A Letter of Thanks from NOCD Co-Founder and CEO Stephen Smith

By Stephen Smith3 min read

Dear NOCD Community,

On this Thanksgiving Day, I’d like to share my sincerest appreciation for each of you, as well as wish you a very happy beginning to the holiday season. I hope you are enjoying the day with family and friends, or are using the holiday to catch up on much-needed rest. No matter how you’re spending it, I wanted to take a moment to tell you how much you are valued by me and the entire NOCD team.

You are participating in a movement to either learn about OCD, seek treatment to conquer the condition personally, or support others with it. You’re taking action to help yourself or help others. You should be proud, and I personally value and appreciate it.

When you take action, it makes it easier for others to do the same. That’s what led me to where I am today: If it wasn’t for a courageous OCD advocate, Chrissie Hodges, making a podcast about taboo intrusive thoughts in 2013, I might have never known that the torture I was personally experiencing was called OCD. But she took a stand, put herself out there, reached me as I was secretly searching for help online, and inspired me to do everything in my power to get evidence-based help.

The sum of all of our individual actions not only helps others like us who need it, but it leads to widespread OCD awareness, allowing us to communicate the size and scope of the detrimental impact of OCD to those who are misinformed or unaware. For instance, NOCD’s online community reaches hundreds of thousands – and soon to be millions – of people, and it has allowed our team to show the leaders at dozens of health insurance companies how much need there is for insurance-sponsored ERP therapy for people with OCD. 

Thanks to our community coming together, about 40 percent of people in the U.S. can now access evidence-based ERP therapy through their insurance providers. NOCD is the vehicle, but you and the rest of the community members are the engine. We’ll keep working to expand insurance coverage even further, and we believe that you will continue to be the engine as that number reaches 100 percent. We just need time to drive! 🙂

What’s next for us as a community? To put it simply: we’ll redefine OCD.

It seems like almost everyone has heard of the term “OCD” and uses it casually every now and then. However, people rarely know what the condition OCD is actually like — recurring and unwanted thoughts, images, or urges that can be taboo in nature and completely debilitating. It doesn’t make sense; people everywhere jokingly and offensively use a term they don’t know anything about, and it’s completely inadvertent. That’s why our opportunity isn’t to raise awareness for the term “OCD,” but to redefine how people understand the true condition of OCD globally.

Your continued action within NOCD will be pivotal in leading us to do just that, and it’s beginning to happen even now. Check out a recent OCD awareness promotion in Times Square:

This is a demonstration of what we can do when we continue to take action. Over just the next few years, think of how many new people will be able to realize that they’re not abnormal, and that there is a community of others just like them. It will be life-changing.

You and the rest of the NOCD community are making this happen. Again, thank you very much, and have a Happy Thanksgiving.


Sincerely,
Stephen Smith
Co-Founder and CEO of NOCD

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