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