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Andrea L Nicki

Dear Brian,

Thanks for sharing your experiences and mental health challenges. You seem like a great mentor for students. I agree that the philosophy profession needs to become kinder and review processes of journal submissions can be very nasty and destructive. I also appreciate your point about people trivializing OCD when they casually toss around the term "OCD" and apply it to non-disabling preocuppations or obsessions. I had a relative who had the disabling mental health issue that you describe; in her case, she could not stop washing her hands, which caused her serious skin problems. While you refer to your belief that this issue is primarily caused by genetics, it seemed to me that her problem was related primarily to chronic domestic abuse in her home, other sources of stress, and familial influences (one of her parents was very preocuppied with germs and contamination and would go through a refrigerator throwing out perfectly good food). On your view, are all cases of OCD caused primarily by genetics? As with other disorders, like anoexia, I wonder if OCD could be considered a multidimensional disorder, with a variety of influences, such as familial, cultural, historical, and genetic. For example, is OCD more common in some eras or cultures? Are there different manifestations of the disorder from culture to culture? Does the disorder take different forms in men vs. women?

Best, Andrea Nicki

Christine Overall

Thank you very much, Professor Montgomery, for your openness about your experiences with OCD.

Instructor Gadget

Thanks for this Brian. I have OCD too. Many of your experiences resonate with mine.

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