Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. In addition to spending time with my family, I’ve just always loved the idea of a day set aside to be thankful for all that we have. Mindfulness at its best!
I am so thankful that my son Dan continues to do well, eight years after severe obsessive-compulsive disorder completely debilitated him. I am grateful that Overcoming OCD: A Journey to Recovery, published in January 2015, continues to educate and inspire people. I am also thankful that as an advocate for OCD awareness, I am able to connect with those whose lives have been affected, in one way or another, by OCD.
But there is so much work left to do. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is still widely misrepresented, misunderstood, and mistreated. It continues to boggle my mind that so many people are not even aware of exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy, the first line psychological treatment for OCD as recommended by the American Psychological Association. There is still a serious shortage of qualified treatment providers and a lack of adequate healthcare coverage. On a national level, our country is sure to see changes in these next few years regarding assistance for those who need our help. The list goes on – there is plenty to be concerned about.
But there is also a lot we can do. Each of us can do our part in raising awareness and understanding of OCD and all brain disorders. We can advocate for those who are not able to stand up for themselves and treat others, no matter who they are, where they come from, or what issues they’re facing, with kindness, compassion and respect. While this might not seem like much to some people, I believe it’s the basis for positive change in all of our lives.
In this time of transition and uncertainty, I would like to wish all my readers who celebrate Thanksgiving a happy, healthy, and peaceful holiday surrounded by loved ones.