I am running for OCD Action to raise awareness about the disorder and raise funds for the charity's great work.
There are many misconceptions about OCD. For me, these are centred around two key issues; what the disorder actually is and how bad it can be for sufferers.
So, OCD is, simplistically, exactly what it sounds like. It is about having obsessions and acting out compulsions based on them. However, OCD can be, BUT IS NOT ALWAYS, about hand-washing, cleaning and tidying. I cannot stress this enough. OCD can be about anything from needing to turn lights on and off a specific amount of times before leaving a room to believing that you have the capacity to be a murderer, rapist, paedophile, sadist or any of the other most horrifying things that you can think of. OCD, for many people, preys on the things that they fear the most.
This leads me onto the second misconception. OCD is not a harmless little quirk. It is not a penchant for keeping things neat and ordered. Wanting the washing up to be done before you sit down and watch TV is not being ‘a little bit OCD’. Instead, OCD is the mental torture of making yourself imagine the most horrific things you can imagine over and over again to yourself to assess your reactions to the thoughts. It can be not being able to get out of bed or leave a room or enter a room or listen to a different song until you have acted out whatever compulsion you need to neutralise your anxiety. It can lead to depression, self-harm and worse.
So, please, spread the word as much as you can about OCD. Tell your family and friends about it, read more about it online, because people need to know. I have had OCD since the age of 8 but only realised I had it at the age of 19 after reading a Guardian article that randomly popped up on my Facebook timeline (which really sums up my life, tbh). People live for years and years with the disorder not knowing that they have a mental illness, believing that they’re bad people who don’t deserve to be happy or to have friends (I did).
I am doing The Great Edinburgh 5 Mile Run for OCD Action to raise a few funds for the charity, so please support me if you can! Y’all know that any form of exercise is basically torture for me. Even £5 will help as my target is only £100!
If you want to know more about OCD, you can watch this weirdly intense video on the OCD Action website: http://www.ocdaction.org.uk/ocd-in-brief
There is also this written intro to the disorder on the OCD UK site: https://www.ocduk.org/ocd
Also, here’s Lena Dunham as Hannah in Girls talking about having OCD as a child: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmG8badcE2s
If you have any questions, please feel free to hit me up!
Thank you for reading and donating! x