Book 38 – Manic Kingdom by Dr Erin Stair

Could that disheveled young woman – rooting around in the trash for potatoes and clothes – possibly be a med student? The unthinkable becomes reality when you are seduced by the Manic Kingdom. It can upend your seemingly pitch-perfect existence, thrusting you into a world where your inhibitions, intellect, and instincts are powerless to save you. Join Dr. Erin Stair on the journey of a lifetime. Based on a true story, Becka is on the verge of becoming a doctor, immersed in the world of physical and mental illness, while her own mental health was crumbling. Travel with her 3,000 miles away to California, where she fled from her school, her roommate and her life, finding romance and companionship with a mysterious man known only to her as “King.” King was helpful to her in many ways, but was she ignoring warning signs that disaster was right around the corner? Manic Kingdom is a frightening, sometimes humorous, essential reminder of how we can lose ourselves, how dangerous we can be to ourselves, and how fragile stability can be.

Book 37 – Every Trich in the Book: Overcoming My Hair Pulling Disorder by Cara Ward

Since her early teens, Cara Ward has suffered from trichotillomania (hair pulling disorder) and dermatillomania (skin picking), two forms of mental illness that are still often hidden away in shame. Feeling embarrassed and confused by her own behaviour, Cara kept quiet about it for years. But in June 2013, she was left housebound by a condition called Red Skin Syndrome. The only way to get better was a harrowing and difficult withdrawal from all topical steroids. Despite her anxiety and doubt about whether she was doing the right thing, she kept going and made a full recovery. As a result, she knew that she could “beat her own mind” and overcome anything else she put her mind to. And so, over a period of just seven weeks, Cara documented her struggles to gain better control of the disorders that had left her scarred and ashamed for years. Through sheer determination and willpower, Cara found a way to get to the best place she’d ever been with her trichotillomania. Every Trich in the Book details Cara’s triumph over trich and derma, using humour and honesty along the way.

Book 36 – Also Human: The Inner Lives of Doctors by Catherine Elton

A psychologist’s stories of doctors who seek to help others but struggle to help themselves.

From ER and M*A*S*H to Grey’s Anatomy and House, the medical drama endures for good reason: we’re fascinated by the people we must trust when we are most vulnerable. In Also Human, vocational psychologist Caroline Elton introduces us to some of the distressed physicians who have come to her for help: doctors who face psychological challenges that threaten to destroy their careers and lives, including an obstetrician grappling with his own homosexuality, a high-achieving junior doctor who walks out of her first job within weeks of starting, and an oncology resident who faints when confronted with cancer patients. Entering a doctor’s office can be terrifying, sometimes for the doctor most of all. By examining the inner lives of these professionals, Also Human offers readers insight into, and empathy for, the very real struggles of those who hold power over life and death.

Episode 43 – A Beginners Guide to Being Mental: An A-Z from Anxiety to Zero F**ks Given by Natasha Devon MBE pt3

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses anorexia nervosa, purging, self-harm, suicide and eating disorders.

Get our next book here

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediately.

If you cannot wait for our next episodes  you can get advanced access by going to Patreon.  You can support us with as little as $2 a month to get advance access  to our episodes and a range of other awards. We hope to be able to  donate money to a range of mental health charities once we reach certain  targets.

Where’s your head at campain petition

Natasha Devon MBE: @_NatashaDevon and _NatashaDevon on instagram

If you need to talk you can contact:

Samaritans on:

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness

Mind The Mental Health Charity

  • Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
  • Text: 86463
  • http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Social Media

Twitter:

Becky: @BLawrence85

Sydney: @sydney_timmins

Podcast: @MHBC_Podcast

Facebook

Podcast: https://www.facebook.com/MHBCpodcast/

Sydney: https://www.facebook.com/Sydney-Timmins-1695774814065575/

Episode 43 – A Beginners Guide to Being Mental: An A-Z from Anxiety to Zero F**ks Given by Natasha Devon MBE pt2

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses anorexia nervosa, purging, self-harm, suicide and eating disorders.

Get our next book here

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediately.

If you cannot wait for our next episodes  you can get advanced access by going to Patreon.  You can support us with as little as $2 a month to get advance access  to our episodes and a range of other awards. We hope to be able to  donate money to a range of mental health charities once we reach certain  targets.

Where’s your head at campain petition

Natasha Devon MBE: @_NatashaDevon and _NatashaDevon on instagram

If you need to talk you can contact:

Smaritans on:

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness

Mind The Mental Health Charity

  • Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
  • Text: 86463
  • http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Social Media

Twitter:

Becky: @BLawrence85

Sydney: @sydney_timmins

Podcast: @MHBC_Podcast

Facebook

Podcast: https://www.facebook.com/MHBCpodcast/

Sydney: https://www.facebook.com/Sydney-Timmins-1695774814065575/

Mental Health Book Review: A Beginner’s Guide to Being Mental: An A – Z from Anxiety to Zero F**ks Given by Natasha Devon

Our Review

Overall Rating

After attending the book launch in London and listening to Natasha talk about mental health we were excited to read this book for the podcast and even bumped it up the list. We are pleased to say that this book did not disappoint and both of us found it hard to put down. This book provides a fantastic overview of mental health. This topic is sensitive, and Natasha handles that very well, interweaving her own journey with mental health, information from experts, science, and humour which means that this book will appeal to a wider range of readers.

On the podcast we identified six letters to discuss but that in itself was a difficult task! There was so much in this book that provoked us to ask more questions and talk about societal issues that impact everyone’s mental health.

If you are looking for a self-help book, then this is not the book whilst she gives tips at the end of each letter the advice is minimal and highlights that because we all have a brain it is okay to feel this way. This book is a great starting point to get people talking about mental health – in comparison, physical health is easily discussed by people.

