverage gaps (the doughnut hole). To learn more call a LIS/HHS (Low Income Subsidy from US Dept. of HHS) counselor from Family & Children’s, a community of caring. 485-3425, ext. 222.

 Here is another resource, not run by LI OCD:
"We would like to let you know about a new resource available for people who suffer with the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
There is a 12-step TELEPHONE group called Obsessive Compulsive Addicts Anonymous (OCAA) that is available for both men and women that suffer with OCD. We are based on the steps and principles of Alcoholics Anonymous.We value each other’s anonymity and our meetings are currently open to people who suffer from the disease,although we welcome contact from family and friends. We have a weekly phone conference call that is held each Sunday at 7pm EST. The phone number is (218) 339-2694 and PIN 349956. The conference call is free and open to anybody who is suffering from OCD.
Please contact us for more information at www.ocaaprogram.org or at BigBook12by12@gmail.com or at 1 (800) 511-5983.
Sincerely, Dmitri"
Support Groups for Hoarders: Clutterers Anonymous
Thursdays 1:00-2:30 PM ~ United Methodist Church, 265 Asbury Ave, Westbury 1st & 3rd Fri, 7:30-9:00PM~
Community Reformed Church, 90 Plandome Rd, Manhasset.
Mon eves, 7:00-8:30PM~ Plainview-Old Bethpage Lib, 999 Old Country Road, Plainview.
Name: Duffy Spencer. Phone Number: 516-334-8985
Clutterers Anonymous (CLA)
A 12-step self-help group, offers help and support to those who have clutter problems in their homes or workplace. Meets at the following locations: Thursdays, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the United Methodist Church, 265 Asbury Ave, Westbury first and third Friday, 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the School of the Community Reformed Church, 90 Plandome Rd, Manhasset. Monday evenings, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Plainview-Old Bethpage Library, 999 Old Country Road, Plainview. There are no dues or fees. For more information, call 866-800-3881.
New Dating Service JUST for Persons with Lived Experience with Mental Health issues! Totally Free & easy to use, & allows you to identify
yourself with others who also have OCD! I Like this one! Click here: http://nolongerlonely.com/
NEW ARTICLES ON OCD: As of June 25, 2013 :
(I receive 'alerts' for many more articles than I list here on our website. I read them, and ONLY IF I feel they
 have correct, current, useful information of value to our readers, I post links to them here. Recent,
newly-posted items will have "NEW" in front of them.)
 [To see an article's address, right-click it (or its "Click Here" ) & click "Properties".]

App claims be helpful in guiding your OCD therapy work. Watch tutorial carefully and you will catch the problems that as yetmake this app ineffective:
Barlowe's Review: The app has provisions to create your ERP practice hierarchy, but it does not ask you the questions about anxietylevels neccesary for constructing a workable plan for recovery. Effective OCD ERP should have you gauge the levels of anxiety you would experience from each compulsion if you couldn't do the ritual. This is the only way to arrange your exposure steps in the order that will encourage you and promote success, so you don't become frustrated and tempted to quit therapy. (This is often the reason clients quit therapy.)
  Another problem with the system is that it asks you to set the amount of time you will practice facing the anxiety of exposure. You can only know this by doing the actual exposure and self-rating your anxiety on an imaginary 1-10 scale. And to make things even worse, it offers you relaxation techniques to do while you are waiting for this exposure anxiety level to come down. This is totally
counterproductive because if you relax during your exposure, you will lose the benefit of experiencing the exposure, and you will not re-train your brain to tolerate the anxiety that drives you to feel you have to perform the compulsive behavior.
  In addition, the app does not remind you how many times per day to practice. Not practicing enough daily is another major reason why some clients experience failure in their attempt to recover, and if this is not instructed by the therapist, it is often why some therapists cannot achieve success with their clients.
  An app that makes it possible to structure your OCD therapy correctly would be a major breakthrough in making effective therapy more available and more affordable. We are still awaiting this.                          
 Another offering, in the form of a book, claims to help you get control over your OCD and even "cure" it. There's no mention of Exposure-and-Response-Prevention (ERP) behavioral therapy being used here at all. 'Cure' is a very big claim, and one they can't prove. Read the book review and my comment at the bottom.
 ...but here's a few books you might find helpful.
...and a book I recommend for relapse prevention AFTER RECOVERY. (I do not suggest trying these techniques as primary therapy.)
    A Better Way to treat "Obsessive Compulsive Kids" - Exposure-and-Response-Prevention CBT is best therapy.
Read Connie Foster's ONLINE book on kids w/ OCD: "Kids Like Me"
                                            Kids and OCD: Click here.
OCD Virtual Behavioral Therapy. If you can't afford to go to therapy, but you can follow instructions and do your
 daily homework diligently, therapy by telephone may be for you. You will work with an experienced therapist who has helped many people with OCD by phone throughout the USA, Canada, and Brazil. A few openings currently exist. Call the number above to see if this may be right for you. (See 2 articles below.)

Article on On-line Therapy in the Journal of the American Medical Association: (See Above)
"Researchers Provide Psychiatric Care From Afar" by Tracy Hampton, PhD (In Print only; not online. JAMA. 2006;295:21-23.)







OCD Support Groups Worldwide List, maintained by the OC Foundation.Click here.
   Center helps Queens Parents Negotiate
 Mental  Health System Click Here
Living w/love & chaos/child w/several llnesses lus ocd;with video.Click here



Dating services for persons with lived experience with OCD:

Help Find the Cure! Click here for OCD Research projects to get involved with.
OCD CHATROOMS: 24/7, OCD chat w/people worldwide. Free, w/ moderated discussions several times a week.CLICK HERE or go to Healthyplace.com at
OCD Behavioral Therapy with Warren Barlowe.  Therapy by phone:


Radio & TV Shows on  OCD: 
"Out of control": TV documentary shows that when saving turns to hoarding,
clutter can consume your home & life:
"Packed House," produced by former San Diego newscaster Jody Hammond
& photographer Rob Amato. Click here.

Free Anxiety & Depression Screenings Every Monday 3-4pm S. Nassau Communities Hospital Mental Health Counseling Center.
Meet Friends with OCD through the Friendship Network. CLICK HERE.
Behavior Therapy for Tourettes Click Here

2 NEW FREE Singles Dating Services (meet someone also with ocd? COMPLETELY FREE):

This is the end of the LI OCD website.
Due to a problem with the computer or the software used in our website, there is a huge blank space below this point.  You are not missing out on anything. We are working on this.