Jana’s story: How treatment at Rogers helped her follow her dream of competing in the Miss America organization09/14/23 03:00:pm
While growing up, Jana enjoyed being in the spotlight through singing and dance classes in addition to theater productions. She says her struggle with contamination OCD started out small.
“I would describe it like this – it’s like I’m wearing goggles and I can see what’s contaminated,” says Jana. “I remember thinking, ‘Why am I the only one who sees this?’”
Jana’s symptoms worsened in college and her parents encouraged her to seek help.
“I would walk on paper towels and Lysol wipe my body,” she says. “Eventually I wouldn’t leave my room.”
Jana received OCD and anxiety treatment at Rogers’ Miami and Tampa clinics. Today, she is following her Miss America pageant dreams. She will compete at Miss Tennessee 2024 as Miss Shelbyville, a title she earned this past summer. Jana uses her Miss America platform to share her story with the hope of reducing stigma and helping people who struggle to not feel alone.
“If someone could hear one message I shared about an experience I had, then everything I’m doing would be worth it,” she says.
Miami therapist Lilysbel Rodriguez recalls working with Jana.
“I remember she was very motivated to overcome her OCD,” says Lilysbel. “Watching her story is very inspiring to see how Rogers can be life changing.”
Miami nurse Maria Veiguela says Jana’s story is encouraging.
“Recently, a patient suffering from severe OCD left treatment as she was not ready to fully engage in the hard, hard, work that is required,” says Maria. “The entire treatment team made comments of how difficult it is to see someone who isn’t ready to receive this life-changing treatment. Jana’s story has given me the boost I needed. She is a motivation to continue to work hard to get our patients to be success stories and an inspiration to others. Like Jana, I am going to focus on the step in front of me – Jana’s story – not the staircase – those patients who are not ready to take the first step.”
“It’s great to see the lasting positive impacts that doing exposure and response prevention has after treatment is over,” says former behavior specialist, now Tampa clinical services supervisor, Kimberly Brazill. “Seeing patients return to living their lives without being restrained by OCD is always rewarding for the treatment team.”
Click the video above to hear more of Jana’s story.