Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

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					Volume 1, Issue 3                                                                                         April 2008

A Mental Health Perspective Mission Statement: The purpose of this newsletter is to bring faith, hope and courage
to members of the local mental health community of Kings County, Nova Scotia, as well as anyone else that's
involved with a mental, emotional or psychological condition.

This non-profit consumer –lead newsletter was created by the Kings County branch of the Canadian Mental Health
Association (CMHA) and made possible through a grant from Eastern Kings Memorial Health Foundation.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder                                  Recognizing Autism
                                                               In Canada, thousands of people are diagnosed with
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is one of                  autism each year. In Nova Scotia, five thousand
many anxiety disorders. OCD causes problems                    people are autistic. It’s believed that five percent of
with a person’s thoughts, behavior, emotions and               the population may be autistic. Not all of them are
sensations. It is also a common illness. In Canada             children. Many are intelligent, even highly so.
it affects 1 out of 10 people. (Canadian Mental                However, except for severe cases, many autistic
Health Association)                                            people get their special traits either overlooked as
                                                               personality quirks or misdiagnosed as something
There is no cure but recovery is truly possible. It is         else. It’s not uncommon for parents to spend years
possible to be relieved from the symptoms. As a                trying to get a proper diagnosis.
result of stigma many people do not seek
treatment. But if a person does seek treatment it              The question, of course, can be asked: How can
would bring about a symptom free life. They can                anyone recognize autism?
find happiness, meaning, purpose, and be
productive members of society. (Canadian Mental                By age three, parents expect their children to
Health Association)                                            respond to their voices, speak normally, smile, like
                                                               hugging or being hugged, socialize with other
Symptoms of OCD come under two categories:                                                             continued on page 2
obsessions and compulsions.
                                                               INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Concerning obsessions there are those who fear
contamination. They are afraid of getting germs                2   The Liberty Lodge Program
and infections. As a result of this they are afraid to
touch things and are continually cleaning things               3   Healthy Eat & Meet
off. (Tourette Syndrome Plus)
                                                               4   Calendar of Events
Others have the symptom of doubting. For                       4   Staff & Volunteers
instance if someone checked the door to make
sure it was locked after they walked away they still           4   Donations
                                         continued on page 3

CMHA Kings County Branch Newsletter                                                                              Page 1
                                                            Recognizing Autism                     continued from page 1

                                                             children and otherwise act “normal.” When this
The Liberty Lodge Program                                    doesn’t happen, autism may be suspected.

                                                             By age ten, parents and teachers expect their
The Liberty Lodge mandate “is to provide
                                                             children and students to handle the school
individuals with disabilities varying levels of
                                                             environment (bright lights, noise, crowds, etc.) take
support services that enhance quality of life and
                                                             part in class activities, be interested in other
promote independent living arrangements. This
                                                             people, adjust to change and otherwise act
mandate is achieved through the development of
                                                             “normal.” When this doesn’t happen, autism may
partnerships with the Department of Community
                                                             be suspected.
Services,       community      agencies,      health
professionals and the clients themselves. Qualified
                                                             By adulthood, anyone with autism can find school,
Liberty Lodge staff, together with our partners and
                                                             work, and even day-to-day life difficult. Pressures
stakeholders, identifies the individual’s strengths,
                                                             to act “normal,” social interactions, sudden
abilities and needs. The result is a comprehensive
                                                             changes, school/work environment and a lack of
Individual Program Plan that builds on strengths, is
                                                             understanding of the person’s condition are
realistic and attainable.”
                                                             challenges. Even after a proper diagnosis, it can
There are actually two programs involved. One                be difficult because most adults with autism are too
program is the Liberty Lodge Residential Care                old to join specific programs for autism, which are
Facility, which has two locations, one in Berwick            designed mainly for children.
and one in Morristown, each accommodating
about 25 clients. These two facilities provide 24            While not considered autistic by themselves, these
hour care for their live in clients. Employees               symptoms are also common: unusual and
include one activities person for recreation and a           repetitive gestures, limited interests, tics, seizures,
licensed practical nurse. Meals, cleaning and                poor motor skills and coordination, hyperactivity,
laundry are provided. Medications are managed                lack of energy, self-injurious behavior, problems
and distributed, as clients need them.                       with sleeping, toileting and/or eating, and low
                                                             tolerance to stress and pain.
The second program is the Adult Residential and
Community Support Program that provides                      One final note: Intelligence plays a factor in autism.
individual apartments in the community. This                 A person with normal to high intelligence is likely to
program offers support as needed for up to 21                be diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of
hours per week. Support is provided according to             autism in which cognitive skills haven’t been
a person’s abilities. Enhancing skills for                   affected by autism. A person with limited
maintaining   health   and    wellness   include             intelligence but with one exceptional skill is more
assistance with shopping, preparing meals and                likely to be diagnosed with autism because his
providing transportation for access to the                   symptoms would be more recognizable.
                                                             In Canada, more information on recognizing autism
In both programs clients are provided with 100%              can be found at autism.ca and aspergers.ca. In
assistance in making the transition to part-time or          Kings County, Nova Scotia, the main website is
full-time employment. Even in leaving the                    nsnet.org/vast. If autism is suspected, one should
programs clients have all needed supports and are            talk to the school counselor, psychologist or
encouraged and supported in accessing                        psychiatrist, as they can arrange for a proper
opportunities in education and work in the                   assessment.
There is no time limit on how long a person can              Article written by Melinda Cadarette
stay in these facilities and, at present there is no
waiting list. Community Services determines who
is eligible for the service.

