You will be aware from reading my blog that I have OCD. Today sees the start of OCD Awareness Week 2015 so I think that now is a good time to talk a bit more about this debilitating illness.
OCD-UK describe OCD as ‘a serious anxiety-related condition where a person experiences frequent intrusive and unwelcome obsessional thoughts, often followed by repetitive compulsions, impulses or urges.’ The World Health Organisation (WHO) have even ranked OCD in the top ten of the most disabling illnesses of any kind, in terms of lost earnings and diminished quality of life.
I know from experience how truly debilitating OCD can be but thankfully, with a lot of help and support, I am now able to control my OCD rather than let it control me. I have learnt to manage my symptoms so that they don’t interfere with how I function on a daily basis.
OCD Awareness Week is a global effort to raise awareness and understanding about OCD. Many people still think OCD means being tidy and organised which trivialises the seriousness of the illness. OTR Bristol’s youth campaigning group ‘Mentality’ have launched a brilliant new campaign asking people to discuss how our language around mental health may be adding to stigma. “My mental health is not an adjective” – OCD is one of five videos that they have created to support the campaign and I think that it represents the importance of understanding OCD perfectly.
In support of OCD Awareness Week, OCD-UK have suggested 7 ideas for 7 days of OCD awareness:
- Change your Facebook/Twitter cover photo for the week
- Talk to someone new about your OCD
- Invite a friend to watch an OCD movie
- Get a photo with the ‘Supporting OCD Awareness Week’ placard on social media
- Make an OCD Awareness Week pledge
- Blog about how OCD impacts on you
- Contact your local newspaper or radio station and ask them to interview you about your OCD
I have ordered my OCD Awareness Week t-shirt and placard and I plan to do as many of the above as possible this week! If any of you would like to talk to me about my OCD then just message me via my blog or Facebook and I will be more than happy to share my experiences with you!
I really hope that by showing my support for OCD Awareness Week I can make a difference, no matter how small it may be!