The Peace of Mind Foundation interviewed individuals that have been turning their pain into purpose. You are not alone and there is hope and help available.  If you want to learn more about how to share your story, visit Share Your Story. If you are interested in sharing your “Turning Pain into Purpose” story with us, please email us at


Videos: Turning Pain into Purpose

Choose a title below to view a video for more information on various OCD topics.

You are not alone. There is always hope and help. Challenging your OCD is not easy but well worth it. Hear encouragement and hope from individuals going through the same thing as you. If you are looking for OCD resources (support groups, specialist, self-help tools, etc), please contact the Peace of Mind Foundation at Featuring Ryan Bernstein, Morgan Rondinelli, Molly Fishback, Vanessa Baier, Hannah Lovitt, Sheree Cruz, Lindsey Tierney, and Megan Abramyk.

"OCD comes from within but the strength to overcome it also comes from within." - Ryan Bernstein

Hannah Lovitt is a high school student at the Emery/Weiner School. She has struggled with anxiety since she was a young girl. She was diagnosed with OCD at twelve, although symptoms began showing up during elementary school. She has also struggled with trichotillomania since she was thirteen. When her therapist diagnosed her with OCD, she was very reluctant to start Exposure with Response Prevention (ERP) therapy. She very often refused to do exposures and allowed OCD to take over. Attending the OCD Conference in 2014 was a pivotal point in her OCD journey because she met other children and teenagers who managed their OCD. After the conference, she felt encouraged and inspired and began to voluntarily do exposures. Four years later, she can control her OCD. She still has her obsessions and worries, but when they come up, she knows how to deal with them. Hannah's experience have inspired her to become a mental health advocate. She is extremely open about her mental health struggles and has found that her openness gives others the ability to confide in her.

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Ryan Bernstein is a seventeen-year-old high school student with OCD. He is the founder and facilitator of Hand in Hand, a weekly OCD support group where he helps teens who struggle with anxiety learn new coping skills. As a national ambassador and youth advocate for OCD, Ryan seeks to educate through his writing and public-speaking. He has been featured in national blogs, newsletters, and journals including the International OCD Foundation, Peace of Mind Foundation, and South African Depression and Anxiety Group. Ryan encourages taking charge of OCD by helping others.

In OCD to Me, sixty courageous individuals open their hearts and share what having OCD feels like. Reading their compelling journeys will inspire and educate. For those who have OCD this book will show you that you are not alone. For those who have loved ones who suffer with OCD you will understand their pain. For those who are curious about OCD or think they may have OCD this book will give you the facts.

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It all began at the 2017 International OCD Foundation Annual Conference in San Francisco at a session about taboo intrusive thoughts. The session consisted of a panel of OCD sufferers moderated by Dr. Elizabeth McIngvale, who is open about her own struggles with OCD. To start out, the panelists handed out slips of paper on which they asked the audience to write anonymous questions. Then they collected the papers and began to answer as many questions as they could. I was pleasantly surprised by how many of the questions I could relate to. The questions were raw and honest, about all the OCD topics that people tend to avoid talking about. There were people asking how they could know for sure that they were not pedophiles, others who asked how to deal with thoughts of murdering family members. I had been diagnosed with OCD about a year and a half prior to that conference, so I knew the basics of different OCD topics, but this session opened my eyes to the types of OCD people in my therapy group didn’t talk about, the thoughts I had never dared to tell my therapist, the thoughts I didn’t even know were OCD. Hearing other people’s questions had a freeing effect. Some people submitted questions about therapy for certain symptoms but others just wrote a symptom they had, and as the panelists read them out loud, people nodded and murmured in agreement that they had had the same thoughts.

There were so many touching questions that I cannot remember them all, but one stood out to me in particular. How do I convince my son he didn’t rape me? It made me want to cry hearing that question and imagining the shame that the poor kid must feel. I thought of all the stereotypes about OCD. No one says “I’m so OCD, I’m convinced I raped my mother.” As someone with OCD I didn’t even know that such thoughts were a type of OCD. It was about six months later, when I found my mind still wandering to that mother’s question, when the idea for A Penny for Your Intrusive Thoughts came to me. I wanted to find a way for people who have embarrassing, shameful and taboo intrusive thoughts to share them so they could realize they are not alone. These taboo thoughts are not often part of blog posts. They are the thoughts that people leave out when they tell their stories. That is why A Penny for Your Intrusive Thoughts is anonymous. With the option of anonymously so many more people have opened up about the thoughts they never thought they could share with anyone and felt completely alone in having.

The Peace of Mind Foundation interviews Morgan and Molly the creators of Not Alone Notes, a free service that sends handwritten letters of encouragement on handmade cards around the world to OCD sufferers and loved ones. Morgan and Molly share how they started Not Alone Notes, advice for sharing your story, and mailing letters all over the world. If you would like to receive a #NotAloneNote visit . For OCD Resources visit