It’s loon week on channel 4,and following on from Ruby Wax’s excellent documentary on mental health and people having the courage to come out about their disorders and mental health issues to work colleagues, was the very good A Little Bit OCD with Jon Richardson.
Jon Richardson was trying to discover whether he also had OCD – the conclusion being that he had some OCD behaviours but they weren’t causing him distress,which seems to be the major factor in determining a diagnosis. Because he is a very personable and nice young man his eccentricities were rather charming though it’s obvious that in earlier years he’d found them much more distressing,causing him to sleep in his car rather than face the chaos of his shared flat. Interestingly the woman who feared germs and contamination seemed freer and happier outside the house with her rescued animals, unlike Gemma who seemed to be trapped in her flat by a relentless cycle of list making about cleaning. Saddest was the animal lady’s son who despite being academically hugely successful was unable to deal with his OCD and killed himself with ground up yew.
I hope the 16 year old featured gets treatment before he wears himself out with compulsions and rituals – good treatment including CBT can save him I’m sure.
As I’ve said before I feel I now live fairly normally – thanks to treatment and coping techniques. A few very deeply entrenched anxieties make life difficult but I am not ‘stuck’ in the depths of crippling rituals as I have been in the past. At it’s very worst I could imagine dying because it would be a relief to no longer have to wash and check, so the yew tree poisoned man touched me. I’m ashamed to say too that the thought of having breast cancer also seemed preferable to having OCD.
Click on the title of this post to watch the documentary.