New Name for OCD Chicago: Beyond OCD

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OCD Chicago is changing its name to Beyond OCD to better reflect the organization’s global reach and mission of helping OCD sufferers overcome the disorder.

OCD Chicago, the leading provider of consumer-friendly resources designed to help people cope with and ultimately conquer Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), today announced its new name: Beyond OCD.

The Chicago-based nonprofit is making the name change in response to its increasingly global reach and to better reflect its mission of helping children and adults get proper treatment, according to Board of Directors President Jeanne Ettelson.

“If OCD touches your life, we are there to help,” says Ettelson. “The name Beyond OCD captures the hope, encouragement and education we offer to OCD sufferers and their families. Facing this disorder can be an enormous challenge, but with the appropriate treatment most people can get past their OCD to lead the full lives that they deserve.”

In recent years, Beyond OCD’s work to increase awareness about the disorder in the general public and among health care professionals has reached well beyond Chicago and the Midwest. Visitors to Beyond OCD’s web sites come from over 100 countries.

“Our two web sites, free series of educational guides and one-on-one phone assistance give people across the country and around the world the current, practical information they need to improve their lives,” says Ellen Sawyer, executive director. “While our service area is no longer limited geographically, we will continue to provide referrals to local treatment professionals and support groups and to sponsor awareness events in and around Chicago.”

OCD: The Facts
OCD is a neurobiological anxiety disorder that causes people to endure unwanted, intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and ritualistic behaviors or mental acts (compulsions) that they are driven to perform over and over. As the average age of diagnosis goes down, OCD is increasing viewed as a disorder that first strikes in childhood. While most people who have this disorder know their obsessions and compulsions are irrational and excessive, they cannot control them.

OCD is characterized by obsessions and compulsions that take up an excessive amount of time and cause significant distress.

  •     OCD strikes 2.3 percent of the U.S. population—that’s one in 40 adults and one in 100 children, or more than six million people. (1)
  •     OCD ranks among the top 20 leading causes of disability worldwide. (2)
  •     OCD extracts an economic impact estimated at more than $8.4 billion per year. (3)

While there is no cure for OCD, appropriate treatment can provide most OCD sufferers with significant relief from their symptoms and help them get “Beyond OCD.” Experts believe that a combination of exposure and response prevention—a form of cognitive behavior therapy—sometimes accompanied by medication leads to the best results for most people.

Founded in 1994, Beyond OCD’s mission is to increase public and professional awareness about OCD, educate and support people with OCD and their families, and encourage research into new treatments and a cure. It is a volunteer-based, nonprofit organization. For more information, visit and


(1) National Comorbidity Survey Replication (Ruscio, et al)
(2) World Health Organization
(3) Dupont, R.L., Rice, D.P., Shitake, S., & Rowland, C.R. (1995) – Economic costs of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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