International OCD Foundation: Finding Support For OCD

Reviewed by Lauren Guilbeault

Published 07/01/2022

If you’ve been reading up on OCD, you’ve likely noticed the name of the International OCD Foundation or IOCDF pop up a couple of times, perhaps when referencing statistics or how to find help and support for obsessive-compulsive disorder. The International OCD Foundation or IOCDF was founded in 1986 by people living with obsessive-compulsive disorder. But, you might wonder, what is the International OCD Foundation? What do they do to help people with obsessive-compulsive disorder? In this article, we will cover some of the International OCD Foundation’s resources as well as information about OCD and getting support for the disorder.

What Is The International OCD Foundation?

On the about page on The International OCD Foundation website, there’s a mission statement under the subheading “Our Mission” that reads: “The mission of the International OCD Foundation is to help those affected by obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and related disorders to live full and productive lives. Our aim is to increase access to effective treatment through research and training, foster a hopeful and supportive community for those affected by OCD and the professionals who treat them, and fight the stigma surrounding mental health issues.”

What Does The International OCD Foundation Do?

If you go to the International OCD Foundation website, you’ll notice three main tabs at the top. Those tabs read, “Find Help,” “Learn About OCD,” and “Get Involved.” As stated above, the IOCDF is dedicated to helping people with OCD and related disorders. Here are some of the things that the IOCDF does to help individuals with OCD, loved ones of those with OCD, and medical or mental health professionals who want to learn more about OCD:

  • Provides resources for people with OCD, including ways to find treatment and information about OCD.
  • Provide resources for friends, family members, and loved ones of those with OCD.
  • Increasing awareness about obsessive-compulsive disorder and related disorders among the general public by providing accurate information about the disorder.
  • Provides tools for professionals that wish to learn about obsessive-compulsive disorder.
  • Provides information about OCD treatments and efficacy.
  • Supports research on obsessive-compulsive disorder.

This is only the beginning when it comes to the IOCDF and its mission. For more information about the International OCD Foundation and what they do, visit the IOCDF about page

IOCDF Resources

The International OCD Foundation has a number of resources on their website that help people who have OCD as well as medical professionals and family members or loved ones of people living with the disorder. Here is some information about their resources.

The resource directory

The resource directory on the International OCD Foundation website can help you find help for OCD in your area. To access the resource directory and find support near you, go to the International OCD Foundation website and click the tab that says find help. Once you do that, type in your location, and if you desire, select the listing type of your choice. Then, you will be directed to a list of resources in your area. Using the resource directory, you can find therapists, support groups, clinics, and programs, or organizations. There is also an option on the International OCD Foundation website to find a therapist of color.

The message board

There are a number of popular message boards and online support forums for people living with obsessive-compulsive disorder and other mental health disorders. The Health Unlocked forum by the International OCD Foundation, which is called “My OCD Community” is one of them. Though it does not replace treatment from a medical or mental health professional, you can use the My OCD Community message board for online peer support.

COVID-19 resources

The coronavirus pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but it is particularly challenging for those who live with mental health disorders in many cases. The International OCD Foundation has a page of resources dedicated to those who live with OCD during the time of the coronavirus. Here is the link to the “Coronavirus (COVID-19): Resources for the OCD and Related Disorders Community” page on the International OCD Foundation website: https://iocdf.org/covid19/.

If you are a provider, there is also a page on the International OCD Foundation website that is dedicated to helping therapists who are providing OCD treatment during this time. Here is the link to the “Teletherapy & Treating OCD Online” page: https://iocdf.org/covid19/information-for-therapists/.

OCD apps

Mental health apps are becoming more and more popular. The International OCD Foundation has a list of apps on their website that you can try. Here is the link to the list of mobile apps for OCD on the International OCD Foundation website: https://iocdf.org/ocd-apps/.

Books about OCD

The International OCD Foundation provides an extensive list of helpful books about OCD as well as other resources for learning about and understanding OCD. Many people find books about OCD helpful for learning more about the condition. This is the link to the International OCD Foundation book list: https://iocdf.org/books/.

Opportunities for community involvement

On the International OCD Foundation website, you will find a tab that says, “get involved.” The International OCD Foundation provides a number of ways to get involved, including sharing your personal story about living with OCD, fundraising, volunteering with the International OCD Foundation, attending events, or participating in research on obsessive-compulsive disorder. If you choose to do so, you can also donate to the International OCD Foundation. Visit the International OCD Foundation website for a full list of ways that you can get involved.

OCD Facts And Statistics

Here are some facts and statistics about OCD to know:

  • Roughly one out of every 100 children have OCD, and one in about every 40 adults have OCD.
  • The average age of onset for OCD is 19 years old, but there are two age groups in which it is most commonly diagnosed. These two age groups are between the ages of 8 and 12 and late teens or young adulthood years.
  • Until the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders or DSM-V was released, OCD was categorized as an anxiety disorder. Now, it is recognized under its own category, which is called “obsessive-compulsive and related disorders.”
  • There are a number of potential risk factors for the development of OCD, including family history, life events, and brain structure. However, there is no known single cause for OCD.

OCD Subtypes

Many people don’t realize that there are different subtypes of OCD or different ways that it can manifest. Often, we hear about contamination OCD – an obsession with contamination and compulsions that manifest to prevent contamination – but there are actually so many other ways that people experience OCD. In fact, only 25% of individuals with OCD experience contamination OCD.

Other common types of OCD are harm OCD with checking compulsions, symmetry OCD with ordering compulsions, OCD related to perfectionism, relationship OCD, sexuality OCD, OCD with religious obsessions (scrupulosity), purely obsessive OCD (sometimes called “pure O”), and more.

On the International OCD Foundation website, there’s information about OCD on the “about OCD” page, which includes information about common obsessions and compulsions. There are also articles on the site written by experts about some of the different subtypes of OCD. Having OCD is not your fault, and treatment can help.

Treatment For Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

If you live with an obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD, treatment is both effective and available. Exposure and response prevention therapy frequently referred to simply as ERP*, is a commonly used form of treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder. The International OCD Foundation states that 7 out of 10 people with OCD who receive treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder via ERP or psychiatry will benefit from treatment. If you’re looking for OCD treatment, there are a variety of ways to find it, including:

  • Using the resource directory on the IOCDF website
  • Making an appointment with your general doctor and asking for a referral to a counselor or therapist
  • Contacting your insurance company or visiting their website to see who they cover near you

  • Using an online provider directory or a provider search tool like the one on the upper right-hand corner of the Mind Diagnostics website
  • Using an online therapy platform

If you’re in school, there may be additional resources available to you, such as an on-campus mental health professional who can help you get started. Some people are able to receive counseling or therapy through religious organizations, community centers, and so on. Peer support, such as message boards and online or in-person support groups, can supplement treatment but aren’t a replacement for treatment.

Take The Mind Diagnostics OCD Test

After reading more about obsessive-compulsive disorder, do you wonder if you could have it? If you believe that you might have obsessive-compulsive disorder, consider taking the Mind Diagnostics OCD test. Taking the Mind Diagnostics OCD test is free, fast, and confidential. Although OCD can impact people of all ages, the Mind Diagnostics OCD test is for those aged 18 and up. While it’s not a replacement for a diagnosis from a medical or mental health professional, the test can give you insight into your symptoms, and taking it might just be the first step to getting the help that you need.

Click here to take the Mind Diagnostics OCD test.

*For all information regarding specific treatments, please consult a medical or mental health professional.