The main messages that we took away from this book were:

  • Mental health is just as important to physical health
  • We all have a brain so mental health is something everyone should be talking about
  • Social pressures impact mental health

Listen to our full review in:

Episode 43 pt1

Episode 43 pt2

Episode 43 pt3

 

Episode 43 – A Beginners Guide to Being Mental: An A-Z from Anxiety to Zero F**ks Given by Natasha Devon MBE pt1

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses anorexia nervosa, purging, self-harm, suicide and eating disorders.

Get our next book here

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediately.

If you cannot wait for our next episodes  you can get advanced access by going to Patreon.  You can support us with as little as $2 a month to get advance access  to our episodes and a range of other awards. We hope to be able to  donate money to a range of mental health charities once we reach certain  targets.

If you need to talk you can contact:

Samaritans on:

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness

Mind The Mental Health Charity

  • Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
  • Text: 86463
  • http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Social Media

Twitter:

Becky: @BLawrence85

Sydney: @sydney_timmins

Podcast: @MHBC_Podcast

Facebook

Podcast: https://www.facebook.com/MHBCpodcast/

Sydney: https://www.facebook.com/Sydney-Timmins-1695774814065575/

Interview 3 – Natasha Devon MBE Author of A Beginners Guide to Being Mental: An A -Z from Anxiety to Zero F**ks Given

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses self-harm, young people’s mental health, personality disorders, ethnicity, anxiety and panic attacks.

Get the book here

It was an absolute pleasure to speak to Natasha Devon MBE author of  A Beginners Guide to Being Mental: An A -Z from Anxiety to Zero F**ks Given. We talk about her work as a mental health campaigner, her own experiences with mental health  and more.

Sign the petition: Where’s your head at Campaign

Follow Natasha Devon MBE on twitter and instagram: @_NatashaD

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediately.

If you cannot wait for our next episodes you can get advanced access by going to Patreon. You can support us with as little as $2 a month to get advance access to our episodes and a range of other awards. We hope to be able to donate money to a range of mental health charities once we reach certain targets.

If you need to talk you can contact:

Samaritans on:

116 123 (UK)
116 123 (ROI)
Find out more at their website http://bit.ly/2wMpKZ5

Mental Health Resources:

Episode 33 – Eating Disorders with The Secret Psychitrist

Rethink Mental Illness

0121 522 7007
http://bit.ly/1s7txdq

Mind The Mental Health Charity

Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
Text: 86463
http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Social Media

Twitter:

Becky: @BLawrence85

Sydney: @sydney_timmins

Podcast: @MHBC_Podcast

Facebook

Podcast: https://www.facebook.com/MHBCpodcast/

Sydney: https://www.facebook.com/Sydney-Timmins-1695774814065575/

Book 18 – A Beginner’s Guide to being Mental: An A-Z from Anxiety to Zero F**KS Given

‘Am I normal?’
‘What’s an anxiety disorder?’
‘Does therapy work?’

These are just a few of the questions Natasha Devon is asked as she travels the UK campaigning for better mental health awareness and provision. Here, Natasha calls upon experts in the fields of psychology, neuroscience and anthropology to debunk and demystify the full spectrum of mental health. From A (Anxiety) to Z (Zero F**ks Given – or the art of having high self-esteem) via everything from body image and gender to differentiating ‘sadness’ from ‘depression’.

Statistically, one in three of us will experience symptoms of a mental illness during our lifetimes. Yet all of us have a brain, and so we ALL have mental health – regardless of age, sexuality, race or background. The past few years have seen an explosion in awareness, yet it seems there is still widespread confusion. A Beginner’s Guide to Being Mental is for anyone who wants to have this essential conversation, written as only Natasha – with her combination of expertise, personal experience and humour – knows how

Episode 22 – Etched on me by Jenn Crowell Part 2

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses self-harm, suicide and  sexual assault.

Get the book here

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediately.

Samaritans on:
116 123 (UK)
116 123 (ROI)
Find out more at their website http://bit.ly/2wMpKZ5

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness
0121 522 7007
http://bit.ly/1s7txdq

Mind The Mental Health Charity
Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
Text: 86463
http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Patreon Episode 1 – Becky’s Struggles with Mental Health

This is the first patreon only episode of the Mental Health Book Club Podcast, were the full interview is avaliable. You will only be able to do that by being an extremley awesome person and heading over to patreon.com/MHBC and donating as little as $2 a month to the Mental Health Book Club Podcast.

By becoming a patron of the podcast you will be able to have some additional perks which we will add to over time. There are three levels of support that you can provide, bronze, silver and gold.

Bronze:

  • Access to the Patron-only feed with early release episodes
  • We will announce your name on an upcoming episode as a contributor
  • Eligable for giveaways

Silver:

  • A handmade crochet book mark (by Sydney and Becky)
  • Plus all previous rewards

Gold:

  • Priority book recommendations
  • Your emails are given priority
  • Plus all previous rewards

Once we hit some monthly goals – $200 we will donate $50 a month to Mind the mental health charity.

If you are not able to support us through patreon thats okay, just listening to the podcast makes us very happy. But there are some things you can do to offer us additional help, you can following us on Twitter, Facebook, by Email, Subscribe to the podcast, Leave us a review or just tell people about us. All of those will help to spread the MHBC podcast word.

Episode 21 – Etched on me by Jenn Crowell Part 1

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses self-harm, suicide and  sexual assault.

Get the book here

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediately.

Samaritans on:
116 123 (UK)
116 123 (ROI)
Find out more at their website http://bit.ly/2wMpKZ5

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness
0121 522 7007
http://bit.ly/1s7txdq

Mind The Mental Health Charity
Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
Text: 86463
http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

BBC documentary: No more boys and girls: Can our kids go gender free?

