Cathartic Interview: Mark - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

 

Today at Cathartic we are pleased to welcome Mark, who suffers from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and is on the road to recovery.  Mark is a 29 year old from Oxford in the UK, who wishes to share his experiences in the hope that they may help others in a similar situation seek help and realise that they are not alone.

Mark writes about his journey, experiences and life on his blog, MyBigFatOCDDiary.

 

When did you first realise that you had OCD?

 

When I was around 18 or 19, after doing my own research on the Internet based around the symptoms I had at the time.

 

What was the catalyst for you reaching out for help?

 

My OCD had got to the point where I had basically stopped eating.  I thought, "Bad things will happen to me if I eat".  It wasn’t directly due to the food, it was a superstitious thing.  My weight had dropped to 6 stone, I could not hide it from my parents any longer and it was the motivation I needed to get help.

 

What challenges do you face on a day to day basis? How do you overcome them?

 

For me it’s mainly about decision making, "If you eat this.. If you do this.. If you go to the gym.  My OCD says to me “You can't do that, something really bad will happen to you".  More often than not I do as my OCD says, but I’m nowhere near as bad as I was.  Sometimes delaying the thoughts and not giving into its demands instantly works for me.

 

What motivated you to reach out to others through a creative medium to raise awareness of OCD?

 

Too many people feel that OCD is just about germs, hand washing and having things just so.  There's almost a joke like response to OCD.  "I’m so OCD with cleaning my room" or "I get so OCD with arranging my clothes LOL" are the kind of reactions you get from non sufferers.  OCD can be a lot more serious than this with so many different forms and it needs to be noticed

 

How has the reaction been to your creative efforts to raise awareness of OCD? Has the reaction to your story helped your recovery on a personal level?

 

Definitely, knowing you’re making a difference and talking to like minded people and no longer feeling like you are the only one.  The reaction from most non sufferers I know has been good too but there's always going to be a few ignorant ones

 

Do you have any advice for those who think they may be suffering with OCD?

 

Yes, go and see your GP would be one piece of advice, open up to someone you are close to and trust me - it is always so much better to seek support than suffer alone.  There are many great OCD forums that offer amazing support, OCD UK and OCD Action are two of the best I have found.

 

If you wish to read more about Mark’s journey and support his work in bringing awareness around suffering with OCD, you can find him in the following places:

 

Twitter: @MarkOCDVersion

Blog: MyBigFatOCDDiary

 

If you are suffering with OCD, feel free to check out our Charities page which has links to organisations that will be able to offer you support.

At Cathartic we believe in the power of sharing your story, not only to help personal recovery but to allow others who may feel that they are isolated in their suffering realise that they are not alone.  If Mark’s story has helped you or inspired you, click on the “Share Your Story” on the left hand side of this page and tell us your story.