“My Extreme Affliction” – A Look at Amazing Medical Conditions and Unbelievable Abilities

Mar 28, 2012 2:45pm

Special Edition of “20/20″ Airs Saturday, March 31, 9-11 pm on ABC

“My Extreme Affliction” takes viewers into the lives of people with some of medicine’s most extreme conditions or who have unbelievable abilities.  The series looks back on some favorite reports and brings viewers some new unimaginable conditions.  David Muir anchors this week’s “My Extreme Affliction,” a two-hour Special Edition of “20/20,” airing SATURDAY, MARCH 31 (9:00 – 11:00 p.m. ET) on the ABC Television Network.  Reports include:

Kids Living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:  Fifteen-year-old Bridget cannot hug her own parents. Just sitting on the same couch as them leads her to start twisting, turning and screeching. She fears they are somehow “contaminated” and it has forced her to stop living at home. Rocco, nine, dissolves into tears whenever he tries to leave for school because he’s consumed by the anxiety of what could happen once he leaves the house. He asks his mother over and over for reassurance that never puts him at ease. Why are these children paralyzed by endless worrying? They have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, a brain condition that causes irrational compulsions. And they aren’t alone. Doctors say about one million children in the U.S. suffer from OCD. While many people often joke they have some form of the disorder, David Muir takes a rare look inside the lives of the children who are truly suffering from OCD and reveals something far more crushing than most of us could ever imagine.  (OAD: 8/4/2009)

Children Living with Schizophrenia: “20/20″ reports on the challenges facing families whose young children are suffering with severe mental illness.   Jay Schadler shares the stories of three girls in California: seven-year-old Jani Schofield, a beautiful blonde child who loves to swim and play, but has been diagnosed with schizophrenia — her hallucinations command her to act dangerously and violently, like jumping off a high building or hurting her baby brother and Brenna Wohlenberg, a 13-year-old who loves to play with her dogs but fears she will hurt them or her little sisters because of her psychotic behavior, some of which is caught on tape.   “20/20″ spent time inside the homes of these children to see what life is like for the girls.  Their families kept video diaries showing the daily struggles, breakdowns, and the overwhelming strain on both personal relationships and finances.  (OAD: 3/12/2010

           David Sloan is executive producer.

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