Whenever I see OCD used in conjunction to describe non OCD behaviour I do tend to get a bit annoyed, I would like to use a stronger emotion but I am sure Kylie (OCD-UK chair) would not be too pleased if I swore on the main website.
The latest reason for my disappointment (again I am being polite here) is the Daily Mail and the feature writer Diana Appleyard for describing her desire for some poncy cushions as 'Help, I've got OCD (that's Obsessive Cushion Desire)' in yesterday's Daily Mail. If you can bring yourself to look here is the link.
Naturally we are told by some to get a sense of humour about it, but when you have OCD it really is not something that it is easy to laugh off and that is why I shoot from the hips with my verbal contempt for such poor journalism.
Of course the Daily Mail is not the first to print incredibly offensive and crass comments that continue to trivialise the seriousness of the condition, and I am sure they won't be the last publication to print something so stupid, but as the comments underneath the article also show, those without first-hand experience of OCD are oblivious to the suffering and desperation that OCD can cause. I don't blame them personally for not understanding, but I do blame the Daily Mail for not showing more restraint and not taking more of a pioneering leadership role in promoting serious journalism around all aspects of Mental Health..
OCD is also known as the 'secret illness' because people are so secretive about their condition, even with family and friends, partly through fear of what people will think, and articles like this don't help, in fact they continue to enforce stigma around OCD and perhaps further marginalises people with OCD.
I have already been in touch with the Daily Mail and invited them to help repair some of the damage by running a series of OCD health features during the Awareness Week in October... I will keep you informed if they accept our suggestion, but as someone on Twitter just pointed out, this is the Mail, what do I expect!
All of this shows the importance of OCD Awareness Week in October to try and change the perception of OCD, and in fact our theme this year is to highlight the impact that OCD can have on peopleâ€™s lives. Most of you reading this won't need me to explain how isolating and desperate this illness can leave us, but it is clear from the Mail's use of the OCD term that the wider public still just do not get it and so it is down to you and me to change that!
Letâ€™s keep fighting!
View the article on the OCD-UK website