Examining The OCD Project With Dr. Tolin – Episode 5

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All this season, board-certified clinical psychologistDr. David Tolin will be checking in with this blog for episode-specific interviews on The OCD Project, which places six people living with obsessive-compulsive disorder in a house in an attempt to treat and control their disorder. Our chat on the fifth episode is below. In it, Dr. Tolin talks about Jerry’s withdrawal, the duration of Arine’s exposure, Kevin’s prayer and why he thinks this method of treatment might not be right for Kevin…

At the beginning of the episode, we discovered that Kevin seems to be regressing, per the Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale.

This is an issue that we had seen happen on a couple of occasions, if you remember when Kevin was watching his fear movie, and again when we were doing exposures trying to stop his father’s heart using his thoughts, and then again in the hospital. What we saw is that Kevin’s anxiety did not seem to reduce in the same manner that everybody else’s did. Kevin was having a very different emotional reaction to the exposure exercises. So when we administered the YBOCS after one week of treatment, what we see is that his condition wasn’t getting any better in fact, if anything he was looking a little bit worse.

Could the treatment have been damaging him?

Hard to tell. My guess is that it wasn’t necessarily worsening his OCD, but it might have been increasing his overall level of distress. It is important to recognize that even though exposure therapy is uncomfortable, we do it for a reason and you see it in the other five people. When they can face up to their fears and when they can tolerate some distress, their overall levels of distress and discomfort goes down. They start feeling better. That wasn’t happening with Kevin.

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The institution exercise seemed pertinent to Jerry’s issues. However, when he arrived, he seemed angrier at the fact that he was being treated than the issues the treatment brought up. I wondered if that was as sign of progress.

Sometimes I think in order to beat OCD you’ve got to get mad at it. Sometimes people want to get mad at their therapist and that doesn’t really help that much. But when you get to a point where the person is so sick of OCD and so sick of what OCD has done to their life that they’re willing to do anything to beat it, that’s when the person is really starting to turn a corner and is ready to put in the hard work that it’s going to take.

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Jerry then withdrew completely and everybody kind of rallies around him. Yet another advantage of group therapy, right?

I think Jerry really needed and benefitted from the support of the other five people. He needed people who were going to be there for him, who knew what he was going through, and were facing concerns of their own that were kind of similar. I think that ultimately helped to bring him out of his shell.

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You ended up telling Jerry to “kill” Arine, fully aware that he wouldn’t. It seems like treating people whose fears are based internally (i.e. people who are afraid of themselves) is different than with those who are afraid of external factors: in the former group, you expect them not to be able to do what you’re telling them to do (like last week, when you told Traci and Kevin to stop hearts with their minds).

Everybody’s a little different, but last week I was saying to Traci, “Traci stop his heart.” Essentially I was telling Traci to kill her son with her thoughts. She learned through experience that she simply could not do that and that was a real turning point for her. In Jerry’s case, I wanted him to see that while he certainly could kill people, he is not going to. It is not in his nature. The mere opportunity to kill somebody does not mean that he is going to actually do it.

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Both Traci and Arine surprised me this week with their extreme reactions to the exposures. It seemed like they had turned things around earlier, but now it seems that they have to go through their anxiety all over again.

In some sense they do. Beating OCD is a long and arduous process. It’s not like you do one good exposure and a light bulb goes off and the person is fine. The person really has to face a variety of fearful situations, usually done in an escalating manner until essentially they have faced all of their fears. Until they do that, you don’t really see that they’re truly better. So for example, last week when Arine and Traci had some really solid exposures, that’s great, but I also know that doesn’t mean they’re out of the woods. They’re still going to have some really hard things to do.

How do you measure progress then? Is it how quickly they calm down within any given exposure?

Not necessarily. Some people seem to calm down very quickly in the middle of an exposure. Some people seem to take a really long time. Either way is fine. What seems to be most critical is how they react to that situation the next time we approach it. So if we have the opportunity to repeat the exposure, to go back to something similar, do we find that they’re reacting differently to it, that they’re able to cope with it a little bit better or do we find that it’s like we hadn’t done anything and it’s back to square one? When we see that, I think that’s a bad sign. When it seems like we’re just at square one with every single exposure, that’s a sign of somebody who’s struggling.

Was it all a concern that Traci was still having trouble distinguishing reality from fantasy?

