We love the wealth of information available to us from the internet. Because of our various interests, Chuck and I both have “Google Alerts” for articles or blogs about subjects we write about. (If you don’t know what Google Alerts are, Google it!) Many days, the shear number of suggested links and articles gets a bit overwhelming; both of us spend hours digging into the topics presented to us on these alerts. Frankly, lots of the topics are thinly veiled advertisements for various products and we quickly delete them. However, some alerts send us to fascinating research or poignant news articles.

One such article today detailed the suicide of a 21 year old woman in the UK who had battled Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and depression. The article chronicled a life that for this woman seemed unbearable. She apparently used 10 bottles of hand wash every day, and like many people with contamination fears had infected and blistered hands. She was afraid to get treatment because she feared that she might get contaminated from the facility. So, she dressed in her best clothes and jumped from the 10th story of a parking lot.

The saddest part of this story is that OCD left untreated often leads to depression. The vast majority of people with OCD or depression do not commit suicide, but the risk is certainly greater for them than others without these disorders. Sorry to bring this up during the season to be jolly, but people with OCD and depression don’t usually get better because of the brightness of the holidays. We have a few messages:

  • There are effective treatments for both OCD and depression. These treatments should include some type of cognitive behavioral therapy. Medication can also be considered but is not always necessary. Many people don’t realize that empirically supported psychotherapies are at least as effective as medication for these problems and usually do a better job of preventing reoccurrences.
  • There are many products, cures, and solutions offered on the internet. Some of these treatments are cleverly packaged with pseudo-scientific authenticity claims. Please be careful about buying something that offers a quick fix.
  • If you or someone you care about suffers from emotions or behaviors that seem to be getting in the way of happiness and meeting daily responsibilities, please don’t wait. Get help now.