OCD and the Media

August 22nd 2018

The media can be good, bad and ugly, but sometimes it can be a beautiful thing.

Whenever I see an article, TV show, film or book that has OCD in the title or description, I immediately feel apprehensive. I’m not sure whether I’ve been conditioned to feel this way over the years by the poor misrepresentations that OCD has had (the likes of OCD Cleaners springs to mind!) or it’s just my internal dialogue and narrative that I have whereby nothing good or positive can come from OCD being thrown about and stereotyped in mass media.

But I sense that there’s a cultural shift on the horizon in attitudes towards OCD, because I’m starting to see more people (mainly on Twitter) talking about it in a more factually correct way, referencing verifiable organisations that signpost people to the best information out there.

What prompted this post was an article from the Evening Standard which featured an interview with comic, Catherine Bohart, who spoke about her experience of living with OCD and her struggles and triumphs with the condition.


Although she speaks of her OCD in terms of ‘perfectionism’, with special mention to cleanliness, order and perfection, she goes on to say that it extended to her body and forced her to come to the conclusion that she didn’t suffer with only an eating disorder (which she originally thought), but in fact what she had was broader and extended to OCD. In her show, Immaculate (which is currently on at the Edinburgh Fringe), she says that there is more to OCD than worrying about putting spoons in the fork department.

The article talks about the positive effect that CBT can have in helping to change thought patterns with treatment for OCD as well as highlighting that OCD isn’t just a quirk or odd personality trait.

Although just one example in a vast ocean of misrepresentation, blatant mockery and a lack of willingness to truly grasp how horrific OCD can be for people, it’s articles like these that give me hope for the future. Hope that people are starting to cotton on to the fact that OCD is a serious, debilitating and life-altering mental illness. And whilst that all sounds terrifying, you can learn to live a better, more fulfilled life with the right help and support.

I know it’s really tough, but try and look for the positive things out there in the media and share them, because the negative stories always grab more attention.

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