Unfortunately this program is no longer available but here is an interesting article discussing the key themes of the documentary.

www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/991ea351-1e67-46dc-824d-a13033526ca6

Episode 20 – Our thoughts on The Quiet Room and Made You up

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses self-harm, violent behaviour, sexual assault,  drug abuse and suicide.

Get the book here

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediatly.

Samaritans on:
116 123 (UK)
116 123 (ROI)
Find out more at their website http://bit.ly/2wMpKZ5

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness
0121 522 7007
http://bit.ly/1s7txdq

Mind The Mental Health Charity
Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
Text: 86463
http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Episode 19 – The Quiet Room: A Journey Out of the Torment of Madness by Lori Schiller and Amanda Bennett

Find out more at www.mentalhealthbookclub.com

Trigger warning: this podcast discusses self-harm, violent behaviour, sexual assault,  drug abuse and suicide.

Get the book here

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediatly.

Samaritans on:
116 123 (UK)
116 123 (ROI)
Find out more at their website http://bit.ly/2wMpKZ5

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness
0121 522 7007
http://bit.ly/1s7txdq

Mind The Mental Health Charity
Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
Text: 86463
http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Mental Health Book Review: Am I Normal Yet by Holly Bourne

Our Review

Overall rating:

Am I Normal Yet is a breath of fresh air talking openly about the issues surrounding mental health. Evie suffers from OCD and at sixteen not only does she have to fight with her own mental health but she has to deal with the inevitable teenage issues of college, friends and boys and let’s be honest being a teenager is hard enough without the additional issues Evie has to face.

This book has a strong theme of feminism running throughout and didn’t end in the very clichéd love conquers all view of the world that some books I have been reading recently have contained. If only recovering from mental health was so easy, dating and having another person in your life will often complicate matters and make you feel even more insecure than you may have been before.

You get to see the ups and downs associated with mental illness and the issues associated with medication and therapy, along with concerns about others reaction to a mental health diagnosis.

It is also interesting to read about the fact that the condition that Evie is suffering from can be considered “typical OCD” with Evie performing the stereotypical repetitive behaviours being commonly seen with OCD, doesn’t mean that it is any less severe and debilitating to a person’s life.

I must admit there was one part of the book I disagreed with as yes not all discussion about mental health has been useful that what it is doing is highlighting that more public discussion is needed. I would like to remain hopeful that if people were fully away of mental health conditions and their impact that they wouldn’t be using the terms incorrectly if their knowledge of the condition was complete.

Quote

Mental illnesses have gone too far the other way. Because now mental health disorders have gone “mainstream”. And for all the good it’s brought people like me who have been given therapy and stuff, there’s a lot of bad it’s brought too. Because now people use the phrase OCD to describe minor personality quirks.

“Oooh, I like my pens in a line, I’m so OCD.”

NO YOU’RE F*****G NOT!

I think that people have been mislabelling themselves as being OCD for years, long before mental health illnesses started to become more widely accepted in society’s broader conversation.

We at the Mental Health Book Club would highly recommend this book.

Listen to our full review in Episode 17

Episode 18 – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Trigger warning: this episode contains discussion about suicide and self-harm.

Get the next book here

If you feel suicidal call 999 immediatly

If you need to talk you can contact:

Samaritans on

Mental Health Resources:

Rethink Mental Illness

Mind The Mental Health Charity:

  • Infoline: 0300 123 3393 (Our lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays)
  • Text: 86463
  • http://bit.ly/2p6rntK

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Overview

Imagine that your mind gets stuck on a particular thought or image (which is the obsessive thought)

Then this thought or image gets constantly replayed in your mind, over and over and over again no matter what you do . . .

It’s not like you want these thoughts – it feels like an avalanche, its overwhelming . . .

Along with these thoughts you start to have intense feelings of anxiety . . .

Anxiety is a normal emotion that people feel because this emotion tells you to respond, react, protect yourself and do something to reduce that anxiety. It’s our brain’s warning system indicating that you’re in danger.

But this can cause confusion because on one hand, you recognize the fear you are feeling doesn’t make any sense, it’s not reasonable yet it feels real

But your brain is lying to you causing you to question why this would be happening?

Why would you be experiencing feelings if they weren’t true? Feelings don’t lie . . .

https://iocdf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/What-You-Need-To-Know-About-OCD.pdf

Examples:

  • Washers are afraid of contamination. They usually have cleaning or hand-washing compulsions.
  • Checkers repeatedly check things (oven turned off, door locked, etc.) that they associate with harm or danger.
  • Doubters and sinners are afraid that if everything isn’t perfect or done just right something terrible will happen, or they will be punished.
  • Counters and arrangers are obsessed with order and symmetry. They may have superstitions about certain numbers, colours, or arrangements.
  • Hoarders fear that something bad will happen if they throw anything away. They compulsively hoard things that they don’t need or use.

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/obssessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd.htm

Unfortunately, if you have OCD, they do lie. If you have OCD, the warning system in your brain is not working correctly. Your brain is telling you that you are in danger when you are not.

When scientists compare pictures of the brains of groups of people with OCD, they can see that on average some areas of the brain are different compared to individuals who don’t have OCD. Those tortured with this disorder are desperately trying to get away from paralyzing, unending anxiety.

https://iocdf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/What-You-Need-To-Know-About-OCD.pdf

It becomes a vicious cycle:

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/anxiety/obssessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd.htm

 

How many people are affected?

Worldwide

  • There are literally millions of people affected by OCD
  • It’s the fourth most common mental illness in many western countries
  • It affects men, women and children regardless of their race, religion, nationality or socio-economic group.