Article written by Rick Merrill

                                      continued on page 4

CMHA Kings County Branch Newsletter                                                                            Page 2
                                                       Obsessive Compulsive Disorder                                continued from page 1

                                                        doubt whether they truly checked it or not.
                                                        (Tourette Syndrome Plus)
                                                        Another problem is when everything has to be in
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)           perfect order. People spend hours putting things in
of Kings County Branch has been actively                order so they are just perfect. (Tourette Syndrome
supporting persons living with mental illnesses         Plus)
with employment related issues for many years.
During this time the staff recognized a significant     Some of the common compulsions include washing
need for support and programming beyond                 and hygiene rituals. A lot of time is spent on this.
employment. The consistent requests for social          (Tourette Syndrome Plus)
interaction in a safe and stigma free environment,
the lack of understanding around specific topics,       Another symptom is excessive checking and re-
the sad reality that many persons living with           checking. Some people spend hours checking the
mental illnesses cannot afford to purchase food         door to see if it is locked, checking the stove to see
recommended by the Canada Food Guide, and               if it is off, and other checking rituals. (Tourette
the lack of understanding and/or access to the          Syndrome Plus)
Internet made way for the Healthy Eat & Meet.
                                                        Many people need to seek assurance. For
The Healthy Eat & Meet is a weekly social activity      example, if your boss at work gives you instructions
that gives persons living with mental illnesses the     you’ll need to ask them a few times what it was to
opportunity to socialize in a stigma free               be assured that you heard them right.
environment. It also offers its participants
                                                        The two main types of treatment are medical
important resources including the Internet,
                                                        (medications) and psychological. (C Health)
nutritious snacks, and the opportunity to obtain
valuable information from guest speakers.
                                                        Antidepressants are a common medication used to
Since its conception two years ago we have been         treat symptoms. They affect the serotonin
able to maintain the program though donations           neurotransmitters in the brain and as a result
from businesses, and grants from likeminded             symptoms are relieved. It takes roughly four to six
organizations and foundations.                          weeks for these medications to work. (C Health)
                                                        Cognitive behaviour therapy is another effective
Recently, through a grant from the Eastern Kings        treatment. The purpose here is to make you face
Memorial Health Foundation we were able to              your obsessions. For example when you leave your
expand the Monday morning Healthy Eat & Meet            house you check the door once instead of twenty
to include a Tuesday morning Coffee House,              times and force yourself to walk away despite the
which gives participants an opportunity to enjoy        powerful anxiety you will experience. (C Health)
weekly activities in a safe and stigma free setting.
                                                        If a person is determined, motivated, and
The success of the program is measured by the           disciplined to follow their treatment plan perfectly
number of new participants, the number of return        without cheating recovery is truly possible. They
visits, and participant satisfaction. To date the       can live a new life completely symptom free.
program has been a huge success and we hope             References:
to continue to find the financial supports that are     Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Canadian Mental Health Association.
needed to keep the program going and growing.           Retrieved 10 March 2008 From the World Wide Web
                                                        http:// www. Cmha.ca/bins/content_page.asp?cid=3-94-95

