Catching a mental illness: One family’s story

One family’s experience with obsessive-compulsive disorder and its shocking root cause.
When middle school student Connor Odom road-tripped with his family from their home in Charlotte, North Carolina to Atlanta to play in the U.S. Basketball Association National, he missed the first game. As the start time for the big game approached, the 13-year-old athlete was in the hotel room shower—where he’d been for four hours—alternating between weeping and calling out for help from his parents, who stood just outside the curtain. His mother and father felt helpless, begging him to come out. “You’re all clean, Connor,” his mother said over the sounds of rushing water and her son’s furious scrubbing. “You’re going to miss your basketball game. Please come out. We love you and want to see you.”