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A Letter to Sammy's Doctor

A mother searches for a cure to her son's OCD

Excerpted from by Beth Alison Maloney © 2009, Crown.

Daniel A. Geller, M.D.
Director, Pediatric OCD Program
Massachusetts General Hospital
55 Fruit Street, Warren 7
Boston, MA 02114

Dear Dr. Geller:

Enclosed please find the completed registration forms for my son, Sammy. As you know, we are coming to see you next week on the advice of Dr. Catherine Nicolaides of Marlton, New Jersey.

I thought it would be helpful to provide you with this overview of Sammy’s history and current behaviors. The problems suddenly started sixteen months ago, shortly after he turned twelve. Among other things, he stopped eating and lost twenty pounds.

Sammy does not seem to have obsessions, but he certainly has compulsions. His compulsions fall into two categories: rituals and avoidance.

He likes to start the morning with something he calls, “the usual.” When he asks for the usual, that means he wants five drinks: milk, orange juice, apple juice, pink lemonade, and grape juice. He pinches his nose when he sips, and drinks them in a certain order. The drinks do not all have to be at the same level in the cups. They do not have to be in any particular cups. He just needs all five juices, every morning.


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