United States

  • Best estimates for the USA are about 1 in 100 adults – or between 2 to 3 million adults currently have OCD.1,2
  • This is roughly the same number of people living in the city of Houston, Texas.
  • There are also at least 1 in 200 – or 500,000 – kids and teens that have OCD.
  • This is about the same number of kids who have diabetes.
  • In terms of at school:
    • Four or five kids in any average size elementary school will have been diagnosed with OCD.
    • In a medium to large high school, there could be 20 students struggling with the challenges caused by OCD.3

https://iocdf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/What-You-Need-To-Know-About-OCD.pdf

United Kingdom

  • Current estimates suggest that 1.2% of the population have OCD, which equates to 12 out of every 1000 people
  • Therefore, it can be considered that, approximately 741,504 people are living with OCD at any one time.
  • 50% of all these cases will fall into the severe category, with less than a quarter being classed as having mild cases.
  • These estimates are still considered to be underestimated
    • Many people affected by OCD suffer in silence because of embarrassment and fear of being labelled.
    • Others are unaware that their suffering is a recognised medical condition

http://www.ocduk.org/how-common-ocd

Symptoms

Most of us have worries, doubts and superstitious beliefs. It is only when your thoughts and behaviour make no sense to other people, cause distress or become excessive that you may want to ask for help.  OCD can occur at any stage of your life. If you experience OCD you may also feel anxious and depressed and you may believe you are the only one with obsessive thoughts.

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/a-to-z/o/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd

  • Obsession.
    • An obsession is an unwelcome thought or image that you keep thinking about and is largely out of your control. These can be difficult to ignore.
  • These obsessions can be disturbing and are accompanied by intense and uncomfortable feelings such as fear, disgust, doubt, or a feeling that things have to be done in a way that is “just right.”
  • These OCD obsessions are time consuming and get in the way of important activities the person values, which is important as it determines whether someone has OCD — the psychological disorder — rather than having an obsessive personality trait.
  • You might believe that something bad will happen if you do not do these things. You may realise that your thinking and behaviour is not logical but still find it very difficult to stop.
  • https://www.rethink.org/diagnosis-treatment/conditions/anxiety-disorders

What Obsession in OCD is not

  • Occasional thoughts about getting sick or about the safety of loved ones is normal
  • Even if the content of the “obsession” is more serious, for example, everyone might have had a thought from time to time about getting sick, or worrying about a loved one’s safety, or wondering if a mistake they made might be catastrophic in some way, that doesn’t mean these obsessions are necessarily symptoms of OCD. While these thoughts look the same as what you would see in OCD, someone without OCD may have these thoughts, be momentarily concerned, and then move on. In fact, research has shown that most people have unwanted “intrusive thoughts” from time to time, but in the context of OCD, these intrusive thoughts come frequently and trigger extreme anxietythat gets in the way of day-to-day functioning.
  • https://iocdf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/What-You-Need-To-Know-About-OCD.pdf
  • https://iocdf.org/about-ocd/

Misuse of language

  • We use “obsessing” or “being obsessed” commonly in every-day language.
  • Casual uses of the word means that someone is preoccupied with a topic or an idea or even a person.
  • “Obsessed” in this everyday sense doesn’t involve problems in day-to-day living and even has a pleasurable component to it.
  • You can be “obsessed” with
    • A new song,
    • A new TV series
    • A podcast
    • A food
    • But you can still meet your friend for dinner, get ready for bed in a timely way, get to work on time in the morning, etc., despite this obsession.
  • In fact, individuals with OCD have a hard time hearing this usage of “obsession” as it feels as though it diminishes their struggle with OCD symptoms.

https://iocdf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/What-You-Need-To-Know-About-OCD.pdf

https://iocdf.org/about-ocd/

  • Compulsion.
    • A compulsion is something you think about or do repeatedly (repetitive behaviour) to relieve anxiety. This can be hidden or obvious. Such as saying a phrase in your head to calm yourself. Or checking that the front door is locked.
    • https://www.rethink.org/diagnosis-treatment/conditions/anxiety-disorders
    • People with OCD are aware that they will only experience temporary relief and that the compulsion is not a solution but the problem is for them is that they feel that they don’t have a better way to cope.
    • Compulsions can also include avoiding situations that trigger obsessions.
    • These compulsions are time consuming and get in the way of day to day life.
  • In most cases, individuals with OCD feel driven to engage in compulsive behaviour and would rather not have to do these time consuming and many times torturous acts.

What compulsions are not:

  • Not all repetitive behaviours or “rituals” are compulsions. Bedtime routines, religious practices, and learning a new skill involve repeating an activity over and over again, but are a welcome part of daily life.
  • Behaviours depend on the function and context:
    • Arranging and ordering DVDs for eight hours a day isn’t a compulsion if the person works in a video store.
    • Behaviours depend on the context. Arranging and ordering books for eight hours a day isn’t a compulsion if the person works in a library.
    • Certain activities such as Bedtime routines, religious practices, and learning a new skill all involve some level of repeating an activity over and over again, but are usually a positive and functional part of daily life.
    • Similarly, you may have “compulsive” behaviours that wouldn’t fall under OCD, if you are just a stickler for details or like to have things neatly arranged. In this case, “compulsive” refers to a personality trait or something about yourself that you actually prefer or like.

Common OCD obsessions and compulsions

https://iocdf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/What-You-Need-To-Know-About-OCD.pdf

Diagnosis

Like all other mental health conditions, OCD can only be diagnosed by a trained professional and there are no blood tests or brain imaging tests to diagnose OCD. The diagnosis is made based on the observation and assessment of the person’s symptoms.

OCD can start at any time from preschool to adulthood. Although OCD does occur at earlier ages, there are generally two age ranges when OCD first appears, between ages 10 and 12 and then between the late teens and early adulthood.