People with OCD have varying levels of insight into how irrational their obsessions are and Traci is a bit lower on that scale than some of the other people are. It’s important to recognize that doesn’t mean that Traci doesn’t have a good grip on reality. It doesn’t mean she is psychotic. It doesn’t mean she is delusional, but what it means is that she is not as good as detaching herself from her obsessions and recognizing them for the nonsense that they are.

When you were on the floor with Arine, exposing her to what might have been blood or red jelly or whatever, how long did that exposure take? The editing suggested you were sitting there for a while.

It was all pretty long processes. Each of those exposures was about an hour. I was doing those individual exposures for about six hours that night. I actually ended up giving myself an upper respiratory infection because of the bad air in the basement of that hospital.

Again and again, I’m reminded of the patience your job requires.

It’s a very slow, repetitive, gradual, step-by-step process. What you see on the show tends to be the peak moments and most outrageous aspects of the exposure but in reality, exposure therapy is very repetitive, somewhat plotting, and is just done baby step by baby step.

After Kevin’s exposure, he admitted that he had said a prayer to undo it. I thought it was kind of strange that he admitted that, when it was a secret to begin with.

I don’t know if he thought it wasn’t something not to tell me or if he just didn’t get that this is how it goes, that you don’t do rituals. When we did that exercise I was down in that room with Kevin for about an hour and his anxiety did start to go down and I was starting to feel encouraged. I was starting to think, “Wow, maybe we are getting to Kevin. Maybe Kevin is starting to turn a corner. Maybe he’s starting to benefit from these exposures.” Then when he told he had said this undoing prayer, this ritual, I realized that his anxiety level hadn’t gone down because he was habituating. It hadn’t gone down because he was benefitting from the exposure. It had gone down because he had given into the urge to do more compulsions. That he seemed to admit that so readily and freely that it struck me that he didn’t even get it. So I’m thinking, “Man we’ve been at this for a week now and you still don’t get it. What’s going on with this guy?”

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I certainly wasn’t bothered by this, but I wondered if other people would watch this scene and think, “Dr. Tolin is attacking Kevin’s religious beliefs…”

I would never want to attack anyone’s religion. Some people have compulsions that take the form of prayers, but understand that there is a real difference between a true prayer and a compulsive prayer. A true prayer is somebody being spiritual, getting in touch with God or whatever superior being they worship. It’s a way for them to express themselves. It’s a way to ask for strength and so on. Compulsive praying is none of these things. There’s nothing spiritual about it. It doesn’t bring peace to a person. It doesn’t put them in touch with God. It’s not a way for them to mediate. It’s not a way for them to pray for strength. All it is, is a crutch that they use to try to prevent bad things from happening and in that sense compulsive praying is really no different from things like compulsive hand washing. They serve the exact same function. I tell people to stop doing compulsions. It’s important to stop doing compulsions, but it’s also important to recognize there is a distinction between compulsions and the real thing. Me asking Kristen to stop washing her hands doesn’t mean I hate cleanliness and me asking Kevin to stop doing these compulsive prayers doesn’t mean I hate religion and me asking Arne to run over a dummy doesn’t mean I hate safe driving.

It seems like compulsive prayers are something that show up in many people’s day-to-day lives — people who don’t necessarily suffer from OCD. It’s a very human thing to get in trouble and you start praying even when you’re not religious.

Even when we don’t mean it in a spiritual way, like, “God please let me pass this exam” or something. Sure, I get it. I think lots of us have been in the position of perhaps using prayer for the wrong purposes, but I think when you get into OCD, that’s taken to such extreme that you really need to tell that person to put a stop to it. Praying that your thoughts won’t kill people is a compulsion. We need to recognize that there is nothing spiritual about that. Just the fact that you’re calling it a prayer, doesn’t make it something special. It is essentially a mental ritual and a person needs to learn how not to do that.

Kevin revealing his prayer seems like the final straw for you, as far as treating him is concerned.

I think it was just one more piece of evidence that this treatment was simply not working out for Kevin. When he did his fear movie, it resulted in a panic attack. When we did the exposure with his dad, he didn’t quite seem to grasp it. We looked at his YBOCS score, it was going up not down. We took him to the hospital and did the exposure there and he controlled his anxiety by using rituals and seemed not to grasp that that was the wrong thing to do. I think it was just one thing after another that was telling me that we were just not reaching this guy.

Disappointing?

