With this blog I’m basically coming out publicly for the first time. It will be a shock to say the least for some people, well I hope it is otherwise I wasn’t as good at hiding things as I thought I was. I’m admitting to my life’s secret, an illness that those who are afflicted with tend to suffer in silence from as they are too embarrassed to seek out the much needed support of family, friends and professionals. An illness which has soul destroying and debilitating side effects and can leave sufferers feeling embarrassed and humiliated. Even in 2013 you have the media and the likes of Channel 4 in particular (Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners!!) portraying the illness as a quirky fun thing to have centred on wanting to clean a lot. Such programmes have exploited our illness for entertainment and put the public understanding of our illness back years because we are portrayed as figures of fun with clean houses. It’s obscene and offensive because this illness completely eats away at your very soul and can leave you a mere shell of a human being. At its worst it can drive you, together with the depression and mental anguish it generates, to harbouring thoughts of suicide and actively planning your own demise. So no wonder we tend to suffer in silence, keep it a secret and make ourselves more ill as a result, because the alternative tends to be ridicule, fueled by ill-judged and ill-informed TV programmes. But what do expect from the “ground breaking” Channel that also brought you “The Man With 10 Stone Testicles”.
Therein I feel lies the problem, because Mental Illness isn’t visual (unless you’re licking a window). It’s not like a boil, cancer or indeed 10 Stone Testicles and therefore some people just don’t get it! I actually believe that the vast majority of people actually do get it, indeed they are scared to admit they understand it, because that would force them to accept that they recognise potential traits of OCD in themselves. So their natural defence mechanism is to ridicule and poke fun at those that are brave and strong enough to confront their fears publicly. Don’t get me wrong I poke fun at and laugh at myself with regards to my OCD . Its one of my coping techniques but its taken a long time and now that I’m accepting of my condition it works for me and elements of this blog may make you chuckle because my illness has made me do daft things at times and whilst I’ve been doing them I have known they are bloody daft but the thoughts have taken over. If this offends other sufferers I apologise profusely, but we have to find our own way when tackling our personal OCD demons and humour works for and helps me a great deal.
One thing I can’t promise is a cure, in my mind there isn’t one. I’m not going to attempt to guide you through some miracle cognitive therapy techniques even though I think there are some good ones out there. That’s not what I’m trying to achieve. If I’m lucky enough for one person with OCD to read this I would be chuffed. I just want other sufferers to draw comfort from recognising in my experiences similar feelings, frustrations, thought patterns and traits that they thought they were experiencing alone.
To read the rest of this article and more writings go to Humble Beginnings Blog