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Ashley

Craig in Corrie

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I often meet people who, when I tell them about my OCD, talk about some mental issue that troubles them - or their children. 

Sometimes it sounds like OCD so I tell them about our charity, forums and encourage them to go and get diagnosed. 

If it's other things I recognise, I tell them what it might be and again steer them to get help. 

So it sticks in my craw when TV companies, who really by now should know better, do this. 

They can reach out to a vast number of people - it's a massive opportunity missed, and it is offensive to we sufferers. 

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My email to ITV's MD of Drama who I have been engaged in email with over last 10 days...  CC'd to MIND's media team who had been advising Corrie on the OCD storyline. 

 

Dear John,

Me again….  Congratulations to Coronation Street last night for broadcasting a very moving and sensitive story of male suicide.   .

You handled it superbly well done and well-acted, and you deserve plaudits which I am sure some of the bigger mental health charities will throw your way when it comes time for mental health media awards. 

But if they do, I would be forced to challenge such awards because in the same episodes, despite the ongoing OCD storyline I counted 5 OCD jokes across the two episodes.  

Did you know that nearly half of those with OCD have suicidal thoughts, and it’s reported that a quarter of people with OCD attempt suicide.  So I find it baffling that you treat depression and suicide so sensitively, whilst mocking OCD at the same time.

In your last email you said…

Quote

"What I did suggest was that soap storylines can be a positive force in changing people's attitudes to issues and that change may eventually be reflected in a change in language and common useage"

I agree with that, and you’re also right in what you said that it’s not your job to police language. But I don’t understand how allowing so many OCD jokes to go unchallenged by other characters change attitudes? It simply reinforces the belief that it’s OK to laugh at OCD.   

ITV shows have broken records, ten OCD jokes/gags across various shows in the last three weeks (7 in the soaps).

Whilst it’s not the soaps jobs to police language, surely you have to take some responsibility for not making a difficult issue worse?

I appreciate last night was filmed weeks ago, long before I raised this issue with ITV, and I appreciate you said you will discuss with the editorial teams, but how do we ensure that in a years’ time Emmerdale or Corrie are not again making OCD gags? 

Are you ok for me to make your comments public to our members who remain concerned?

Yours sincerely,

 

Ashley Fulwood.

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This last two days failures.

 

Monday 7th May. Coronation Street, new waitress character Kayla made the following OCD gags in front of regular characters Craig and Bethany. None of which were challenged.

  • “Woooo, ok OCD boy.... must not mess with table, Feng shui”.
  • “Right, are we ready to order or are we still reorganising the furniture?”
  • “Small OCD world, with my mum it’s light switches, flick, flick, flick, flick, like a strobe, I call it the OC Disco, sometimes I take the bulbs out, you know to wind her up, you know its dead funny”
  • Kayla placing a bowl on the table and moving things around the table when talking to Craig. “I will just eeer place these here, and I will just move these here, oooh I hope I don’t stab myself in the eye with a pointy fork.“

 

Sunday 6th May.  Cycling: Tour of Yorkshire (Highlights). Presenter Gary Imlach launching the show “just down here if you can see over the barrier is the spot where the 2018 Tour of Yorkshire is going to finish, so clearly the route planners don’t suffer from OCD, otherwise they wouldn’t have been able to resist extending todays route by the 60meteres or so to complete the circle.

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My twitterings last night...

Shameful the direction ITV Corrie have taken this OCD storyline. I sincerely hope nobody with OCD is the victim of deliberate triggering in the future because of this story. I've known for years that OCD is just mere entertainment fodder for the mass media, but I think the reason I feel so disappointed and betrayed somewhat is because I truly thought they were taking such care to portray OCD accurately and responsibly to highlight an important issue, not for OCD turned on/off when they need storyline entertainment.

OCD Tap Off!! Craig to the rescue. ITV Corrie you've got this OCD storyline badly wrong in recent weeks, plus you've allowed multiple jokes about OCD. You truly don't care about people with OCD do you?

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On 26/07/2018 at 10:27, Ashley said:

My twitterings last night...

