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OCD and studying A level/ BTEC

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I'm writing this on behalf of my daughter. She wants to know how it is studying for A levels with OCD. The OCD affects her reading and writing (slows both) and means everything takes more time than it should.

She's applied to do art and sociology and then is undecided on the third subject. Art and sociology are both at A level, but art has lots of coursework as well as the final exam. This is starting September 2020.

She's then got the possibility of photography A level (entirely coursework examined), criminology BTEC or psychology (at A level or BTEC). She's worried about overloading herself with course work or exam stress.

Has any one got experience of doing these subjects though A level or BTEC/ advice for her?


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Hi Jayne,

I thought I would reply to you because I do have experience in this. I suffered with OCD during B-Tec art a few years ago now, and you are right, there is quite a bit of coursework.

I do not regret taking this subject at all, because I loved it, and I still do love art. And the thing is, no matter what I studied at this time, OCD was something I was having to fight. And fighting OCD whilst studying for something you love is much better than fighting OCD whilst studying something you have chosen because of OCD.

My personal advice would be not to let OCD dictate which subject to go for, and to go for the subject which she most enjoys. It is also good that she knows she has OCD, it means she will have all the help, guidance and support that she may need during studying (including people to talk to at school, us here at OCD-UK and NHS services). She will never be alone in it. Once your daughter has kicked the OCD bully out of the door, and finds herself on a steady path in recovery, she will be pleased that she chose the subjects she wanted to do the most.


Best Wishes


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Thanks Zoe that makes a lot of sense. It’s a lovely reply.
At the moment the OCD is making it really hard to decide on that third subject because she struggles so much with all decisions especially when either option might be the right thing. 

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