Peters said it's important that people with OCD know that a combination of drugs and exposure therapy can help them manage their symptoms. About a third of the people who have OCD find a resolution, another third will have episodes that come and go, and a final third will struggle with moderate to severe symptoms throughout their lives.
Shy was lucky. Shortly after his diagnosis, he was plagued with the need to walk around his child's soccer field over and over again to check for rocks and glass because he was sure that the children would get hurt if he didn't -- and it would be his fault. He did the same for his front door, and said he was constantly washing his hands.
But after years of therapy and coming up with his own plan to keep the obsessions and compulsions at bay, Shy found a way to deal with his symptoms. Now he says he doesn't need medication.
"OCD can be defeated, and I'm living proof of that," he said. "But getting help is key. Don't be ashamed to get help. Don't try to go it alone."
To raise public awareness about obsessive compulsive disorder, Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News' chief health and medical correspondent, will host a one-hour "tweet chat" on Twitter today from 1-2 p.m. ET. To participate, sign into Twitter and click here for the hashtag. Follow the conversation or jump in with comments and questions of your own.
Medical experts from the National Institutes of Health, the Mayo Clinic, American Psychological Association and the International OCD Foundation will join Besser on the chat to answer your questions and offer advice.