Terribly disappointing. I want nothing more than for all six of these people to come away from the program happy and healthy. Otherwise, what’s the point? Honestly, I’m not here for the ratings. I’m not a TV guy. I’m a psychologist. I treat people. That’s how I make my living. I am in this business because I want people to get better and stop suffering. I brought Kevin into the program because I truly believed that I could help him to stop suffering and it was very disappointing to me to have to face the idea that maybe I couldn’t.

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Related content
The OCD Project show page
The OCD Project videos and extras
Dr. Tolin’s official site

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  1. l alvarado says:

    i just wat to say i am just like kristen i lost my job 4 years ago to ocd i cant touch my husband or children for the fear of contamination. i dont let anyone touch me and it makes me sad for my kids and husband. i got hit by a car when i was 12 and my dad commited suiced right before my 5 birthday i witnessed him beat my mom all the time.i am on thelast perscribtion possible clomprimine. i just want to say thank you for this show i c myself in kristen and i am so sad i want to get over this just like her.

  2. Zoe says:

    I’m interested in what Dr. Tolin has to say about the safety and wisdom of encouraging people to handle random blood that they come across(!)

  3. Kerstin Lowell says:

    Thank you, Dr. Tolin & VH1, for producing such a compassionate picture of how it is to suffer and recover from this disorder. I have another anxiety disorder, and have often felt great shame about not only my suffering but the treatment I have undergone to help myself. It is really nice to see people struggling with similar issues without being ridiculed or condescended to.

    All of the participants are extraordinarily brave! Thanks for sharing your struggles with us.

  4. stephanie says:

    i like kevin alot,,i could see us havin a conversation,,but my question regaurding him is:the other people can see the end results in sayin negative things,how the things they say dont come to happen.in kevins mindhe cannot see the end result or have a conversation with who he precieves as god.he cant see the end!so when u made him undo the undo,,of course his tension is going to soar.he figures he wont know the result til the end.what can u do?all of them are doing amazing work,traumitizing work also.i was involved in role-playing of traumas that happened as a child,unfortunately it made everything worse.i know theres hope for kevin,reminds me of me a little.somehow he has to know he CANT persuade or control GODS decisions,how??thank you for your show

  5. Katie says:

    ~@($_^!^~~~+)*+^ ay for the OCD Project! My sister 3 years older than me has suffered with OCD for the majority of her life. I have not suffered with the disease personally, but I have seen first hand how it takes over a persons life. I was the one to grab the stearing wheel as my sister drove us to school, because we were passing telephone poles and she did not want the radiation to seep through the car and into her hands, I was the one to find her sleeping in a wooden kitchen chair in the middle of the night because it was the only place not contaminated, and I watched as she washed her hands once again as they bled from being washed so many times before. This is an amazing show and the people on it are remarkable. I cry as they face their fears because I know it must be terrifying to them, and then the tears turn into those of pride and joy as they conquer them and feel proud of themselves. Great work Dr. Tolin, and all your staff!! What an inspiring show. Keep up the great work everyone!

  6. S. D. says:

    Why does Dr Tolin refer to the others by their names but to Kevin as “this guy” in Examining The Ocd Project BLOG? It seems a bit impersonal….almost dehumanizing. As with Arene, I’m not no sure I would stand there if somebody was told to kill me, no matter how “safe” it is.

  7. Lynn says:

    As much as I agree showing OCD is a good thing I have second thoughts the way it is used in the OCD project escpially in the last 2 episodes.
    But the recent episode putting them in an abandoned mental Hospital seems to border on “Fear Factor” and “Ghost Hunters”.
    This has been done before in these other shows.
    I mean Fear Factor had dares like eating bugs on a simular level as dunking a scone in a toilet and eating off it.
    I would think that tolilet scone dunking would be a health hazard because of what the toilet was used to clean with like bleach or whatever poop was left behind.
    It’s the reason one doesn’t eat rotten food for the same health reasons.
    I stopped watching after that toilet thing and stopped even more so after that abandoned mental hospital nonsense.
    But the abandoned mental hospital idea in the episode {from what i read on my dvr} is overdone and over the top.
    I don’t think that was taught in therapist school more like reality t.v school.
    I just hope the doctor isn’t getting carried away and useing their OCD to exploit them.
    To make OCD people on it jump artifical hoops like a rat in a maze.
    Because it seems to be heading that way if the OCD doctor keeps up these stupid field trips and dares that even someone without OCD wouldn’t do.

