Dan’s nine week stay at an OCD clinic was full of surprises. He went there in the summer so that he could get some help and be able to go back to college in the Fall.
Dan was the model patient, or client, as he was called. He started right in on his ERP Therapy and, as anxiety provoking as it was, he forged ahead. He did everything he was told. He never complained. He took his meds. He bonded big time with his therapist. Everyone loved him. He was one of the easiest clients (in terms of temperament) with severe OCD to ever walk through the clinic’s doors. In short, he was a pleasure to have around.
In fact, he was such a pleasure to have around, nobody wanted him to leave. Though the idea was for Dan to get well enough to go back to school and continue therapy there, the powers that be at the OCD clinic thought it best for Dan to stay as long as he possibly could (which means as long as our insurance would pay). Never mind that he would not go back to college. Never mind that Dan’s school did not grant leaves of absence in his major. Never mind that by not going back, he would be giving up his dream of graduating from one of the best colleges in the world for computer animation. Better he should stay at the clinic and conquer that OCD.
The scary thing is…….we almost left him there. Even though in our hearts we knew it was not the right thing to do, his psychiatrist, therapist, and social worker at the clinic said he should stay. Even Dan, heavily influenced by the staff that he had grown so close to, wanted to stay. If it weren’t for our good fortune of having a close friend who is a clinical psychologist say to us, “Get him out of there,” we probably would not have gone with our instincts.
I have such mixed emotions when I write about this chapter of Dan’s journey. A lot of good came from his intensive therapy at this residential program, but there were so many negative aspects as well……..more on that to come.