How do a bunch of people end up working together to develop better treatment options for OCD?
The short answer: OCD forced its way into our lives, and we learned through experience that the types of treatment currently offered just aren’t working well enough. (Or, even when they do work well, they’re too expensive.)
nOCD started in summer 2014 when Stephen Smith, Founder and CEO, was working through his own severe flare-up of OCD. Even though Stephen had the good luck of living right near a specialist, each session was extremely expensive. And the between-session homework assigned to Stephen, like most patients undergoing behavioral therapy, was really difficult to complete. By the time Stephen was immersed in an anxious moment, all hope was lost of methodically working through the structured strategies his specialist had shown him.
Growing increasingly frustrated with this type of treatment, Stephen realized that an app on his phone– which he always had with him, and could discreetly use around other people– would help him stick to the activities he was supposed to be doing between his extremely expensive therapy sessions.
Since coming up with the idea, Stephen has been fully dedicated to nOCD. He has tirelessly worked to improve his business prowess, design skills, and abilities in web and app development. Stephen is motivated by his strong belief that OCD treatment should be easier, cheaper, and more effective.
Stephen and a group of other dedicated people have built the nOCD app into a global platform for OCD education, treatment, and community-building. Their goal? To see the day when effective OCD treatment is accessible to everyone around the world.
So who are some of the other people working on this platform?
We’ve got people working hard on nOCD across the country, but for today we’ll focus on a few others in the new Chicago office. Drumroll, please!
Mike has come from Pittsburgh to lead us fearlessly into the vast sea of people on the internet. Mike genuinely enjoys getting to know people on social media and helping them learn about nOCD. He also looks closely every day at user feedback so we can be sure nOCD is serving the people who use it and need it.
Like Stephen, Mike has seen first-hand the deficit between how many people need help for OCD and how many people are actually getting effective treatment. He has spent time with OCD sufferers in hospitals, outpatient groups, and online communities. Knowing the level of pain these people are in and seeing how heavily stigma weighs on their ability to feel less alone, Mike wakes up every day determined to make things better.
Patrick likes to write, learn about mental health, and play soccer. He’s from a suburb of Chicago and moved back to the city after college to be closer to his family’s dog. He writes educational content, helps build our community, and tries to reduce stigma and misunderstanding by creating funny, meaningful, and cathartic things to share with everyone in the nOCD network.
He is motivated by his own experiences with OCD and a mood disorder, and what he’s seen in family and friends. It can be almost unspeakably difficult in your worst moments to find out what’s going on, come up with a plan to treat it, and keep in touch with people who care about you. Making these things easier for other people is what motivates him throughout the day.
We’ll be sure to highlight more team members on this blog soon, but you’re probably starting to notice the pattern: nOCD is made up of people with real experience dealing with OCD and other anxiety disorders, driven by that experience to make things better. We believe that treatment decisions should be made not only by clinicians and industry executives, but also by people who have experienced mental health issues (and are still experiencing it).
This experience, and our willingness to listen to anyone coming to us with stories about their mental health, is what allows us to be sure that the types of treatment we’re offering are the ones people really need.
Please get in touch with us anytime, because we need your stories.
Until next time,
The nOCD Team
Whether you’re feeling stuck with OCD, concerned about someone you care about, or just curious what a global community of people working together on their mental health looks like, feel free to check out the nOCD website for more: click here.