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I would like to com­mend James Lloyd for his ar­ti­cle about his per­sonal bat­tle with OCD (Oc­to­ber, p60). I my­self strug­gled with ‘in­tru­sive thoughts’ sim­i­lar to those de­scribed by James (in­ter­nal rather than phys­i­cally vis­i­ble OCD) for four to five years be­fore be­ing di­ag­nosed with anx­i­ety back in 2005. It led to de­pres­sion and the worse pe­riod of my life to date. How­ever, back then, even af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed with anx­i­ety, I had never heard the term ‘in­tru­sive thoughts’ and un­til read­ing James’ ar­ti­cle thought they were just a side ef­fect of the anx­i­ety.

Ev­ery­thing James de­scribes is ex­actly what I ex­pe­ri­enced and I would never have thought to class it as OCD. It re­ally does show that there is still a lot that needs to be done to raise aware­ness of the many forms OCD can take. Now, 12 years on, all is well in my brain… and I wish James the best of luck with his re­cov­ery. Jean-De­nis Hib­bitt, Wey­mouth

I’ve heard so many sto­ries of peo­ple suf­fer­ing for years, even decades, not know­ing that they have an ill­ness which can be di­ag­nosed and treated. I think it’s partly stigma around the in­tru­sive thoughts them­selves, but mostly a gen­eral mis­un­der­stand­ing of what OCD re­ally is. Writ­ing the ar­ti­cle was one of the hard­est things I’ve ever done, but hope­fully it can go a small way to re­dress­ing the bal­ance. Thanks for your feed­back! – James Lloyd, ed­i­to­rial as­sis­tant

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