Shameful the direction ITV Corrie have taken this OCD storyline. I sincerely hope nobody with OCD is the victim of deliberate triggering in the future because of this story. I've known for years that OCD is just mere entertainment fodder for the mass media, but I think the reason I feel so disappointed and betrayed somewhat is because I truly thought they were taking such care to portray OCD accurately and responsibly to highlight an important issue, not for OCD turned on/off when they need storyline entertainment.

OCD Tap Off!! Craig to the rescue. ITV Corrie you've got this OCD storyline badly wrong in recent weeks, plus you've allowed multiple jokes about OCD. You truly don't care about people with OCD do you?

Yes I totally agree Ashley, I sincerely thought that this was going to be a good thing and bring about a positive awareness, how wrong can one be.  

With this being a program and nothing more, we will see Craig getting back on top of his illness because he now knows that kayla deliberately triggered him. How different this could be if someone intentionally goes out of their way to deliberately trigger someone and the devastating impact this could have on a persons wellbeing, this could be a totally different story. Totally dissapointed in the outcome of the storyline. 

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Another gag in Corrie that could be considered at OCD expense.  A reference to CPD.. Compulsive Price Disclosure.

What do you all think?

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I caught up with Corrie this evening, cried buckets!

As for the CPD reference, I didn’t make a connection to OCD. In fact it just reminded me of teaching (Continual Professional Development). It think it was just a joke and maybe also a joke about the use of acronyms?? Of course I can see now where you’re coming from with the word compulsive.

Edited by Emsie

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On 12/09/2019 at 22:09, Ashley said:

What do you all think?

I think we have to be careful we don't lose our sense of humour and take this too far.  As irritating as it is to hear people using the "I'm a bit OCD" phrase, truth is we're never going to change that, the Genie is well and truly out of the bottle.  What we can do is keep raising awareness about how severe and debilitating true OCD is.  Watched BGT tonight and the yound disabled comedian who does nothing but make gags at his own expense

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5 hours ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

Yeah I don't really take offence at that or really link it to ocd. 

Fair enough, I will let this one slide as nobody else seems overly concerned.

 

15 hours ago, Caramoole said:

I think we have to be careful we don't lose our sense of humour and take this too far.   Watched BGT tonight and the yound disabled comedian who does nothing but make gags at his own expense

I think there needs to be a balance Caramoole.   I think it's ok for people with OCD to make jokes about their OCD, and even IPD DFL was about laughs at some OCD situations, and so were some of the fringe shows I watched this year. But all of them were done in a way that was clear the situations are funny, not the suffering.

 

15 hours ago, Caramoole said:

As irritating as it is to hear people using the "I'm a bit OCD" phrase, truth is we're never going to change that

You see this you may be right, but... I believe we have to keep trying and challenge every media misuse of the term. If we can get the media to take more responsibility then the problem many not become further perpetuated. 

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Quote

 What we can do is keep raising awareness about how severe and debilitating true OCD is. 

As you can see, I agree :)

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Another great example of the problem here, which I think is the main problem we have in changing public perception about what real OCD is.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-7490851/Sarah-Roberts-jokes-dealing-James-Stewarts-OCD-ways.html

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'He likes everything in order, I know that now': Sarah Roberts jokes about dealing with James Stewart's 'OCD' ways... two months after the Home and Away costars tied the knot

The situation we find ourselves in and any future change in perception is primarily because of lazy and/or sensationalist journalism with headline writing like this. It's a non story to be honest, but it's done so much harm by this headline. Absolutely no justification to headline the OCD comment, and nothing in article suggests guy even has OCD.

 

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Another OCD comment in Corrie last month (I was catching up at the weekend). What do you think?   It's better than before with Craig's storyline, but I am still not sure the language is helpful to our cause with the 'what if she is OCD' comment, but the bottom line is helpful to the cause of helping people understand it.

 

Coronation Street, broadcast Friday 10th January 2020 (8:30pm showing)

Cathy to Brian talking about Yasmeen: 

Cathy: Everything we arrange to do she cancels, she will be cleaning again, it’s all she seems to do these days.  She had calluses on her fingertips the other day from going at the skirting boards.

Brian:  There’s nothing wrong with a positive attitude towards domestic hygiene

Cathy: What if she’s OCD?

Brian:  You know your problem, you watch too much television, not everything has to have a label.

Cathy: It’s an illness Brian, like hoarding, it’s not something to be scoffed at or swept under the carpet.

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