  8. Steph says:

    Dr Tolin is a good man. I love the show. Him and his staff being so understanding. It is great!!! I can relate to kristin and arene. I wash my hands constantly and scared of things that look like blood and stepping on ciggarette butts. Crazyy huh? I was normal had a wonderful son 4 years ago. He had a seizuze from having 104 temperature. Scared me to death

  9. David says:

    Just watched this episode today. I couldn’t believe Kevin’s case of OCD regarding religous fears because I suffer the same the same fears of God sending me to hell to suffer for eternity–it’s mental and emotional torment. One of the intrusive thoughts I have is in my head, I keep saying “god damn” everytime something goes wrong. The only reason I mentally say this is because I know it is considered a “bad” and possibly the worst curse word because it is a complete disrespect for God.

  10. anonymous says:

    Dear Dr. Tolin,
    The girl I love more than anyone else in the world has really bad OCD. We both love and trust eachother more than anyone else in the whole world. She washes her hands until they blead, but also she has broken up with me on a weekly basis for the 8 months we have been together (and then asks me back days later). We have been friends for four years before this. She says that her head is a mess and she just gets really confused. I KNOW we both love eachother and have one of the healthiest relationships alive but I am starting to realize that her head explosions as she calls them that lead her to break up with the man she loves monthly to weekly and then ask for him back two days to a week later probably have to do with OCD. Can you help me? I love this girl more than anyone, trust her more than anyone, we are best friends and madly in love, and I would hate to loose her because her head is hurting. What can I do? To make matters worse she and her friends have told me that her parents are abusivly controlling and might have a lot to do with the break up as well. Is there anything I can do to help her? Should I give her space? She hates having conversations about this because she says it makes her feel strange and she just wants to be normal. I know she is normal and my better half, please let me know what I can or should do. Thank you Dr. Tolin.
    Yours truly, anonymous. Let me know if there is somewhere I can privatly send you my email address.

  11. Carol says:

    I have a friend who has fairly debilitating OCD. I’ve learned some from the show about the disorder, and until the hospital episode, I thought the treatments were helpful.

    While the exercises in the hospital, I feel, was irresponsible, and potentially damaging for one and a health risk for another.

    Having the gal wipe what was thought to be blood from a place where people died of various cancers was outrageously irresponsible. While you can’t “Catch cancer”, there are a host of diseases you CAN catch that can, according to research, lead one to developing cancer. While those may or may not have been present, others may have been. If the show used fake blood, that would be different.

    Taking a vulnerable man and “requiring” him to go against his religious beliefs has nothing to do with treating OCD. Then the therapist tells him he doesn’t think that this “therapy” is for him? How damaging and irresponsible can you get?

    I read the “rationalization” above from the therapist. If his beliefs about what was going on were so “on point”, then why wasn’t this patient doing better? There is simply no excuse for possibly endangering someone’s health or taking an already vulnerable patient who is clearly not doing well, then have him do something that is clearly against his religious beliefs, then talk to him about discharging him from the program. Simply damaging and irresponsible.

    The therapist clearly was not understanding the patient’s (Kevin’s) process and may have done damage that could take years, if not a lifetime, to overcome.

    Mess up and don’t connect with a vulnerable patient, push them clearly beyond their limits, require that they stomp on their own religious beliefs, then spit them out? Clearly irresponsible!

    The therapist needed to connect with this person before pushing any limits, regardless of their filming schedule, which was mentioned in the episode.

    When I was just starting to get a little respect back for therapy as at least somewhat helpful, I will not be sending my friend off to someone who’s read the books and implemented what they’ve read.

    The gal wiping what could have been human blood all over herself, especially her face, seems to be getting the most out of this therapy for her OCD. I hope she doesn’t carry something with her that could be a health problem later on as a result of this exposure. Medically we are in our infancy of discovering pathogens that are linked to cancers. While it “seems” clear that most bloodborne pathogens don’t last after a lengthy period of time, others can be feeding on this “dry blood”.

    Did anyone check the humidity of this hospital, or do a C&S for this place?

    Potentially harmful mold, etc. could also be in the hospital.

    In hospitals and labs, these things are cleaned up on a regular basis, several times a day – at least each shift in a lab. Hands are washed before and after EACH patient! This “Ritual” is for safety and is required by law for medical professionals as well as food preparers. This “therapist” would be fired from any upstanding medical or psych/med facility (or even McDonald’s)

    I’m concerned about these people’s long-term well-being.