For more details on how you can become involved         Leslie E. Packer PHD. About Obsessive-compulsive Disorder Tourette Syndrome Plus
                                                        Retrieved 10 March 2008 From the World Wide Web
in the Healthy Eat & Meet or Coffee House as a          http:// www. Tourettesyndrome.net/ocd_overview.htm#COMMONOBSESSIONS
participant, volunteer, or through financial support    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder C Health
feel free to phone 679-7464 or stop into the CMHA       Retrieved 10 March 2008 From the World Wide Web
office. See our Calendar of Events on page 4 for        chealth.canoe.ca/channel_condition_info_details.asp?channel_id=11&relation_id=1929
more details.
                                                        Article by Tony Legere
Submitted by Joyce Nimmo

CMHA Kings County Branch Newsletter                                                                                              Page 3
CMHA Theater Games                         Calendar of Events
Workshop                                   •   Healthy Eat & Meet is designed for people with mental health
                                               issues to enjoy a healthy snack, chat and get free Internet
Theatrical ?                                   access. Monday mornings, 9:30-11:30. For more information,
                                               call (902) 679 - 7464.

Enjoy interaction ?                        •   Coffee House is designed for people with mental health
                                               issues to enjoy weekly activities that involve entertainment,
                                               games, crafts, fitness, chat, coffee and a snack. Tuesday
Looking for an evening of fun ?                mornings, 9:30-11:30. For more information, call (902) 679-

Facilitator Allyson Higgins will           •   Depression Anxiety Self-Help (DASH) Group meets every
lead the CMHA Theater Games                    Thursday evening from 7:00-8:00. at the CMHA office. For
workshop in a light hearted evening            more information, call Joyce at (902) 679-7464.
of fun filled activities, skits, and
laughter.                                  •   The Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (SSNS) monthly
                                               meeting on the second Wednesday of each month at St.
         Space is limited                      Joseph's Hall, Belcher Street, Kentville. For more information,
     Sign up today * 679-7464                  call Pat MacLean at (902) 678-8458. Friday April 11th at
                                               7:30 pm In Concert At the Wolfville Baptist Church
    Location: CMHA Office 49                   Corner of Highland & Main John Sands Silent Auction
 Cornwallis St, Suite 109, Kentville           opens at 7:00 pm Admission: $10.00 For tickets and
 Six weeks - Starting April 15th 6pm
                                               information call (902) 678-8458
                                           If you have a program or event that would be of interest to the
      Refreshments provided                local mental health community, e-mail Melinda. See contact
                                           information below.

                                            Staff & Volunteers

                                  Melinda Cadarette, melicadar@yahoo.com
                                      Tony Legere, tglegere@gmail.com
                                   Rick Merrill, rickmerrill62@yahoo.com

 We also like to thank Michelle Ferdinand, Joyce Nimmo, and Laurel Taylor for their help and contribution.

               If you wish to make a comment, ask a question or give a suggestion by phone,
                                        please call (902) 679-7464.

                              To receive a free copy of the CMHA Newsletter contact
            communityoutreach@cmhakings.ns.ca or phone (902) 678-2515 to make arrangements for delivery.
                                Need more than one copy? Let us know how many.

                                          Donations can be made to:
                                        CMHA - Kings County Branch
                     49 Cornwallis Street Suite 109, PO Box 894, Kentville, NS, B4N 4H8
         (Cheque or money order will be accepted – Official Income Tax Receipts available upon request)

CMHA Kings County Branch Newsletter                                                                        Page 4