Helping Others Helped Him Overcome OCD

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(Courtesy Jeff Bell)
(Courtesy Jeff Bell)

For most of his life, San Francisco newscaster Jeff Bell has battled O.C.D. or obsessive compulsive disorder. At its worst, he told Here & Now's Robin Young, we would literally replay hours of his program to make sure he got it all right.

"Not only that I got the news right, but that I actually played the right commercials when I was supposed to," he said. "I was a mess."

He was filled with thoughts that he would somehow harm others by giving them wrong information or passing them germs. But Bell eventually overcame his OCD and wrote a book about his experiences after he found that talking about his struggles with others helped him stay on track.

This insight led him to form a new group, the Adversity to Advocacy Alliance, with the goal of helping those with challenges like OCD, ALS or lung cancer help themselves by reaching out to others.

Bell says there are physiological benefits to empathy and that various advocacy groups can find much common ground and greater exposure by joining together.

This segment aired on May 14, 2012.


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