This mental health video looks into more effective help for those who suffer from a mental illness.
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Jennifer Matthews: These are everyday routines for most of us. But to Marc Pincus, they were obsessions. Marc Pincus: I was spending so much time checking things, and making, trying to make things perfectly lined up, and making sure everything was neat. Jennifer Matthews: Marc was diagnosed with major depression and obsessive compulsive disorder--a mental illness that prompts sufferers to repeat habits out of fear that something bad will happen if they don't. Marc Pincus: I would have to look at the clock, see what time it was, turn my head, then turn back around, look at the clock again, and I would have to do this 19 times before the time changed to the next minute, and if it did, then I'd have to start all over again. Jennifer Matthews: He enrolled in a study at UCLA, where doctors used a PET scan of his brain to look for tell-tale signs that the anti-depressant Paxil would work for him. Dr. Sanjaya Saxena: We found that patients who had high activity in a part of the brain called the right caudate nucleus, it's one of the deep structures deep in the center of the brain, had a much better response to Paxil, than those who had low activity in that area. Jennifer Matthews: Marc's PET scan showed his disorder would respond well to Paxil. That's exactly what happened. Marc Pincus: The worrying, or getting these thoughts that something bad might happen, that started to go away. And so when those thoughts go away, then you don't feel like you have to do these things to counteract them, so to speak. Dr. Sanjaya Saxena: The aim of this kind of research is to save patients unnecessary trials of treatments that weren't likely to work. Jennifer Matthews: With any luck, the new science will help more patients leave the darkness of mental illness behind them. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.