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The Domino Effect

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Domino Effect: OCD and the Health Care Gap

Over the course of an exam, a physician asked what I did for a living.  I indicated that I treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, which was met with the following reply:  “I did not think that disorder is treatable”. 

OCD has been treatable since the 1970s.  However, this physician’s lack of knowledge about the best-practice in treatment is not uncommon.  In fact, it’s systemic. Obsessive-compulsive disorder is often overlooked in Ontario’s health care system. Physicians are not trained to look for symptoms of OCD in their patients, and so the disorder is often under-diagnosed. 

The domino effect unfolds as follows:  When OCD is left undiagnosed, people suffer for a long time before seeking treatment.  In fact, only 56% of people suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder seek help.

Does this explain why most of my clients are self-referred?  How do we change this lack of knowledge? 

For further information about this phenomenon: 

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/sunnybrook-health-sciences-centre/ocd-treatment-access_b_16292236.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4120194/pdf/1471-244X-14-S1-S1.pdf (skip to page 26 for OCD). 

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-only-cure-for-ocd-is-expensive-elusive-and-scary_b_581c9701e4b01022624115f3