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Who are OCD Youth?

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a serious anxiety disorder that can take many different forms, is said to affect just over 1% of the UK population, and was ranked in the Top 10 Most Debilitating Illnesses by the World Health Organisation.

Matt (author) is Web and Digital Media Officer for the OCD Youth Action Panel

Despite its seriousness, the condition is often regarded as a mere quirk.

The term ‘OCD’ appears to have turned into slang for casual obsessions, or someone’s liking for neatness and/or order, rather than representing the serious medical condition that it is.

OCD can affect anyone – regardless of age or sex – but for many the illness usually manifests itself in adolescence.

OCD Action, one of the UK’s leading OCD charities, have set up a youth initiative for young sufferers which aims to increase access to support, and decrease stigma surrounding the condition.

OCD Youth is facilitated by OCD Action’s Youth and Young Adults Manager, Trish Macleod, and is run by the Youth Action Panel consisting of a small group of under 25-year-old OCD sufferers who aim to raise awareness through online campaigns, web resources, support events, and organised outings for younger people.

“OCD Youth is an OCD Action initiative for young people by young people,” said Macleod.

“It aims to increase access to support for children, adolescents, and young adults affected by OCD, and to decrease misinformation and stigma.

“It is run by a small group of Under 25s who have OCD themselves – the OCD Youth Action Panel – and facilitated by myself.”

The charity recognises that the needs and circumstances of younger people suffering with the condition may be different to those of others, and Macleod believes that the creation of this initiative is an important step for OCD Action.

“OCD Action runs many services, from our helpline to our support group network.

“The needs of young people are often a little bit different, so is important to make sure we offer services that can accommodate those needs.”

With almost half of the youth panel being university students, the initiative is concentrating heavily on supporting the needs of young adults at university, including special events aimed at sufferers aged between 18-25, and a dedicated resource on where to access appropriate support in higher education.

OCD can often be triggered by stressful situations and starting university can be a unnerving experience for many,  so what advice would the Youth and Young Adults Manager offer to sufferers studying at uni?

“My advice would be to really observe how your OCD affects you at university and what sort of measures you think would help, so that you can make sure you’re getting the type of support that’s right for you.

“But remember, if your OCD is getting on top of you, you can speak to your university’s disability service, counselling team, welfare service, Nightline, or get in touch with your students’ union to find out about other services available.”

OCD Youth’s Marketing Officer, Jamie, who was diagnosed with the condition in 2009, added that the initiative was a “growing” supportive community, and one that can offer a lot to sufferers of the condition.

“OCD Youth are a group of young OCD suffers working together to improve the lives of, and support that is available for, other young people with OCD.”

“I and many of the people involved with the initiative have suffered with OCD for many years and therefore have experiences we can share with others.”

Next up for OCD Youth is its big youth event: a 3k canoe challenge at Coniston Water, planned by OCD Youth’s Events Officer, Imogen

Following last year’s successful Thorpe Park outing, the free event will be held in the beautiful Lake District on Sunday 7th September and is open to anyone under 25 with OCD.

For more information on the event, or about the youth initiative itself, contact Trish or Imogen on 02072 535272, 0r by email at youth@ocdaction.org.uk.

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One Response to Who are OCD Youth?

Avatar of decode12

Question from Subscriber.

This website is a great thing, and should definitely be promoted. More young people should hear about it. Spread the word.

Posted on October 25th 2014 @ 18:05:05. [ OTkz ]