Related problems for people with OCD

Some people with OCD may also have or develop other serious mental health problems, including:

  • depression – a condition that typically causes lasting feelings of sadness and hopelessness, or a loss of interest in the things you used to enjoy
  • eating disorders – conditions characterised by an abnormal attitude towards food that cause you to change your eating habits and behaviour (we see that xxx has was misdiagnosed to begin with anorexia)
  • generalised anxiety disorder – a condition that causes you to feel anxious about a wide range of situations and issues, rather than one specific event
  • hoarding disorder – a condition that involves excessively acquiring items and not being able to throw them away, resulting in unmanageable amounts of clutter

People with OCD and severe depression may also have suicidal feelings.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/symptoms/

DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (300.3)

A.    Presence of obsessions, compulsions, or both:

Obsessions are defined by (1) and (2):

  1. Recurrent and persistent thoughts, urges, or impulses that are experienced, at some time during the disturbance, as intrusive and unwanted, and that in most individuals cause marked anxiety or distress.
  2. The individual attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts, urges, or images, or to neutralize them with some other thought or action (i.e., by performing a compulsion).

Compulsions are defined by (1) and (2):

  1. Repetitive behaviours (e.g., hand washing, ordering, checking) or mental acts (e.g., praying, counting, repeating words silently) that the individual feels driven to perform in response to an obsession or according to rules that must be applied rigidly.
  2. The behaviours or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing anxiety or distress, or preventing some dreaded event or situation; however, these behaviours or mental acts are not connected in a realistic way with what they are designed to neutralize or prevent, or are clearly excessive.

Note: Young children may not be able to articulate the aims of these behaviours or mental acts.

B. The obsessions or compulsions are time-consuming (e.g., take more than 1 hour per day) or cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

C. The obsessive-compulsive symptoms are not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, a medication) or another medical condition.

D. The disturbance is not better explained by the symptoms of another mental disorder (e.g., excessive worries, as in generalized anxiety disorder; preoccupation with appearance, as in body dysmorphic disorder; difficulty discarding or parting with possessions, as in hoarding disorder; hair pulling, as in trichotillomania [hair-pulling disorder]; skin picking, as in excoriation [skin-picking] disorder; stereotypies, as in stereotypic movement disorder; ritualized eating behaviour, as in eating disorders; preoccupation with substances or gambling, as in substance-related and addictive disorders; preoccupation with having an illness, as in illness anxiety disorder; sexual urges or fantasies, as in paraphilic disorders; impulses, as in disruptive, impulse-control, and conduct disorders; guilty ruminations, as in major depressive disorder; thought insertion or delusional preoccupations, as in schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders; or repetitive patterns of behaviour, as in autism spectrum disorder).

Specify if:
With good or fair insight: The individual recognizes that obsessive-compulsive disorder beliefs are definitely or probably not true or that they may or may not be true.

With poor insight: The individual thinks obsessive-compulsive disorder beliefs are probably true.

With absent insight/delusional beliefs: The individual is completely convinced that obsessive-compulsive disorder beliefs are true.

Specify if:

Tic-related: The individual has a current or past history of a tic disorder.

http://beyondocd.org/ocd-facts/clinical-definition-of-ocd

ICD-10

  • F42 should not be used for reimbursement purposes as there are multiple codes below it that contain a greater level of detail.
  • The 2018 edition of ICD-10-CM F42 became effective on October 1, 2017.
  • This is the American ICD-10-CM version of F42 – other international versions of ICD-10 F42 may differ.

Type 2 Excludes – which means that these are considered separate disorders

  • obsessive-compulsive personality (disorder) (F60.5)
  • obsessive-compulsive symptoms occurring in depression (F32F33)
  • obsessive-compulsive symptoms occurring in schizophrenia (F20.-)

The following code(s) above F42 contain annotation back-references that may be applicable to F42:

Mental, Behavioural and Neurodevelopmental disorders

Approximate Synonyms

  • Hoarding
  • Hoarding disorder
  • Hoarding disorder co-occurrent with lack of insight and/or delusions
  • Hoarding disorder w absent insight or delusional beliefs
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder

Clinical Information

  • A disorder characterized by the presence of persistent and recurrent irrational thoughts (obsessions), resulting in marked anxiety and repetitive excessive behaviours (compulsions) as a way to try to decrease that anxiety.
  • An anxiety disorder characterized by recurrent, persistent obsessions or compulsions. Obsessions are the intrusive ideas, thoughts, or images that are experienced as senseless or repugnant. Compulsions are repetitive and seemingly purposeful behaviour which the individual generally recognizes as senseless and from which the individual does not derive pleasure although it may provide a release from tension.
  • An anxiety disorder in which a person has intrusive ideas, thoughts, or images that occur repeatedly, and in which he or she feels driven to perform certain behaviours over and over again. For example, a person may worry all the time about germs and so will wash his or her hands over and over again. Having an obsessive-compulsive disorder may cause a person to have trouble carrying out daily activities.
  • Disorder characterized by recurrent obsessions or compulsions that may interfere with the individual’s daily functioning or serve as a source of distress.
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (ocd) is a type of anxiety disorder. If you have ocd, you have repeated, upsetting thoughts called obsessions. You do the same thing over and over again to try to make the thoughts go away. Those repeated actions are called compulsions. Examples of obsessions are a fear of germs or a fear of being hurt. Compulsions include washing your hands, counting, checking on things or cleaning. Untreated, ocd can take over your life researchers think brain circuits may not work properly in people who have ocd. It tends to run in families. The symptoms often begin in children or teens. Treatments that combine medicines and therapy are often effective.

http://www.icd10data.com/ICD10CM/Codes/F01-F99/F40-F48/F42-/F42

Causes of OCD

John Greist Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin; International OCD Foundation Scientific Advisory Board

Maggie Baudhuin, MLS Coordinator, Madison Institute of Medicine, Inc.

