Claire’s Story

I have suffered from OCD since I was 6 years old. It has taken many forms and affects all aspects of my life.

I hate going food shopping. I examine every packet to see whether it is open, how it looks inside. I ask myself: is it cold enough? Is it too spicy? Picking a sandwich for my lunch is extremely challenging and sometimes the easiest thing is to throw it away, which I have done many times. Contamination worries me a lot. I don’t like dirt, touching dirty things, the rubbish bins, washing from the previous day, raw meat, and the list goes on. I have had times where I have touched these, washed my hands about 10 times and still felt dirty.

The main part of my OCD is having intrusive thoughts, which also started when I was young. I used to count numbers, I wasn’t able to stand on cracks in the pavement and I often made people repeat sentences and words. These rituals developed into more hateful thoughts and worries, so bad I can’t even bring myself to write them down.

These thoughts have left me with anxiety issues; I have terrible panic attacks when I worry too much about things. OCD dictates my life, including how I communicate, what I do, what I wear and what I eat. This leads me onto why I decided to create the documentary Living With Me And My OCD.

In January 2012, I suffered from a serious breakdown from OCD and struggled with everyday activities such as work, going out and eating without worrying.

I am a freelance filmmaker, I studied Contemporary Film and Video at Manchester Metropolitan and I run a social enterprise, E.D.E.N Film Productions. I decided to turn the camera on myself, recording my struggles, thoughts and what it felt like to be living with the thoughts in my head. The main reason for doing this was due to the despairingly low level of awareness, understanding and acknowledgment of how serious OCD is. From there the idea grew; I contacted OCD-UK, visited support groups, contacted Time to Change, aiming to interview people who suffered with OCD. I then cut together a 5-minute trailer that was placed on my personal YouTube/Vimeo and OCD-UK placed on their YouTube that has currently had over 26,000 views!

Living With Me And My OCD is a feature documentary aiming to raise awareness for OCD and tackle the common stereotypes surrounding OCD.  I am near the end of filming, entering post-production, which is really exciting. The support for the film is amazing and has been growing alongside the progression of the film. I have been lucky enough to travel to Boston, USA to show the trailer I created at International OCD Foundation’s conference, which was a fantastic experience. For more information on how the film progressed please visit the blog –

I am really overwhelmed by the positive reaction to the documentary and really hope this will help change the ‘I’m so OCD’ phrase and the ‘jokey’ view on what OCD is.

Alongside the production of the documentary I have been making campaign videos to show behind the scenes footage of filming the documentary. Furthermore, the videos on the dedicated YouTube for the film also feature a personal poem written by an OCD sufferer, behind the scenes information regarding the artwork of the film and a video in response to the Channel 4 programme, Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners (OCC). When OCC aired I was strongly against the programme’s format and how it represented OCD. You only had to see the tweets that were made by some members of the general public during and after each show to understand what damage the programme was doing to OCD awareness. I decided to compile these tweets and respond with a video that was tweeted by many members on Twitter every time the programme was aired. The support for the video from the OCD community was amazing; with over 90 shares on the Facebook Page and constant tweets from everyone online we really did get the message out there. It was fantastic that major charities and organisations such as  OCD-UK and International OCD Foundation retweeted the link too and shared on their social networks. The video has had nearly 5,000 views, which is fantastic and I hope it has helped change some minds and helped show what damage the programme caused.

There will be further campaign videos uploaded onto the YouTube; please look out for them.

It has been a fantastic journey so far and I have met so many amazing people. My own OCD is also improving from engaging in something positive and beneficial for raising awareness regarding OCD. I aim to release the film next year with the hope of raising as much awareness regarding OCD as possible.

If you want to find out more please check out the links below:

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