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.