The cause of OCD is complicated and no one really knows what factors might be involved, but here are some of the things that are thought to impact the development of OCD:

  • family history – research has shown that you’re more likely to develop OCD if a family member has it, possibly because of your genes but these have been shown to only be partly responsible
  • differences in the brain – some people with OCD have areas of unusually high activity in their brain or low levels of a chemical called serotonin
  • Research suggests that OCD involves problems in communication between the front part of the brain and deeper structures. These brain structures use a chemical messenger called serotonin. Pictures of the brain at work also show that in some people, the brain circuits involved in OCD become more normal with either serotonin medicines or cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).
  • life events – OCD may be more common in people who’ve experienced bullying, abuse or neglect and it sometimes starts after an important life event, such as childbirth or a bereavement
  • personality – neat, meticulous, methodical people with high personal standards may be more likely to develop OCD, as may those who are generally quite anxious or have a very strong sense of responsibility for themselves and others
  • time of onset – some experts think that OCD that begins in childhood may be different from the OCD that begins in adults. For example, a recent review of twin studies3 has shown that genes play a larger role when OCD starts in childhood (45-65%) compared to when it starts in adulthood (27-47%).

https://iocdf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/What-You-Need-To-Know-About-OCD.pdf

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/#getting-help-for-ocd

Treatment

Studies find that it takes an average of 14 to 17 years from the time OCD begins for people to obtain appropriate treatment.

Stigma and things that reduce people seeking treatment

Some people choose to hide their symptoms, often in fear of embarrassment or stigma. Therefore, many people with OCD do not seek the help of a mental health professional until many years after the onset of symptoms.

  • lack of public awareness of OCD, so many people were unaware that their symptoms represented an illness that could be treated.
  • Lack of proper training by some health professionals often leads to the wrong diagnosis. Some patients with OCD symptoms will see several doctors and spend several years in treatment before receiving a correct diagnosis.
  • Difficulty finding local therapists who can effectively treat OCD.
  • Not being able to afford proper treatment if you are in countries that you need to pay or that the NHS has not been able to provide the services you need and you decide to go private.

https://iocdf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/What-You-Need-To-Know-About-OCD.pdf

  • The medical profession has often considered OCD bizarre and as such assumed it to be rare. Families are often reluctant to talk about OCD due to the stigma attached to mental illness. Clearly OCD will have an effect on the sufferer, but it can be difficult to understand the effect it can have on their families. OCD is all-encompassing and all family members are inextricably involved with the sufferer’s illness.

http://www.ocdaction.org.uk/support/carers

In the UK There are two main ways to get help:

  • visit your GP – your GP will ask about your symptoms and can refer you to a local psychological therapy service if necessary
  • refer yourself directly to a psychological therapy service – search for psychological therapy services near you to see if your local services accept self-referrals

If you think a friend or family member may have OCD, try talking to them about your concerns and suggest they seek help.

Note: OCD is unlikely to get better without proper treatment and support.

The main treatments in the UK are:

  • psychological therapy – usually a special type of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
    • that helps you face your fears and obsessive thoughts without “putting them right” with compulsions working with your therapist to break down your problems into their separate parts, such as your thoughts, physical feelings and actions encouraging you to face your fear and let the obsessive thoughts occur without neutralising them with compulsive behaviours – you start with situations that cause you the least anxiety first, before moving onto more difficult thoughts called – exposure and response prevention https://www.psychguides.com/guides/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-treatment-program-options/
    • The treatment is difficult and may sound frightening, but many people find that when they confront their obsessions, the anxiety does eventually improve or go away.
    • People with fairly mild OCD usually need about 10 hours of therapist treatment, combined with exercises done at home between sessions. A longer course may be necessary in more severe cases.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/treatment/

  • medication if psychological therapy doesn’t help treat your OCD, or if your OCD is fairly severe – usually a type of antidepressant medication called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) that can help by increasing the levels of serotonin in your brain
    • Sertraline (Zoloft)
    • Paroxetine (Paxil)
    • Fluvoxamine (Luvox)
    • Fluoxetine (Prozac)
    • Citalopram (Celexa)
    • https://www.psychguides.com/guides/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-treatment-program-options/
    • You may need to take the medication for 12 weeks before you notice any effect.
    • Most people require treatment for at least a year. You may be able to stop if you have few or no troublesome symptoms after this time, although some people need to take medication for many years. Your symptoms may continue to improve for up to two years of treatment.
    • Don’t stop taking SSRIs without speaking to your doctor first, as this can cause unpleasant side effects. When treatment is stopped, it will be done gradually to reduce the chance of this happening. Your dose may need to be increased again if your symptoms return.

Side effects

Possible side effects of SSRIs include:

There’s also a very small chance that SSRIs could cause you to have suicidal thoughts or want to self-harm. Contact your GP or go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department if this happens.

Most side effects improve after a few weeks as your body gets used to the medication, although some can persist.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/#getting-help-for-ocd

Further treatment in the UK

Further treatment by a specialist team may sometimes be necessary if you’ve tried the treatments above and your OCD is still not under control.

Some people with severe, long-term and difficult-to-treat OCD may be referred to a national OCD service.

This service offers assessment and treatment to people with OCD who haven’t responded to treatments available from their local and regional OCD services.

To be eligible for this service, you must have been diagnosed as having severe OCD and have received:

  • treatment with at least two different SSRIs at recommended doses for at least three months
  • at least two attempts at psychological therapy, both in a clinic and at home
  • additional treatment with another medication, such as a different type of antidepressant called clomipramine, or an SSRI at a dose higher than normally recommended

Most people’s condition improves after receiving treatment from a national OCD service.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/treatment/

Living with OCD can be difficult. In addition to getting medical help, you might find it helps to contact a support group or other people with OCD for information and advice.

