Anxiety's Effect on Reading Social Cues

We often think that difficulty reading social cues can cause anxiety in social situations, but what if our anxiety is also then impairing our ability to read social cues? 

Recent research found that individuals who were "high anxiety" made more mistakes in correctly identifying happy looking groups of people as such in a laboratory setting (versus "low anxiety" people). Those in the "high anxiety" group found the happy looking people as less approachable.  Conversely, those in the "high anxiety" group were more accurate in correctly identifying angry looking groups.  So, while highly anxious people may safely avoid angry group setting, they may also be avoiding enjoyable social opportunities. To read more, check out the original article in Business Insider



OCD Awareness Week: What's Your OCD Story?

Every year, the International OCD Foundation (IOCDF) sponsors a contest for OCD Awareness week encouraging members to share their stories. Last year was the fist ever video contest.  The contest was such a success, the IOCDF is doing it again.  Check out last year's top video here.  

Some of this year's stories that you can vote on here are:

  • “Your OCD is a Tool #OCDWeek” by Kaila Sekula

    Imagine your brain is made up of 1000s of tiny workers, and the worst employee of them all is your OCD. This video explains the symptoms of OCD by personifying the disease. Not only does this video help create understanding of the disease, but it shows a positive role model at the end of the film who takes the steps to overcome her illness. The aim of my video is not only to help create awareness, but to change the way the conversation of mental illness is taking place. I want to make victims and overcomers proud of their journey to recovery.

  • What NOT To Say To Someone With OCD #OCDweek” by Hannah Zidansek

    The stigma associated with OCD has resulted in a general misunderstanding of it’s devastating realities. In the video I give a few examples of responses I have received when telling someone about my disorder.  Stigma hurts and the time for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to be understood by the masses is frankly overdue.

  • “The Stranger: #OCDweek 2015” by Emma Roush

    In The Stranger, I act as the personification of OCD to explain the way it works, its weaknesses, and what you can do to move towards recovery, in order to inform someone who may or may not already be familiar with the realities of OCD. It ends with a revelation about how OCD affects the sufferer as an individual; it is a disorder separate from us, and does not define who we are.

  • “MomofOCD#OCDWeek2015” by Kelly Oakely

    As a mom of a 12 yr. old son with OCD, I wanted to bring awareness not only to OCD itself, but also to the fact that it affects children as well.  I gave some personal accounts of my son’s obsessions and compulsions, and how that has affected him.  I shared information about what OCD is, as well the treatments available.  I ended the video with a personal victory for my son.

  • “OCD not me #OCDweek 2015 by Nicola Stevens”

    My video is a poem written and performed by me about what OCD is and my experience with it and with recovery.  (Forgive my Aussie accent, I hope you can understand me!)

  • “You Know You’re OCD When…” | #OCDweek by Katlyn Hashway

    My video is a satirical way to combat OCD misconceptions. I use the incorrect phrase, “You know you’re OCD,” in order to possibly attract people who don’t know what OCD is and show how ridiculous that phrase sounds. I give examples of and act out many different compulsions as a way to challenge the misconception that OCD is all about being clean and organized. I tried to include as many types of OCD as possible and in the end gave a few general examples of what it’s like to have OCD. I’m hoping the video will challenge someone’s view of OCD and see it for what it really is, a disorder that tortures and not a quirk to laugh at.



Trichotillomania Awareness Week- Why Would I Pull My Hair?!?

Written by a woman who herself struggles with hair pulling, the author explains what trichotillomania is and offers a quick lesson in some tricks she's developed over time to resist the urge to pull.

You can read about her tips here

For those who are not familiar with trichotillomania and treatment:

Trichotillomania is compulsive hair pulling.  Other Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors similair to trichotillomania are skin picking, biting the inside of the cheeks, and nail biting. Compulsive hair pulling may result in noticeable hair loss or bald patches, and hair can be pulled from any part of the body. An individual with Trichotillomania may use his or her fingernails, as well as tweezers, pins or other mechanical devices. In severe cases, Trichotillomania can result in permanent hair loss or skin damage.  . Often, but not always, Trichotillomania episodes are preceded by a high level of tension and a strong “urge”. Likewise, hair pulling is usually, but not always, followed by a sensation of relief or pleasure. Hair pulling is usually done alone, often while watching TV, reading, talking on the phone, driving or while grooming in the bathroom. 

Individuals with Trichotillomania often attempt to hide their hair loss with hats, scarves, long-sleeve shirts, and false eyelashes. Unfortunately, many teens and adults who hair pull experience great shame and distress and as a result may avoid certain activities in which their hair pulling or bald patches might be revealed.

The most effective treatment is a combination of various types of CBT, incorporating Habit Reversal Training (HRT), Stimulus Control, Cognitive Restructuring & Mindfulness. Visit here for more great information on what trich is and about helpful treatment and resources