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In episode 82 I interviewed Dr Ariz Rojas. Dr Rojas-Cifredo is a licensed psychologist in the Division of Tics, OCD, and Related Disorders in the Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
I had a great chat with Ariz who kindly shared her time with us. We discussed group ERP vs one-to-one ERP, how treatment of childhood OCD differs from adults, how to motivate kids to do ERP exposures, explaining OCD and anxiety to children, advice for parents and much much more. Enjoy!
“Emotions are temporary, your values are consistent” – Dr Ariz Rojas
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I was recently interviewed for a BBC Horizon documentary on OCD and I was asked if I would get rid of my OCD if I could. I think my answer surprised a few people..
Up until the age of 19 I was a very happy, easygoing, confident individual. On reflection I was possibly a bit selfish and didn’t think about other people as much as I should have done. This all changed suddenly towards the end of my first year at university. I noticed that I became very concerned with making sure my lights were off in my bedroom and sometimes would make excuses from social activities so that I could go home and check they were off.
At the start of the summer holidays I returned home to spend time with my Mum. She went on holiday for two weeks and I would normally have been fine staying in the house on my own and working part time. However, by the time she returned from her holiday I was in the grips of OCD and a couple of days later my diagnosis was confirmed.
In the two weeks that my Mum was away I had become convinced that I was HIV positive. I was showering for hours at a time, constantly washing my hands and arms, frequently changing my clothes throughout the day and was hardly eating. What I did eat I couldn’t make or touch because I was afraid that I would contaminate it. My ultimate fear was that I would infect and thus kill my friends and family.