OCD in the media

Features about OCD in the media (newspapers, television, radio or the big screen).

Obsessive Compulsive Cleaner - A video response

Last week we published our feedback about the Channel 4 programme, Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners which was broadcast on Wednesday night.

With the second episode broadcast last night, the OCD community still remain frustrated and angry at Channel 4 for broadcasting this programme. In one survey that we have launched, 96.4% (53 out of 55 people) at the time of writing believe this programme is not a good representation of OCD. Following the first episode last week, OCD-UK member Claire Watkinson filmed the following video in response.

Article posted on: Thu, 21/02/2013 - 11:12am

Obsessive Compulsive Cleaner - A psychologists opinion

Dr Stephanie Fitzgerald

Last week we published our feedback about the Channel 4 programme, Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners which was broadcast on Wednesday night. Today we hear from one OCD specialist, clinical psychologist, Dr Stephanie Fitzgerald.

Having watched the first episode of Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners I have mixed emotions about the programme but my over-riding feeling is one of sadness. I feel here was a wonderful opportunity to promote awareness and reduce stigma of a debilitating mental health condition, which was not only missed, but instead used to endorse a stereotype that clinicians and sufferers know to be untrue.

Having not been involved in conversations with the production company, it is difficult to comment, but my understanding is that they have stated that there was no intended link to OCD. However, 'obsessions' and 'compulsions' form the diagnostic criteria of OCD, so by calling the programme 'Obsessive Compulsive' cleaners, they are referring directly to the condition, whether this was intentional or not.

Article posted on: Mon, 18/02/2013 - 6:24pm

OCD on the big screen

Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes in the Aviator.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is often featured on TV documentaries and programmes, but what about that Hollywood touch with OCD in big budget films and dramas? We have compiled a list of films that we know about, let us know if there are other films we need to add to our OCD library of films/dramas.

Article posted on: Fri, 15/02/2013 - 6:59pm

Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners Update

Last week we published our concerns about the Channel 4 programme, Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners which was broadcast on Wednesday night, the first of a six part series. Like, seemingly all of the OCD community that have contacted us since the broadcast about the trivialisation of OCD, we share your frustration and anger. The only message delivered by this programme was to add to the misconceptions, confusion and misunderstanding to the general viewing audience have about what OCD is, and what OCD isn’t.

OCD-UK vice-chair, Catherine Mills shared her feelings "As a sufferer of OCD for over 40 years, Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners left me disheartened and frustrated. It came across as Channel 4's attempt to pitch one set of 'freaks' against another with the outcome that the viewer will have gone away with a very muddled message about OCD and lacking insight as to the devastation it brings to the lives of true sufferers. Our fight to demystify and detrivialise OCD could be put back years by this programme."

Watched the programme? Please take a moment to complete the OCD-UK programme survey by clicking here.

Article posted on: Fri, 15/02/2013 - 12:30pm

Seeking young people with OCD or BDD for BBC Three documentaries

BBC Three Mental Health Season

Highlighting the debilitating impact of OCD through media participation remains a crucial part of our mission to improve understanding and raise awareness of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Our mission however is superseded by our intent to ensure the well-being and dignity of any participants taking part in media work on our behalf. This policy of participant well-being remains our priority when working on television or other media projects, even if it means on occasion we decline to work with a journalist or production team. Whenever we are approached by television production companies to seek our support in helping promote their production, we never proceed until checking on the credentials of those involved, and seeking assurances on their duty of care policy, this is done to ensure the welfare of those that agree to take part. We hope that our policy ensures that our OCD community can take confidence in participation in projects that OCD-UK endorse.

We have recently spent some time talking to two different production companies and researchers looking to produce two completely different programme about OCD for BBC Three Mental Health Awareness Week. We are keen to support both projects , and have agreed to work with them both to help find participants, purely for research purposes at this stage. Anyone agreeing to help by talking to the researchers would not be under any obligation to participate in filming if they do not feel totally comfortable about the project.

Please scroll below for further details of the two projects, the first by Watershed TV and the second by Firecracker Films.

Article posted on: Thu, 07/02/2013 - 2:55pm

Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners

OCD-UK today remain extremely disappointed that, despite our lengthy discussions with them, Channel 4 are continuing with their plans to broadcast a series of programmes which falsely gives the impression that people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder somehow gain pleasure from their compulsive cleaning. We feel that this not only trivialises the severity of those that suffer with contamination obsessive fears, but also adds further to the misconception that OCD is primarily about cleaning compulsions. This misrepresentation about what OCD is all about can only lead to increased stigma for those that suffer.

Next week (13th Feb, 9pm), Channel 4 launch the first of a six part series called Obsessive-Compulsive Cleaners, which follows a lady, that the channel 4 programme describe to be obsessed with cleaning so much that she setup an agency to recruit what the programme call ‘Compulsive Cleaners’. The programme description goes on to suggest that people with OCD that are compulsive cleaners have a special set of skills and a gift for cleaning that could change the habits of the nation, and in the programme Linda Dykes, sets out to recruit an army of obsessive compulsive cleaners to help clean Britain's dirty homes and filthy public spaces.

Whilst we are yet to see the programme, despite a request to do so, we are incredibly concerned that the title and emphasis of the programme might add to the wholly inaccurate and false stereotype that OCD is purely about people that clean. In fact, the direct opposite is true, the NICE guidelines for OCD suggest one study showed that only 26.5% of people with OCD actually have cleaning compulsions, and that figure goes down further in other parts of the world. In fact, people with OCD that do have contamination/cleaning issues find it incredibly disabling and actually get no pleasure what-so-ever from their compulsive rituals.

Article posted on: Wed, 06/02/2013 - 8:00pm

OCD Media Interviews

Listen to Karen and Paul talking about OCD to BBC Radio Bristol yesterday (15th October 2014) for OCD Awareness Week.


Article posted on: Mon, 01/08/2011 - 6:09am


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