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Just_Beat_It

Criminal Minds

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Has anyone ever watched the TV Show ‘Criminal Minds’? I have been watching the box set recently and the portrayal of OCD in it is appalling.

For those you who don’t know, it is a fictional programme centred around the FBI’s behavioural analysis unit. They use profiling in order to track down serial killers. In the TV show they tend to analyse the minds of the killers typically focusing on psychosis and schizophrenia and the like.

In season one, they were tracking down a serial killer who was killing because she had OCD. The killer’s OCD was around religion and the number three - essentially, if there is a convergence of three threes (such as the time and date, 3rd March at 3pm) she would have to kill. I gave them the benefit of the doubt after that episode and continued watching.

I have just watched an episode in the fourth season which is pretty awful too. The episode starts by showing the killer performing ritualistic behaviours associated with OCD - such as repeatedly opening and closing doors, stepping over cracks on pavements, excessive cleanliness and excessive orderliness etc. Apparently he is “obsessive compulsive” and the show suggests that OCD is what is causing him to kill.

It is frustrating to see OCD being used in this manner when, as far as I am aware, there is absolutely no evidence that OCD causes someone to kill. I usually don’t let this sort of thing get to me but this one has really annoyed me.

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It sounds awful. For the record, psychosis has only been a factor with a handful of serial killers as far as I'm aware, too. It sounds like they're just incorrectly using mental health conditions as handy if inaccurate means to explain a fictitious killer's possible motivation.

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