In past weeks, I reviewed the nOCD app, available in the Apple Store and coming soon to Android. nOCD helps those with intrusive thoughts and OCD sufferers to analyze what’s really happening in the moment. It is a therapist away from a therapist. I interviewed Stephen Smith, Founder of nOCD, about his story and reasons behind developing this app, and future developments in the use of it.
Stephen was a sophomore in college when OCD began hitting him hard.
“One day it hit me like a train,” he said. “I had no understanding of what happened. I had these intrusive thoughts one after another and constant anxiety.”
He first sought help online, googling to figure out what was happening and where to turn to get help. The internet gave him direction and a name for what he was experiencing.
“A lot of clinicians said I specialize in OCD but really weren’t,” he said. “I ended up seeing 5 different clinicians before I found someone who helped me.”
He used Exposure Response Prevention ERP therapy, mindfulness, and acceptance-commitment therapy plus peer support to get better.
“I was tired of the problem. I only suffered 6 months to a year but others suffer decades,” he said. “Society has all this technology around us. I have a background in experience design and project management software. Here was a problem that needed to be solved.”
The problem was acquainting people with a resource to help those with OCD. It took a year of fundraising to get the money to make the app and 6 to 7 months of testing. Version 1 was released November 2016.
“There’s a giant need for this. Because of the pain I went through I have the motivation and passion to start it.”
The nOCD team all has some affiliation with this disorder either themselves or with members of their family.
The app has an anonymous peer support community where people can see themselves in what others write in.
“The best part about the app is if you are in the middle of an episode all you have to do is push a button on your phone for help, Stephen said. “OCD does not have to disrupt your day or cripple the moment if you can’t get to your therapist or don’t have one yet.”
The app is best used in tandem with therapy. It is like an electronic workbook or guide.
“If you don’t have a therapist yet, it can be a starting point for your treatment,” Stephen said.
Future developments of the app will address co-morbidity with other disorders but right now discussion of these things are top secret.
To get the nOCD app, click here.