This fall, USA Network will air the 100th episode of the hit detective
series, Monk. “It should be a lot of fun,” says actor Tony Shalhoub, 54, who
has played the title character for seven seasons. “Especially because Monk
really likes the number 100.”
Adrian Monk, for those not in the know, is a warm and brokenhearted
detective who has obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a mental illness with
specific traits that Shalhoub says are not all that hard for him to identify
with. Brilliant crime fighter that Monk is, he struggles with distraction,
focusing at times on the inconsequential, such as dandruff on someone’s
shoulder or the arrangement of doughnuts in a box. He must touch every parking
meter he passes and wipe his hands after every handshake.
Adjustment disorders may cause serious problems in daily life.
An adjustment disorder occurs when the patient's reaction to a stressful event:
Is more severe than the expected amount of distress.
Affects relationships or causes problems at home or work.
Includes symptoms of depression and anxiety or other emotional, social, or behavioral problems.
Causes of adjustment disorders in cancer patients include the following:
For the 2 million Americans with OCD and their families, Monk has become a
source of empathy and inspiration. That’s why Shalhoub and Monk co-creator
David Hoberman recently teamed with the Anxiety Disorders Association of
America to launch an OCD awareness campaign called “Treat It, Don’t Repeat It:
Break Free From OCD.” The national campaign uses public service announcements
and educational videos and materials aimed at health care professionals, people
with OCD, and their families to educate, provide support, and encourage
treatment. Many of those with the condition suffer in isolation, but with
therapy and medication people can manage their symptoms and live full,
Tony Shalhoub and obsessive compulsive disorder
“I certainly have those kinds of feelings and preoccupations,” says the
actor of OCD. “And what I do with Monk is … think of it as uncorking the bottle
and letting everything flow.” This helps Shalhoub, who has won three Emmys and
a Golden Globe for Monk, understand its challenges firsthand. “For a lot of
people, there is a fear and embarrassment. But people who suffer with the
disorder don’t have to be outcasts. They can be and are contributing members of