Friday, June 25, 2010

The OCD Project - June 24, 2010

During an amazing lightning storm, my love and I curled up on the couch to watch last night's episode. Finally, something on TV that grabs my attention since The Amazing Race ended.

The group was taken to Linda Vista Hospital in Los Angeles for the night. It has been abandoned for 15 years and some say it is haunted. Dr. Tolin said it was closed because there were too many deaths there. Hmmm, that got the 'ole anxiety flowin.

After listening to whiny Kristen last week, it was good to take a break from her. At least half of last week's show, I swear, was all about Kristen - would she take a shower, would she not take a shower, would she go home, would she stay. Thankfully, she called her brother, Theo, who told her he was not going to come pick her up. Thumbs up to Theo! We didn't know she is 28. My love thought she was older; I thought she was younger. There was a good segment, however, showing Kristen actually have some compassion for catatonic Jerry. It's the first time I've ever noticed her thinking of anyone but herself.

Cutest quote of the night has to go to Kevin - "I had to go back into the room and undo the undo." Okay, you have to admit it, you have to have a soft spot somewhere for Kevin. I think Dr. Tolin was very unfair to Kevin last night on two counts.

1) I thought he was insensitive to bring up Kevin's YBOCS score in front of the rest of the group. Yes, I get it. They are all adults; this is a serious program. Maybe he thought that it would whip him into shape, like when he told Kevin he had to go back in and "undo the undo." But, seriously, you KNOW Dr. Tolin has suspected that Kevin has other issues, possibly Aspergers. He was submarined in front of everyone. His anxiety did nothing but elevate and for what reason? It was not an exposure, it was a group meeting.

2) I felt that Kevin's exposure was also unfair. He was asked to go into the graffiti room in the mental ward and curse himself into hell. The purpose of exposure therapy is to elevate your anxiety to a high level and then for the anxiety level to go down when you see that the world is not going to fall apart, that your worst fears are not going to come true. Kevin could not wait around to see if he actually went to hell; so again I ask, what was the point of that exposure? It was a total waste of time, in my view.

I think the entire show has been a waste of time for Kevin. By the way, does he remind any of you of Woody Harrelson? The doctors on the show should be knowledgeable enough to have diagnosed him correctly during screening. Maybe they knew Kevin's situation and just wanted more drama for the show at his expense. I think that's sick. And if he is going to be asked to leave next week, I think they owe Kevin an apology and a referral to a program that can help him, at the very least, and escort him over there toot sweet. Kevin obviously has trouble with transitions, and I don't believe his dad would be any help in getting him over to another program any time soon.

Traci's exposure to the morgue was good, but I think she was being a bit more dramatic for the cameras. It was a PHOTOGRAPH, for God's sake!!! I think they should have assembled a dummy look-alike. But what do I know?

I think of all the patients, Arine has come the farthest. Do any of you really believe that Dr. Tolin didn't know what was in the hallway?? Come on! It was still wet! It's not like it dripped on to the floor 15 years ago and was still liquid. Someone intentionally put that blood, fake or real, there for Arine's exposure. He could have least been honest with the audience on that one.

I am rooting for Cody, but I just don't think we see enough of him on the show. He still has the lowest YBOCS score, not that it's a race or anything.

My other criticism of the show is that we don't see enough of Liz McInvale. For those of you who don't know it, she used to be the spokesperson for the International OCD Foundation. For you Houstonians, she is the daughter of businessman and T.V. furniture pitchman Jim "Mattress Mac" McInvale. I went to her OCD group a couple of times. She was diagnosed with OCD at age 12. She shares soooo much in common with Kristin. Look up her rituals if you'd like. (You can find her story at )There are too many for me to post as I write this. I do remember her telling us that she had to wash her hair 42 times every day in the shower, stand up and sit down 42 times, etc. My suspicion is that she has spent some time talking to Kristin; we just don't see it. I think that OCD sufferers who are viewing the program would benefit from hearing at least a part of Liz's story, where she was and where she is now in her progress. I am also wondering if some of the exposures, like the ones in the hospital, have triggered any of Liz's obsessions and compulsions. I don't see how they couldn't. I think that would also be beneficial to the audience, to see that OCD is not going to magically go away just because you have been through this program.

Next week - Traci goes to a funeral for her son and I'm pretty sure Jerry is going to be "arrested"? I'm not sure; it was difficult to hear over the lightning storm. Anyway, be prepared.


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