The following sites may be useful sources of support:

OCD Action, OCD-UK and TOP UK can also let you know about any local support groups in your area.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-ocd/#getting-help-for-ocd

Psychosurgery (only found information about this from America)

https://www.psychguides.com/guides/obsessive-compulsive-disorder-treatment-program-options/

Psychosurgery is used to alleviate symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder in patients who do not respond to medications or behavioural therapy.

As per the International OCD Foundation, four types of brain surgery have proven effective in treating OCD. They are listed on the OCD UK website but it was unclear if these are offered

anterior cingulotomy. Which involves drilling into the skull and burning an area of the brain called the anterior cingulate cortex with a heated probe. This surgery has provided benefits for 50 percent of those with treatment-resistant OCD.

  • https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1343677-overview
  • anterior capsulotomy
  • . This surgery is similar to the anterior cingulotomy surgery, but doctors operate on a different area of the brain called the anterior limb of the internal capsule. The surgery has succeeded in giving relief to 50 to 60 percent of patients with treatment-resistant OCD.
  • the gamma knife. This treatment does not involve opening the patient’s skull. Rather, the skull is penetrated by multiple doses of gamma rays. While a single dose of gamma rays will not harm brain tissue, when multiple sources of gamma rays intersect, they create an energy level adequate to destroy targeted brain tissue. The gamma knife procedure has been helpful to about 60 percent of treatment-resistant OCD patients.
  • deep brain stimulation (DBS). Although this procedure requires opening the patient’s skull, it does not involve destroying brain tissue. Instead, electrodes are placed at strategic points inside the brain and wired to a pulse generator. The battery-powered generator, also called an implantable neurostimulator, sends pulses to the brain. It works in a similar fashion to a pacemaker. So far, only small studies have been conducted with deep brain stimulation, but the response rate is similar to the other surgeries.

https://rampages.us/psyc407summer/wp-content/uploads/sites/43/2014/06/cingulotomy.gif

Supporting someone with OCD

Families and OCD Barbara Livingston Van Noppen, PhD Associate Professor, University of Southern California International OCD Foundation Scientific Advisory Board

1. Do not regard OCD as the person’s fault and try not to believe that you or anyone else may have caused it. If the person decides to seek professional help, be supportive of that decision and encourage their determination to recover. Help your family member find the right treatment. The best treatment usually includes medicine, cognitive behaviour therapy, and family education and support.

2. Encourage the person with OCD to persist with their treatment, even when this seems difficult, and show appreciation of any improvement, however small.

3. Learn how to respond if your family member refuses treatment

  • Bring books, video tapes, and/or audio tapes on OCD into the house. Offer the information to your family member with OCD or leave it around (strategically) so they can read/listen to it on their own.
  • Offer encouragement. Tell the person that through proper treatment most people have a significant decrease in symptoms. Tell them there is help and there are others with the same problems. Suggest that the person with OCD attend support groups with or without you, talk to an OCD buddy through online support groups, or speak to a professional in a local OCD clinic.
  • Get support and help yourself. Seek professional advice/support from someone that knows OCD and talk to other family members so you can share your feelings of anger, sadness, guilt, shame, and isolation.
  • Attend a support group. Discuss how other families handle the symptoms and get feedback about how you can deal with your family member’s OCD. To find a list of support groups in your area, visit www.ocfoundation.org

4. Remember that symptoms may wax and wane. Some days, the person may be able to deal with symptoms better than others. Each person needs to overcome their problems at their own pace, even though this may be a lengthy process.

5. Learn about OCD Education is the first step, the more you learn, the more you will be able to help. You can:

  • Read books on OCD
  • Join the International OCD Foundation
  • Attend OCD support groups
  • Research online

6. Allow the person to explain their problems to you. This will help them to feel less isolated and ashamed of their condition. The symptoms may seem unrealistic and irrational to you, but the fear for the person with OCD, is very real.

7. While supporting the person with OCD, try not to support the obsessions and compulsions. The International OCD Foundations calls this recognising and reducing “Family Accommodation Behaviours” Family Accommodation Behaviours are things families do that enable OCD symptoms. Families are constantly affected by the demands of OCD. Research shows that how a family responds to the OCD may help fuel OCD symptoms. The more that family members can learn about their responses to OCD and the impact they have on the person with OCD, the more the family becomes empowered to make a difference! Here are some examples of these problematic behaviours:

  • Participating in the behaviour: You participate in your family member’s OCD behaviour along with them. Example: washing your hands whenever they wash their hands.
  • Assisting in avoiding: You help your family member avoid things that upset them. Example: doing their laundry for them so that it is cleaned the “right” way.
  • Helping with the behaviour: You do things for your family member that lets them do OCD behaviours. Example: buying large amounts of cleaning products for them.
  • Making changes in Family Routine: Example: you change the time of day that you shower, or when you change your clothes.
  • Taking on extra responsibilities: Example: going out of your way to drive them places when they could otherwise drive themselves.
  • Making changes in leisure activities: Example: your family member gets you to not leave the house without them. This affects your interests in movies, dinners out, time with friends, etc.
  • Making changes at your job: Example: you cut back on hours at your job in order to take care of your family member.

Note: The worst thing to do is to give reassurance to the person that their fears are unfounded. If you do this, the person will not learn this for themselves and the disorder will persist. Encourage the person to challenge the obsessions and compulsions.

8. People with OCD are often aware of the humorous aspects of their obsessions and compulsions. This awareness can be used to help them distance themselves from the condition. However, resist mocking the person’s symptoms as this may cause additional stress, shame and embarrassment.

9. At home, people with OCD should be encouraged to maintain as normal a lifestyle as possible. Families should not try to adapt their ways of doing things to accommodate the person’s obsessions and compulsions.