    As a medical professional, I’m outraged.

    Clearly yet another irresponsible therapist on the loose.

  12. momof4k says:

    I understand that to overcome fear is to face it and in most cases the fear is irrational. What I don’t get is that in the situations that you have placed Arine, it IS dangerous to come in contact with blood from an unkown source or of getting ill from bacteria after eating something out of a toliet so how do you rationalize doing that? Obviously, YOU wouldn’t have placed her in danger, but in real life, if in fact that was blood and she had smeared it all over her face, hair etc., she might have actually contracted one the diseases she is so afraid of. So my question is I guess, after treatment and without the safety of knowing you would not put her into a harmful situation, how will she be able to keep her fears in check when the reality of it is, some of what she is afraid of is a legitimate fear that she has just blown out of proportion?

  13. aysling says:

    I’m absolutely in love with The OCD Project. Although, I have to admit that Dr. Tolin makes the show awesome.

  14. Adam says:

    Wow, they worked w/ Kevin for a whole week. Better get him out of the study fast if he doesn’t instantaneously respond to treatment, God forbid your study’s results are negatively affected (a smaller sample size due to attrition doesn’t reduce statistical significance as much as a participant that doesn’t respond to the intervention under analysis). If Dr. Tolin really cares about Kevin’s well-being, he’ll make prolonged treatment available for him at zero cost. That’s the least he could do for Kevin’s contribution’s to the show’s ratings (Kevin really makes people want to watch).

  15. Michael says:

    My wife suffers with OCD. The most recent (two years) manifestation is her a desperate desire to have a daughter. She is constantly playing mental games in her head ie. “the gender of the next child I see is what I am going to have”. Seeing mothers with all boys sends her over the edge because she thinks that god is showing her that that is going to be her. She tries to ‘decode’ license plates as signs telling her whether her next child will be a boy or a girl. The list goes on. Q: her ocd is not as behavior oriented as flicking a light switch or washing hands; how would you use exposure therapy for someone like this. Q: WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDATION FOR REASSURING OR NOT REASSURING A LOVED ONE WITH OCD THOUGHTS. Any other SPECIFIC tips on how to provide support and not enable would be a gift. WHAT A GREAT PORGRAM!

  16. Derek says:

    I am a former OCD sufferer and I feel that the OCD project is bringing the illness of OCD to the publics knowledge, but does not accuratley represent the time how sever OCD takes to be treated. I have been to the the top treatment center in the country and they don’t throw patients cold turkey with no compulsions after two days. I feel this show does not represtent the average severe OCD sufferers treatment. I do want to say though that the 5 of the 6 OCD sufferers are really trying and I wish them all good luck. Also Dr Tolin does not explain to the audience about the SUDS scale.

  17. Becky says:

    I have OCD, I first was aware of it around age 8. I have a mixture of all of those on the show, but a much milder case.
    I agree with facing your fears BUT I don’t agree with what the doctor had Kevin to do. I’m a christian and I don’t want to go to hell either and for Kevin to do that was just wrong. that is his eternity and his family’s. I feel you don’t mess with that at all. everything else I can understand just not this one. I hope the doctor read this.

    does anyone else feel this way?
    Becky

  18. Becky says:

    I want to add I like the OCD project and Dr Tolin.

    I feel everyone but Kevin got immediate satisfaction meaning before they left the hospital. I just wish Dr Tolin told Keven to put a hex on himself and for it to work before he leaves the hospital. Then he would know it is ok, the hex didn’t work. But Kevin feels his family and his self is doomed to hell. I read what Dr Tolin wrote about Kevin and religion. I just wish he didn’t go there. I feel for Kevin for the first time. I really am worried about him.
    I will still watch because I want them all to be helped and maybe myself as well by watching.

  19. Lisa says:

    I was very interested in your work, catching the show yesterday for the first time, and I have a question for you how I might help myself with my own OCD. I’ve had OCD since I was a little girl, and I’m now 43. However, I don’t really have odd “obsessions” or fears, so there isn’t exactly anything I can expose myself to treat my symptoms.

    My OCD involves compulsions to do things “just right”, (although I never know when or if I’m doing it “right”) to prevent bad things from happening. Most specifically, I believe that certain things I do, like hanging a picture the right way for instance, will affect some health issues I have. (I make a LOT of holes in the wall.)

