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March 19, 1998

Support group set up for adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder

A new UPMC Health System-sponsored support group for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) will provide adults with the illness a forum to share coping strategies, mutual support, education and treatment information.

People with OCD often experience obsessions, which are senseless thoughts, impulses or images, like worrying they will hurt others they do not really wish to harm. Or they may doubt that something was done properly, such as locking the door to their house or unplugging the iron. They may attempt to reduce the anxiety caused by these thoughts through repetitive rituals called compulsions. Those obsessed with a fear of germs may wash their hands over and over or avoid touching objects they fear are contaminated. Others may experience the need to repetitively count or check things.

"People who have OCD often have a hard time functioning in the world," explained Mark Jones, director of the OCD Treatment Program at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. "This support group will provide them with a chance to share their experiences and the latest information on OCD." The group meets the second Tuesday of each month from 6-7:30 p.m. at UPMC Health System's Monroeville satellite in the International Technology Building, 2790 Mosside Blvd., Suite 290.

For more information, call 856-8770. All calls are confidential.

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