Conditions like Depression and Anxiety are getting lots of attention at the moment. The general public are becoming more aware of symptoms and how it affects those who suffer. It’s great to see that the stigma is really beginning to lift. Though for some other mental health conditions the stigma remains as high ever and society is still worryingly far from reaching an understanding. OCD is one of these illnesses.

In the UK 1.2% of the population has obsessive compulsive disorder. 50% of these people are said to fall into the category of ‘severe’. It was ranked the tenth most disabling illness of any kind and yet many people still think it’s a flippant excuse to be organised and pernickety.

OCD is often trivialised by the media and those who do not understand the condition. Even those aware of mental health issues often remain incredibly uninformed on the condition. The people who don’t understand OCD are not just those who will tell a depressed person to ‘cheer up’. OCD is accepted in society as a personality quirk. There just isn’t enough awareness and accessible education to change this deep rooted inaccurate image of the illness.

So, what actually is OCD, and perhaps more importantly, what is it not?

If someone can’t go to bed without checking the oven is off, and then double check, just in case, they are probably a responsible, safe person, not a sufferer of OCD. If they can’t sleep at night because they’ve already checked the oven 25 times and still believe it to be on, they might have OCD. If you have a sudden thought or urge to jump in front of a car, that’s called having an ‘intrusive thought’ and about 9 in 10 people have them.

Someone without OCD would probably be able to brush away these thoughts, or at least, not become obsessed with them. Someone with OCD would become obsessed with the thoughts, thinking it meant they were suicidal and consequently avoid going near cars at all costs because they truly believed they would jump in front. This would most likely lead to a belief that they have no control over similar things and that they were truly a risk to themselves. Someone with OCD is so consumed by their intrusive thoughts to the point where it completely takes over their lives.

I have OCD. When I was 12, I constantly thought I was going to lose control of my bladder. My thoughts were completely controlled by this obsession and the compulsions that came with it for at least 2 years and it is still an everyday battle to fight them 8 years later. At it’s worst, I went to the toilet at least twice an hour and didn’t have anything to drink for days. This is just an example of my OCD. It has come in and sometimes out of my life in different forms. Each equally as distressing as the next.

If you would like to learn about OCD I would highly recommend reading the book ‘The Man Who Couldn’t Stop‘ by David Adam. It’s an incredibly interesting and readable insight into the disorder. We need to start really listening to the stories of people whose lives are affected by this condition. We need to start challenging those who belittle it and make jokes of it. Without awareness and understanding, people are suffering.

Guest Blog written by Beth Hinds

If you need assistance, why not set up a consultation with Bridge for a personal assessment?

Visit us on social media

2 days ago
Sharing this personal account of an individual who experienced the negative impact of the lack of mental health beds when she was hospitalised out of her area and away from her usual care team. https://t.co/iEE8sEX6f2 #MentalHealthMatters #MentalHealthAwareness https://t.co/0XIFA3u7Fx BridgeMH photo
3 days ago
Our Bridge Back Home team offers practical support to clients and their families to facilitate an earlier discharge home. Could we help get you home? https://t.co/VAtvn0RYoz #bridgesupport @raymondsheehy https://t.co/cOgv69OU0K BridgeMH photo
4 days ago
Did you know we work together with Mental Health Commissioners to provide the best possible opportunities for our clients through support, training, and encouragement? Discover more here: https://t.co/rTLU8pNT7R #BridgeSupport #MentalHealthMatters https://t.co/K8HzRzFLRw BridgeMH photo
5 days ago
We have a proven track record of successfully moving clients on from our 24-hour support service after just 2 years, either to medium support or independent living, so they can continue their recovery. Learn more here: https://t.co/pgYwrwJDGz #bridgesupport #MentalHealthMatters https://t.co/6wN9IFHHNP BridgeMH photo
6 days ago
The cost per person for our medium support service is £10k per year, 5x less than 24-hr community provision and a staggering 17x less than secure hospital accommodation. Learn more: https://t.co/jWwae5YopF @raymondsheehy #bridgesupport #mentalhealthsupport #mentalhealthrecovery https://t.co/ve7wtIn0gB BridgeMH photo
1 week ago
If the steps taken upon leaving a 24-hour service are too big, there's a risk of relapse. Medium support can be the perfect stepping stone on the path back to independent living. Learn more from our latest blog here: https://t.co/jWwae5YopF #bridgesupport #mentalhealthrecovery https://t.co/d1lYfF9swJ BridgeMH photo

24 Hour Support

Medium Support

Flexible Community Support

Forensic Services

Recovery College

Women Only

How you can work with us

As well as the normal tendering process, you can commission our forensic services in the following ways:

  • Use our contact form
  • Pick up the phone to speak to us on 020 8298 9677
  • Email us to discuss spot contracting OR delivery of a bespoke service that meets your needs