Intense and highly personal, A&E’s true-life docuseries OBSESSED™ takes viewers inside the minds and lives of Americans whose anxiety has taken complete command of their existence, making them prisoners of their uncontrollable thoughts and ritualistic behaviors. From OCD to agoraphobia and germophobia, the series documents both the individual’s afflictions and their courageous attempts to defeat and overcome them. Highly trained therapists use desensitatization and exposure therapy, coaching the patients through exposure to the causes of their anxiety until the feelings begin to fade.
The second season of Obsessed will feature some of the most compelling stories to date including:
-A father of two whose overwhelming obsession with odd numbers has left him jobless, living out of his car and unable to function on odd numbered days.
-A man and his two grown daughters who suffer from agoraphobia and are all attempting to break the family “curse” which prevents them from being able to venture more than a few miles from the safety of their homes.
-A musician whose life is completely consumed by hand motion rituals that can take up to 10 hours to complete.
-A recovered alcoholic whose dread of contamination is so extreme that he washes his hands up to 150 times a day for fear that another alcoholic will contaminate him and cause him to return to drinking.
-A young budding artist who believes that her checking, tapping and counting rituals are keeping her mother from dying of cancer.
The show explores the stories of these sufferers as well as the adverse effects their disorders have on their friends and family. Viewers will be moved as patients heal, make amazing progress and slowly but surely take their lives back.
A&E Network has given the greenlight to the new original Real-Life series, “Obsessed,” exploring the world of individuals debilitated by extreme anxiety disorders, including Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, panic disorder and various phobias, it was announced today by Robert Sharenow, Senior Vice President of Nonfiction and Alternative Programming, A&E Network and BIO.
A&E has ordered eleven, one-hour episodes. “Obsessed” is currently in production and slated for premiere in the second-half of 2009.
“Like our Emmy®-nominated series ‘Intervention,’ ‘Obsessed’ balances intense human drama with redemption,” said Sharenow. “The series will take a raw, honest and emotional look at the world of anxiety disorders while offering those who suffer a path to recovery.”
According to the Anxiety Disorder Association of America, Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older. “Obsessed” examines the lives of everyday people imprisoned by debilitating fear and sometimes unmanageable, repetitive behaviors. The show explores the stories of sufferers as well as the adverse effects their disorder has on their friends and family. Each participant will undergo a highly successful form of cognitive behavioral therapy that forces them to expose themselves to the sources of their greatest anxiety in an attempt to manage their fears.
Each one-hour episode of “Obsessed” explores two individual cases where the subjects face debilitating extreme anxiety disorders, their struggle and the process of rehabilitation. Whether it is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder or a variety of phobias, the unscripted series gives viewers a chance to see first-hand how an obsession can radically affects a person’s life. “Obsessed” not only captures the particulars of the condition but sees the subject through the incredible emotion of therapy and one-on-one sessions with the therapist. By using cognitive behavioral therapy, each subject is taught how to understand their thought process which contributes to symptoms and how to change thought patterns, manage their anxiety and avoid the debilitating compulsions. The series then revisits each subject after several weeks of treatment to see if the obsession lingers.
“Obsessed” is produced for A&E by Tijuana Entertainment (“The Two Coreys,” “Shooting Sizemore”) by executive producers Troy Searer and John Foy. Also executive producing for Tijuana is Rob LePlante. A&E Executive Producers are Robert Sharenow and Scott Lonker.