    I have suffered from numerous chronic real illnesses throughout my life, including breast cancer, thyroid disease, Crohn’s Disease, and recently was appars to be fibromyalgia. With things like fibromylgia, there is no rhyme or reason as to why or when symptoms will sometimes arise – which is perfect fodder for someone with OCD to decide that there must be a “magic” connection between the random things I do each day, and symptom flare-ups. I will again and again move something, or do something over and over in an effort to try to relieve chronic pain an discomforts, thinking I have magic control over them.

    When I am feeling physically well, it is easier to resist the compulsions and put that thinking away. When I’m not feeling well, I feel I must have done something “wrong”.

    So, I am already being “exposed” every day to the thing I fear, which is chronic pain and medical issues, but I need to convince that part of my brain that I cannot control my symptoms by moving objects, or repeating actions, or rearranging things. I do take Prozac, and I have for 20 years, but I think some behavioral therapy would help me here also.

    I welcome your thoughts and thank you for your involvement with an enlightening show. To most uninformed people, OCD is “funny”, and not well understood.

    Lisa

  20. cyn4it58 says:

    I feel that Kevin has a problem, but that is is not OCD. I think maybe he might a mental problem and I can see this program will not help him at all.

  21. Kevin (from show) says:

    Stephanie, David, Adam and Becky…This is kevin from the show. Thanks for your support and understanding.

  22. Kathy says:

    Dr. Tolin,

    I am so excited watching the show. Seeing that real recovery is happening for the people in the program. I was sorry to see that Kevin was not able to realize the same recovery in this program but I have hope for him that he will be in the right environment for treatment for his concerns. About the Prayer episode and you statement. I am a religious person and I wanted to make the comment that I never felt you were attacking his religious belief. One has to separate the disease from the action. Your asking him not to say the prayer is the same as your asking Kristen not to wash her hands. Of course I know that you already know this but I thought it might be of interest to your readers. I am a big fan of the program and consider you to be an amazing Doctor. I do face challenges in my life but OCD is not considered to be one of them. I would like to ask you a question about it though. Do you think that people without the disorder can have mild OCD tendencies? I have some fears and have some stress triggers that could appear unrational to some. For instance I have an increasingly intense fear of snakes. Thank you.

  23. Tommy1 says:

    Kathy,

    I see how you say Kevin “was not able to realize the same recovery”. So let’s put it ALL on Kevin, right? That’s good. His abrupt departure was disturbing but dramatic (I guess that was the point). Will there be an update on him in the next episodes? Or is that it. Done. Anyone reading know what how he’s doing now?

  24. kevin says:

    I never write comments on anything ever online cause it’s so lame, BUT this is a truly moving show and I am thrilled not all reality TV sucks and can actually be relevant, informational and supportive. way to go.

  25. Duban says:

    The show is very interesting and I love to watch their struggles because in the end they are just people, only slightly different from anybody else.

    I have an idea you might like for future seasons of the OCD project or just for future therapy similar to the person with AIDS, but bringing it up a notch slightly.

    I recently had part of my colon removed and am temporarily stuck with an ileostomy. Basically it is when for whatever reason your colon needs to be removed, partially or wholly, and your fecal waste needs to come out of an incision on your side and into a bag or pouch.

    What comes out is just about the most disgusting goop imaginable, and the bag needs to be emptied several times each day. With cleanliness being such a common issue with OCD sufferers it might be a good idea to talk to people with ileostomies or colostomies and even make them help empty the bags.

    If this doesn’t make them anxious than nothing will, but as always they will get over it. Emptying the bag is not a particularly hard thing to do.

  26. in denial says:

    I was diagnosed with apserger’s syndrome and I keep telling myself that I don’t have it. How do you know when you do have it?
    Also, I think that ocd and workaholism are related?
    What do you you think. Ocd has to do with obsessions and so does workaholism, which is an obsession.

    I would like your opinion about this please Dr. Tolin.
    Is workaholism even connected to ocd?.

  27. llewdarg says:

    Dear doctor tolin.
    have you ever treated someone with an obsession regarding a Television Commercial that is very very very very very annoying. This commercial is from a company called CHI Institute. Since the commercial repeats itself, what do I do?

