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OCD Awareness Week on Bristol Community Radio - Your Input Invited!

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Hello Everyone

As some people on the Forums might know, I have been involved in radio in different capacities for a long time.  I started as a teenager on a local pirate radio station (the UK did not legalise community radio stations until the Labour government of Tony Blair, after decades of civil disobedience), have done hospital cable radio (Aberystwyth's Radio Bronglais - still going and marking its fiftieth anniversary this autumn), and then joined local community radio when it was (legally!) introduced to the city of Bristol.  

I thought I would pull a few strings to see if I could get some airtime for OCD Awareness Week and I am delighted to say that my dear friend Steff has invited me to go on the West Country's largest magazine programme for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.  This is broadcast from station B.C.F.M. in Central Bristol and is networked out to a grand total of eleven radio stations, including Bradley Stoke Community Radio in North Bristol, Gloss FM in Thornbury, Glastonbury Community Radio, Frome FM, Tiverton Community Radio in Devon and Radio Tircoed in Greater Swansea.  The show boasts around 40,000 weekly podcast downloads, and the audience listening on conventional radio is estimated to be several times larger.  

I am very indebted to Steff to allow me the airtime.  I have five minutes and will be joined by one of my friends who is a radio presenter and a counsellor.  I have spoken about Living with OCD on community radio before, and was once also able to appear on the regional BBC station, Radio Bristol.  

Because I just have five minutes, I want to make sure that I get the key messages across about OCD and the help that is offered by OCD UK.  

Does anyone have any nuggets of advice, support, wisdom, insight I can include in my little presentation?  

Your ideas are welcome!  

Stay tuned, as they say.

Tez 🏳️‍🌈:thumbup:🎧

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Hi Tez. 

I always use the statistics and the fact that it's not all about checking and contamination. There are common themes and subthemes, but OCD works the same way - exaggeration falsehood or revulsion. 

An OCD sufferer will focus onto, and obsess about, things that a non-sufferer can easily dismiss. 

And the behavioural response to obsessions by carrying out compulsions only makes things worse. 

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Hi Tez,

Sounds like a great opportunity well done.

I think from my point of view the way ocd is made fun of could be worth raising. The people who say they are ' a bit ocd ' and those that think it is in someway a quirky almost positive trait . And don't realise how debilitating it can be and how much distress it can cause. 

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WTG Tez, you are a brilliant OCD-UK Ambassador!

I guess (if not already done it) is explain that OCD is not just about hand washing or cleaning (but make the point that when it is, it's driven by anguish and anxiety) and perhaps explain that OCD can be about horrible intrusive thoughts about harm for example. 

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Hello Guys

Thanks very much for your ideas!!  I am getting from your responses that we need to get across that the phrase "OCD" is often misunderstood and misused by wider society -  an inadvertent consequence perhaps of the fact that the condition is talked about much more these days.  I think I will get it across by comparing it to the way in which a lot of people misappropriate the term "depression" (which of course, can also be coterminus with OCD).  People say "I was so depressed last night" but what they mean is "I was feeling down last night".  Clinical depression is so much more than that  -  it is consistent low mood and often is debilitating.  Well, the same is true of clinical OCD.  I think I will use an example that Professor Salkovskis has used on his TV appearances (I think I am right in remembering this) that everyone can relate to OCD feelings - how many non-clinical people have gotten half way to the bus stop and had a very strong intrusive thought that "Have I locked the front door?".  It can be briefly be quite a strong urge to go back at check, but "normal" people can easily dismiss such an idea, as Roy states.  

I also intend to get across the web address of OCD UK.  

The show is live at 7pm and will then be podcast on various platforms.  You can read more about it at:  http://shoutoutradio.lgbt/

Thanks again for your support.  Have a great day and hope that OCD Awareness Week is going well for you! 

Best wishes

Tez :thankyousign:

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Hope it went well Tez? I am afraid my OCD got the better of me this evening so I didn't get chance to tune in. Is there a replay feature do you know? I am sure you nailed it thought!

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Ah, hi Ashley.  It gets the better of us all at times.  You have my sympathies.  I hope you are feeling a bit better now.  I still struggle after 30 years, although I have never had proper CBT!  I've had what Professor Salkovskis calls NVGCBT!    

Well, I have some good news - kind of!  Unfortunately, my big moment was deferred because of a live discussion on Black History Month.  However..... Steffi apologised to me that the show ran out of time and has instead given me more than twice the airtime (12 minutes) on Thursday 31st October.  Hallowe'en night!  I will be on the air with Hans, a counsellor who specialises in work with men experiencing emotional distress and who is very knowledgeable as well about mental wellbeing and health issues.  So, October 31st it is.  Gives me more time to elaborate on OCD and how we can work together as sufferers and activists to alleviate the condition.  I will be there with my message of hope - and so will Hans. 

I am also selling OCD wristbands and lapel pins at work for clients and staff.  So expect an order from me at the shop soon!!  

Will keep you all updated! 


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Hi Guys


Just an update on the radio appearance to mark World Mental Health Day and OCD Awareness Week.  As I wrote before it took place, on Hallowe’en night, Thursday October 31st, I was given a 12 minute slot on the “ShoutOut” programme that networks out on eleven local radio stations from studios in Bristol and is also podcast on various platforms, to the tune of around 40,000 downloads a week. 


I was joined by a Counsellor and Mental Health professional who work for the Hope Project aimed at reducing male suicide in Bristol.  We spoke about OCD from my point of view as a sufferer and also about the need for people to seek support if they are struggling with their mental health. 


Key points made included that: 


·         Men need to learn to unpack their mental heath issues with friends, family and professionals. 

·         Women have better mental health outcomes than men partly because they talk with girlfriends, relatives and professionals. 

·         Voluntary sector organisations like OCD UK lobby for better funding for mental health services.

·         Self Help Organisations and Mutual Support Networks are of enormous help to many people. 

·         Sometimes you have to lobby the NHS hard for the treatment and support you need.  Be strong, get friends and family to help, and use the support of groups like OCD UK. 

·         Hold the hope – or if you cannot hold it, have someone else hold it for you, like a family member or a friend.  Or even a support group.  The message is that people do achieve their goals and dreams, have relationships, jobs and contribute to society, even though they have or have had, OCD. 

·         Recovery is possible and desirable! 


That was the positive message that we wanted to convey.  All in all, a successful appearance on the radio, and something that hopefully will touch people who need to know that there is help for their own , or someone else’s, OCD. 


Best wishes


Tez :hug:

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