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Every year, we hear from teens and young adults at our Annual OCD Conference, what a life-changing event the conference is — and not necessarily because of the sessions or talks — but because of the friendships, bonds, and camaraderie formed among our young attendees, who so rarely get to make connections with other teens and young adults who understand what it’s like to navigate high school, college, dating, and first jobs while having OCD.


In today’s chat, part of our #OCDchat series for #OCDweek, we wanted to give teens and young adults an opportunity to find this type of community online, and have a chance to ask questions about OCD from others that will understand the unique challenges of being a young person with OCD.

About Our Guest Panelists:

Fred Penzel, PhD, runs the always popular OCD support group for teens at the Annual OCD Conference. Dr. Penzel is a licensed psychologist, and is the executive director of Western Suffolk Psychological Services. Within his practice, he specializes in the Cognitive/Behavioral treatment of OCD, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Body-focused Repetitive Behaviors such as Trichotillomania and Compulsive Skin-picking, Panic and Agoraphobia, phobias, and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

Chris Trondsen helped organize this year’s first-ever Young Adult Track at the 20th Annual OCD Conference in Atlanta. Chris is also on the IOCDF Speaker’s Bureau, and regularly speaks out about his experiences as a young man with OCD in an effort to help others get information and treatment for OCD so they won’t have to suffer as long as he did without any knowledge or awareness of what they are suffering from.  He also helps run a support group for individuals with OCD in Southern California.

Jack Lindley is a teen OCD advocate from Ohio who has spoken on the Teen Success Panel and helps run the Icky, Sticky Fun & Games for Kids session at the Annual OCD Conference.

Liz Lindley, parent and OCD-Midwest volunteer. Chairperson for fundraiser, PingPong for OCD and co-facilitator of NAMI support group for parents of Children with OCD.  Past presenter at the Annual OCD Conference.


Jeff Szymanski, PhD, executive director of the IOCDF, and Carly Bourne, director of communications for the IOCDF.

To join the chat, just go to iocdf.org/ocdchat. No Twitter or Facebook accounts needed to participate. See you today at 3:30pm ET!


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