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OCD UK should lobby the government to provide care for those with severe OCD

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OCD UK webpages say:

“Our core belief

It is our belief that everyone affected by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder should receive the most appropriate and highest quality of care, support and treatment. That society needs to be more understanding about OCD…”.

However it also says it is “a recovery focused charity”. My concern is that there is no one speaking up for the OCD sufferers who do not “recover” but remain crippled by their illness.

When I was at The Anxiety Disorders Residential Unit (ADRU) of the Royal Bethlem Hospital, they claimed that they had a 65% success rate in curing people. I believe this is an exaggeration, but even if it’s right, that still means that over a third of people are not cured.

I developed severe OCD because I was a victim of harassment and attacks which the police absolutely refused to do anything about. I have been treated for my OCD but the treatment was not successful. Mental health services have discharged me to Social Care and say I’m not their problem. I have been assessed by Social Care three times (because people who are concerned about me keep referring me to Mental Health Services and Social Care), and on each occasion they concluded that I was much too ill for them to cope with. I therefore receive no care or help of any kind. As far as I can see, this will not change under the government’s new proposals for Social Care.

I am a type two diabetic. Before I developed OCD I ate a very healthy diet, with lots of fresh vegetables, pulses, and grains; and my blood sugar levels were excellent. Since I developed OCD, I’ve been living mainly on cheese sandwiches, chocolate, biscuits and ice cream, and my blood sugar levels are frightening. This has had a very damaging effect on my physical health; my GP and his diabetic nurse have expressed concerns about this, but there’s really nothing they can do to help. Social Care say they can’t possibly help me.

I also have difficulty in making simple decisions and performing simple tasks. Because of worries about contamination I can’t let workmen into my home to fix things. My heating hasn’t worked in years, and I have broken windows. A crack in my bath causes water to pour through the kitchen ceiling every time I use it; this has caused a section of the kitchen ceiling to collapse and the rubble is everywhere. It has also short-circuited all the lights on the ground floor of my house. I have to sleep on an ordinary kitchen chair, which means I sleep very badly.

When I was at the ADRU, there were three other patients who also had difficulty performing simple tasks and whose homes were in a very bad state (heating not working, broken windows, problems with vermin et cetera). Two of the others had also developed OCD as a result of being crime victims. One of the staff told us “there’s nothing unusual about the current intake; we get people like you in all the time“.

The government spends a fortune on the care and rehabilitation of criminals; It spent £13 million on the Yorkshire Ripper alone; but crime victims who develop severe OCD are just left to suffer and die.

The staff at the ADRU were able to care for us quite well, because they had the right aptitude, training, and experience. People of similar ability should be employed to help and support us in the community. If OCD UK does not make our case to the government, then who will?

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