Tuesday, October 14, 2014

O.C.D., a Disorder That Cannot Be Ignored

By Jane E. Brody, NYT
October 13, 2014 12:10 pm

In the 1997 film “As Good As It Gets,” Jack Nicholson portrays Melvin Udall, a middle-aged man with obsessive-compulsive disorder who avoids stepping on cracks, locks doors and flips light switches exactly five times, and washes his hands repeatedly, each time tossing out the new bar of soap he used. He brings wrapped plastic utensils to the diner where he eats breakfast at the same table every day.

Though the film is billed as a romantic comedy, Melvin’s disorder is nothing to laugh about. O.C.D. is often socially, emotionally and vocationally crippling.

It can even be fatal.

Four years ago, John C. Kelly, 24, killed himself in Irvington, N.Y., after a long battle with a severe form of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Mr. Kelly was a devoted baseball player, and now friends hold an annual softball tournament to raise money for the foundation established in his honor to increase awareness of the disorder.

(More here.)

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