‘Because we are bad’
WHEN she was just a child, Lily Bailey was assailed by thoughts she knew to be “wicked”. Her imaginary friend, a voice in her head, told her that if she repeated rituals like washing her hands the right number of times, her bad intentions would not be realised. She has obsessive compulsive disorder, and in her case, felt compelled to make endless lists of offences she had committed during the day. Such obsessive list-making interfered with normal life and she ended up so miserable she attempted suicide. Thanks to a loving (and wealthy) family, psychiatric help came early and was eventually effective. Her account gives an amazing insight into the condition by setting out the mental conversations that enslaved her.
They would be funny if they weren’t so bizarrely sad.