Rick is passionate about OCD, and over the past 16 years he has worked with over 600 people with various forms of OCD in group format and one-on-one. He is not a doctor and relies on his strong relationships with doctors at Sunnybrook Hospital and the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto as confidential resources from time to time.
Rick has battled OCD since early childhood. He was finally diagnosed with OCD in the late eighties and has managed through a lot of hard work over some years to keep his OCD in check. His life is much better since over 95% of his OCD issues are all but gone.
Having OCD, and going through a very difficult childhood when OCD still had not been identified or given a name, has given him more insight than most doctors and therapists because he ‘gets it’.
Rick graduated from the University of Toronto with honours, and after a successful career running his own business, he now dedicates all of his time to helping others with OCD. What makes him happiest is when he sees someone feel better about themselves when they realize they have a disorder that can be managed and that they can feel great about themselves and become an active member of society.
I presented with OCD in 1979, but nobody "got me". The fine folks at a children’s mental hospital provided me with a day of tests and decided not to keep me. Not sure if that was a win or loss, but it did mean ten years of alligator hands, moving my bed across the room each night to prevent a fire, a two to three hour nightly ritual removing ‘glass shards’ from the carpet in my bedroom, and countless other contamination and counting rituals.
In 1989, among other things, I wasn’t eating when it rained or at night, and barely wobbled through final exams at Virginia Tech when I was finally diagnosed with OCD. I went on medication and it changed my world. Since then, it's taken much more than medicine to tame and manage my OCD. I’ve relied on CBT, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, a loving and understanding partner, doctors, social workers, nonprofit volunteer service, exercise, foster dogs, compassionate family and friends, and other resources to patch together what works for me.
It's still a slog - but trust me, you can manage your OCD.