  28. Brittany A. says:

    I think this show is the most morbidly horrific show that I have ever seen and that hes not actually helping ocd. I have a daughter myself and to even think of her passing upsets me! These are normal fears…I mean come on would anyone out there actually sit in someones urine? or hey!!! why dont you just go out and hit a couple of kids with your car you get 2 points! Hes a joke and his show is worse than he is (which is saying something!)

  29. Becky says:

    Dr Tolin
    I feel the show is helping me some by watching and learning to face my fears I feel a little more in charge of my life.

    Kevin from the show
    I am glad you read the blogs and took the time to acknowledge we care for you. I hope you get better and PLEASE let us know how you are doing. I’m sorry you had to leave the show but I heard on the show you are getting the help you need. PLEASE be strong. get better. GOD LOVES YOU. I think you have already prayed to god and let him know you were saying all that to get better from your OCD. there is only one way to get to heaven and that is to accept JESUS CHRIST into your heart, know that he died for our sins and rose again on the third day. and except him as your lord and savior. I believe you are saved. I believe you have already done this. I just want to write it just in case. don;t get mad. I do care about YOU KEVIN.

    To all the others in the house I see you are making great progress. keep it up.

    I am so thankful for the show. I wish I didn’t have OCD. but I do and I will get better.

  30. JMS says:

    I love this show! I also have OCD and can relate to Jerry and his fear of knives and hurting people. I have been seeing a therapist of a few years who uses the EXACT same exposure methods. So for anyone who is questioning his methods, you are simply wrong. This IS the way to treat OCD even if it seems extreme.
    I love to see the progress of the people of this show as I know it DOES work.
    If you have OCD, find yourself a good cognitive behavioral specialist.
    Thanks Dr. Tolin and VH1. I will continue to watch this show.

  31. alex says:

    I got interested in the show mostly because I was fascinated by Kevin and I kind of related to him. I switched the channel right after he was kicked out of the program. The rest of the people just don’t interest me except maybe for the young guy with the fear of becoming homeless. I had it myself several years ago but it went away eventually, maybe will come back again later. I am not sure if this exposure thing is kind of unsafe when your ask people to get into the gutter water and spread it all over oneself. It’s enough to make a mentally stable person puke. Actually I noticed that after watching this show my anxiety level goes up. So maybe Kevin leaving the show is a good thing for me since i am not planning to watch it anymore. However, I am worried about Kevin and hope he will get help with his issues. It’s really terrible for him to be treated like that, like it’s his fault the treatment was not working. Wish you best of luck, Kevin, if it’s really you posting on this board!

  32. Whatnow says:

    If you have ever been in residential treatment, this is it folks! Great Job, everyone! Sticking with the program is the hardest part and the transition back home is very difficult. The exposures seem extreme to those who are not familar with OCD tx, however it is what has to happen in order to achieve the goal of decrease in OCD sxs.
    It is an experience that can not be put into words, it is “messed” up. But worth it! Obviously, Dr Tolin is following ethics and is world renowned he did not just come up with this horrifying actions (exposures) for the sake of torturing these patients. This is exposure and response prevention, at its best!!!! Way to go, guys for sticking with it!!!!!

  33. Becky says:

    I recorded the last OCD project. Watched it today.It was the Last one and I want to thank Dr Tolin for Helping all of them.

    I am very happy to see the progress they all made. They are doing great and moving on with their lives. I see myself in every one of them. just a milder case

    I was so happy to see update on Kevin. He has his own apartment, Painting beautiful paintings and doing good.

    I want to thank VH1 too, I have OCD and I really enjoyed the OCD Project.

  34. frances de gennaro says:

    I have a better insite of compulsive prayer because of this article. Dr.Tolin has helped many people by watching
    OCD and reading the explanation. There is a better understanding of rituals, over coming fears.
    Thank you, Dr. Tolin and VH1.

  35. Adam says:

    It’s good that there are those out there who care about helping people overcome the terrible thing that is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Hopefully the people who get involved with this program discover what they need to overcome it. There is a source that is extremely reliable in helping people overcome their OCD. They can be found here: http://ocd-gone-in-seven-days.com

  36. Dickenson8 says:

    VH1 & 3 BAll Company- Will there be a reunion show? Most interested in esp how Kristen Kevin are doing!!-

  37. Kristy says:

    I thought right from the first episode that Kevin is an Aspie . . . I have only caught up to Episode 5. I hope future episodes will see him off to getting treatment for THAT disorder. I can’t imagine how your treatment will have any positive affect on him until he has Asperger’s under some control! This is a really awesome show!