Awareness Week

OCD and Me

Click the video below to watch Claire explain our project.

This year’s OCD Awareness Week takes place between Monday 14th and Sunday 20th October 2013, and this year's theme, 'OCD and Me' aims to highlight individuals unique experiences of OCD to improve understanding about the many different types of OCD that people with OCD suffer. We also want to highlight the daily struggles with the illness in an attempt to challenge trivialising misconceptions and stigma that currently surrounds OCD.

Unfortunately, whilst the terms 'he/she is a bit OCD' or 'I'm really OCD about that' are being used in everyday vocabulary, usually simply to describe people who may be a little fastidious about a particular task, the terms are rarely used to actually describe OCD, which is a crippling mental health problem that severely impacts on the functioning and quality of life of those children and adults that suffer with OCD.

We want to show that OCD exists in many forms, from serious disabling and debilitating contamination fears, through to horrific and graphic intrusive thoughts which plague us.

As part of our plans for this years OCD Awareness Week we are launching a new project called 'OCD and Me' to give those of us with OCD an opportunity to tell others what it really means to live with the illness. We want to create a 'Compulsive Viewing' collection of video messages from people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder explaining what their OCD means to them.

Let Claire explain a little bit more about what we are looking for (click the 'read more' link to view her video).

Article posted on: Mon, 15/07/2013 - 12:09am

OCD and Me - Awareness through photography

Me and my OCD by Preeti

Photography can provide people affected by OCD with a creative outlet, helping them express their feelings about OCD and capturing its impact on their daily lives. It can be an effective way of depicting an image that you may be experiencing in your head but find difficult to put into words.

OCD-UK would like to hear from those affected by OCD who have used photography to capture their feelings about their condition. Have you taken photographs to express how OCD makes you feel or to show what your OCD feels like? Have you directed and appeared in your own photograph that depicts you and your OCD? Would you like to start using your OCD to help develop your creative talents and raise awareness of OCD? Whatever your level of photography is we want the world to see it!

One such example is the image on the right submitted by Preeti, who will be helping to manage this project told us that this image, 'Me and my OCD' "Represents myself (the blooming flower) and my OCD (the wilting flower). The blooming flower is attempting to push down the other flower, demonstrating my own attempts at containing my OCD."

Article posted on: Fri, 25/01/2013 - 10:49am

A bit like that? Combatting the myth about OCD

Dr Stephanie Fitzgerald

This article was written by Dr Stephanie Fitzgerald and was first published during OCD Awareness Week, October 2011.

As a Clinical Psychologist working with people affected by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), there are six words that for me epitomise the level of ignorance that exists around OCD: ‘Oh, I’m a bit like that’.  We’ve all heard someone say them. Whether it’s someone referring to the fact they like a tidy desk at work, or someone talking about how grim some festival toilets were, we’ve all heard someone discuss how they can be ‘a bit OCD about things like that’.

OCD, in this misunderstood form, seems to have become a very popular disorder. People view OCD as a quirky character trait meaning you like things done in a certain way, or in a certain order, or have your own routine which you are fond of and like to stick to. Alternatively, due to the media’s insistence as portraying OCD as an addiction to hand-washing and an intolerance of germs, OCD is viewed as an almost positive character trait. People believe by declaring themselves as ‘a bit OCD’ they are proudly declaring that they keep their home neat and tidy. Indeed nowadays it seems that people seem to aspire to have OCD and are very keen to tell others ‘Oh, I’m a bit like that’.

Article posted on: Tue, 24/07/2012 - 2:38pm

Effective treatment for an unnecessary illness

Prof Paul Salkovskis

Effective Treatment for an Unnecessary Illness: Where's mine?

In previous themes in OCD Awareness Week, it has been shown that OCD is a devastating and destructive problem which causes massive damage to the quality of life of both sufferers and those closest to them. It has been pointed out that, far from being an incurable disease, OCD can be eliminated with the right treatment delivered properly and with care and respect for the sufferer. We have summarised this by indicating that OCD is an UNNECESSARY DISEASE. This fact is recognised in various places, but perhaps most notably in the NICE guidelines for the identification and treatment of OCD published in 2005:

Now, this should be really good news because providers of NHS treatments are supposed to both share this information regarding best practice with service users and follow such guidelines unless the service user wishes to consider other options for their treatment once they have been informed of the options.

Article posted on: Tue, 24/07/2012 - 10:59am

Understanding Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder

Watch our 'Understanding OCD' Awareness video.

Obsessive–Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a serious anxiety-related condition where a person experiences frequent intrusive and unwelcome obsessional thoughts, often followed by repetitive compulsions, impulses or urges.

It can be so debilitating and disabling that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has actually ranked OCD in the top ten of the most disabling illnesses of any kind, in terms of lost earnings and diminished quality of life.

We hope that our video will help raise awareness and to offer an insight and educate about the various aspects of the illness to offer a better understanding of the illness, but also perhaps most importantly that we hope that our video will offer hope and inspiration to the estimated 741,504 children and adults living with OCD here in the UK.

Article posted on: Mon, 02/01/2012 - 4:42pm


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