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San Diego Meeting Focuses On Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

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Aired 7/29/11

An estimated 4 million Americans are affected by obsessive-compulsive disorder. San Diego hosts the nation's largest conference on the condition this weekend.

— The nation's largest conference dedicated to obsessive-compulsive disorder gets under way in San Diego Friday. The illness is often misunderstood by the public.

Psychologists say everyone is obsessive to some degree. Compulsiveness is another common personality trait.

But Dr. Jeff Syzmanski pointed out obsessive compulsive disorder is a serious, often disabling psychiatric illness. He directs the International OCD Foundation, which is hosting the San Diego conference.

"Think about a time in your own life where you experienced emotions so powerfully, that you'd do almost anything to get rid of them," Syzmanski said. "And that's really what the day-to-day experience is for someone with OCD."

The conference will highlight some of the latest research into the disorder. Syzmanski said the annual meeting is often the first time people with OCD encounter others with the illness.

An estimated four million Americans are affected by OCD. The condition can be managed through therapy and medication. But there is no cure.

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