Review of A little bit OCD - more than being tidy
Posted Wednesday 25 July 2012
Within Channel 4’s “4 Goes Mad” season, there was one show I was particularly looking forward to – Jon Richardson’s ‘A Little Bit OCD’. Whenever I’ve seen OCD tackled on TV before, it’s usually been about extreme tidiness and for all of us with OCD, we know that there is so much more to it than that. Despite this I had high hopes. I knew about Jon Richardson’s own issues and thought that he would at least go into the making of the show with an open mind and perhaps an understanding of how compelling some of the behaviours are.
I wasn’t disappointed. In fact I was more than pleasantly surprised. The show saw Jon talk honestly and openly about his own compulsive behaviours that began when he was at university and made him so unhappy he dropped out and moved into a house on his own where he could live exactly how he liked.
Refreshingly, the 3 other stories told did not shy away from the severity of OCD and how it can have a major disruptive effect on lives: John a teenager whose obsessions and compulsions can literally paralyse him, Gemma’s fear of contamination which has almost ruined her relationship and left her housebound and Joyce who also lives with contamination OCD and who lost her son when he killed himself because he could not live with his own OCD. Jon also visited a hospital for people with acute OCD. Even though I’ve had OCD for 10years and studied Psychology, I didn’t even know about these places. It proved that this condition really isn’t talked about enough, and that shows such as this do have a place on primetime TV, although I think a 9pm slot would have reached more people.
I found it sad that Jon was scared of being diagnosed with OCD. I found being diagnosed a relief. It meant I knew what it was and that it was treatable, that I could learn to manage my life with it. I hope his fear doesn’t put people off seeking a diagnosis as it can really make a positive difference. Although he wasn’t diagnosed with OCD from what he said I think if he’d been assessed at university he would have been. For me this showed hope - that OCD can improve and from my own experiences I know it comes in waves – the good times and the bad. It’s what helps me get through the bad times.
Throughout the show I felt Jon handled the subject with sensitivity, compassion and understanding. I think his own experiences helped. He understood without being told that it’s not something someone can ‘snap out of’. Rarely has a programme so close to my own heart been so moving. I almost cried at the end when he said his one wish for OCD sufferers were that they could get to a place where their behaviours made them happy, like his did for him.
I hope those who watched the show now have a better understanding of what OCD is really like and that it will help us stamp out the stigma attached to it. It was one of the best documentaries I’ve seen for years. Bravo Channel 4, Jon Richardson, John, Gemma and Joyce – thank you for helping to show there’s more to OCD than being tidy.
Girl With The Hat
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