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OCD And ADHD In Education Forum Set For Monday At Tech

An effort to better help education students understand Obsessive Compulsive Disorder the centerpiece of a free panel discussion set for the Tech Campus Monday night.

Kinsey Simone is an Instructor of Educational Research Methods at Tech. She said began doing research following her doctoral work on OCD and found some 86 percent of pre-service teachers on the Tech campus did not consider OCD to be a real disorder.

“I think that this event will just not only raise awareness so that we can stop negative stigmas and misperceptions in their tracks, but I’m hoping that it will also create a community in which people start feeling comfortable talking about these disorders and disclosing them instead of hiding or feeling ashamed of,” Simone said.

Simone said she was diagnosed with OCD as a child, but hid it until she reached graduate school. The seminar will also include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, since the two disorders are often lumped together.

“We added ADHD because OCD and ADHD are so similar as far as executive functioning skills and outward presented symptoms,” Simone said. “But the reasoning behind them are wrong, are different. And so basically, many people get misdiagnosed with ADHD when they actually have OCD as children. And two thirds of people with OCD attempt suicide at some point in their life. And a lot of that may be because they were not diagnosed until an adult.”

Kinsey said accurate information on OCD is available through the International OCD Foundation as well as the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Kinsey said information on social media is too often wrong.

“When we have misperceptions, you know, especially with OCD, it’s used to trivialize the disorder,” Kinsei said. “#OCD is posted with as a caption to a picture of an organized closet. And what that does is trivialize my disorder and the challenges I’ve been through. And the same for others with OCD. And when we look up and rely on social media for our understanding of these disorders, they are just adding to those misperceptions, and we’re not getting reliable information.”

Kinsey said the forum can hopefully present information so that those why may be adults dealing with the issues, can understand more about what it is all about. That can often, Kinsey said, provide comfort.

“What it is actually like inside the mind of someone with these disorders, through the lived experiences that are shared, we will gain awareness,” Kinsey said. “Which will ultimately lead us to the ability to communicate this awareness with others. Research has shown that through having educated, informative conversations with others about things like OCD and ADHD, we can thoughtfully work to reverse those negative misperceptions and to increase education.”

The event, titled “Mad Topics: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) & (ADHD) in Education” begins at 6pm Monday night.

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