10. Remember that OCD is tough for families to deal with. Continue to communicate with each other. Remember also that the family, friends and carers of people with OCD need help and support themselves. Make sure you continue to do things you enjoy and have people to talk to about your own feelings and concerns.

https://iocdf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/What-You-Need-To-Know-About-OCD.pdf

http://www.ocdaction.org.uk/resource/supporting-person-ocd

Resources

 

 

Mental Health Book Review: A Bitter Pill to Swallow by Tiffany Gholar

Our Review

Overall rating:

Sydney’s rating:

Becky’s rating:

The Harrison School helps children and teenagers struggling with their mental health to continue with their education whilst being treated for the issues that they are experiencing. At the school, we meet Janina who has been diagnosed with depression and has been at the school for four years and is afraid to leave the schools safety.

Devante has been a witness to a life changing traumatic shooting in which the girl he cared about lost her life and he is finding life difficult. He attempts suicide but is stopped and decides to enrol at the Harrison School. Devante is diagnosed with acute stress disorder and he meets Janina. Their friendship helps them both on their journey to recovery.

As a result of a new addition to the Harrison School team is given a select group of students to look after and as a result starts to question Janina’s diagnosis. After investigation and new research it is decided that Janina is not mentally unwell but has been mis-diagnosed because the people around her failed to acknowledge her intellect. Showing that the labels we take on are fluid and can change over time.

Whilst at the Harrison School Devante begins to see that there are others in a similar situation to him, he is not alone and there are other people who are in a worst position than him.

This book shows the differences between different mental health conditions and their durations. It also shows the fluidity of mental health diagnosis and that labels are not necessarily everything and that treating teenagers as people has a huge beneficial effect.

Listen to our full review at:
Mental Health Book Club Episode 15

Mental Health Book Review: Autism Anxiety and Me by Emma Louise Bridge

Our Review

Overall rating:

Sydney’s rating:

Becky’s rating:

This is our first non-fiction book that we have read for the Mental Health Book Club Podcast. The book is written by Emma Louise Bridge, a 24-year-old female diagnosed with Autism and this is a collection of her diary entries exploring Emma’s world. After each diary entry Penelope Bridge, Emma’s mother, adds her own thoughts about the entries and summarises the main points that have a profound impact on Emma’s life.

We read about different scenarios that Emma faces which provide a real insight into the differences in the way a person with autism processes the world. Emma describes different ways of thinking, such as, literal thinking, theory of mind the impact changes in routine may have. There is also a lot of discussion on the issues that people may face as a result of hypersensitivities in terms of sound and touch and how Emma would find certain textures and noises difficult to handle.

This book really has two separate audiences – young people who might relate to the feelings and situations Emma describes, and those who are wanting to find out more about the impact of autism. The diary is interesting due to the insights into the workings of Emma’s mind and although Penelope’s summaries pull you out of Emma’s mind and sometimes detracts from the diary itself, it does provide valuable information that the second audience may be seeking.

Listen to our full review at:

Mental Health Book Club Episode 9

Mental Health Book Review: Anxiety Girl Falls Again by Lacey London

Our Review

Overall Rating:

Sydney’s Rating:

Becky’s Rating:

Sadie has moved on from her bout with anxiety and depression and has changed her entire life. She has sold her swanky apartment and moved into a quaint cottage, she has a new job as a counsellor leading several anxiety anonymous support groups and Ruby has become a prominent part of her life. She seems like she has turned her life around and has beaten her issues with mental illness.

Her life becomes more interesting when Aidan Wilder walks into one of Sadie’s support groups. He intrigues her so much that she can’t stop thinking about him and wants to learn more. She makes it her mission to help this new mysterious man fight against his own demons. As the book progresses we start to find out more about what brought Aidan into Sadie’s life after a heart-breaking tragedy leaves him lost and struggling to continue with life.

Those around Sadie that care about her begin to worry about how involved she has become with a man she barely knows and as a reader I began to question how ethical some of her behaviour is whilst helping Aidan, and if she is perhaps at times overstepping and becoming unprofessional with him.

The other cause for concern as a reader is the way that Sadie believes that she is done with anxiety and that it will never be a problem for her again, whilst for most reality is rarely like that. I can understand her annoyance at those around her constantly checking up on her wellbeing and that people can feel this way but she fails to see their point of view. After all, in the last book she had made a suicide attempt – at that point it is justified for people to be concerned about you.

Again this is a quick read, the descriptions and discussions about grief are realistic and I look forward to reading the next instalment in the Sadie Valentine series.

Listen to the full review:
Mental Health Book Club Podcast Episode 9

Mental Health Book Review: Dandelion Angel by C.B. Calico

Our Review:

Overall rating:

Sydney’s rating:

Becky’s rating:

Our behaviour is influenced by our parents, we often take on their mannerisms and behaviours. Let’s face it how many times have you found yourself doing something that you can associate with one of your parents?

But, what happens if a parent has an undiagnosed mental health issue that impacts their emotional response to the world around them? Well, it can have a long lasting and devastating impact late into their children’s adult life.

Dandelion Angel by C.B. Calico follows the stories of four adult daughters and their mothers who have undiagnosed Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) or Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD). A parent with this mental health condition often results in an emotionally chaotic and unstable home environment for the children in their care. These mothers are often demanding, emotionally neglectful, rage filled and even physically abusive towards their own offspring.

In our opinion C.B. Calico explores the impacts of BPD on the entire family, in a sympathetic way, whilst not excusing the mother’s actions or behaviours. We learn about the childhood stories of the mother’s and whilst they are heart breaking in themselves, they are not there as an excuse to justify their later behaviour towards their children. Their stories are provided to give an insight into the situations that shaped them into the people we read about in this book. Each grown up daughter still bears the emotional scars left by their mothers, but yet all four have been able to move forward with their own lives in differing ways. This story provides hope to those who may have experienced similar upbringings.

Listen to Pt 1 of the full review here.

Listen to Pt 2 of the full review here.