My Extreme OCD Life – Channel 5

My Extreme OCD Life – Channel 5

As someone who has hidden backstage all her life, stepping into the spotlight is not a naturally comfortable thing for me to do. So, when a production company approached me to appear on a new documentary show – ‘My Extreme OCD Life,’ I was initially sceptical. Why should I be on this programme? There are so many people who’s OCD is much worse than mine; would I appear like a fraud? Some kind of neurotic fake looking for 15 minutes of fame? I was wrapped up in my own anxiety and paranoia, I lost sight of the purpose of the show, and why I blog to raise awareness for mental health.

‘My Extreme OCD Life’ is a new two-part Channel 5 series that follows the lives of eight young people who suffer with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It explores the different ways the illness can manifest itself and proves OCD is not simply about being clean and tidy. As part of the first episode, I do my best to explain my tapping and counting rituals, and the extent of the intrusive thoughts that affect my daily life.

The reality of this show didn’t really hit me until I was indulging in my weekly fix of ‘Can’t Pay? We’ll Take It Away!’ and suddenly my face appeared in one of the ad breaks. It was such a weird experience. My first thought was, “OH GOOD GOD WHY HAS NO ONE EVER TOLD ME I’VE GOT A DOUBLE CHIN?!” Once that self-conscious observation had passed, I felt a mixture of anxiety and accomplishment.

Someone told me my picture was in Closer magazine, and sure enough, there I was staring back at myself. The worry kicked in again. Compared to another woman on the show, Serin, who in a press article admitted to washing her hair 72 times in a day, what right did I have to appear alongside her? As my ‘Pure-O’ is the strongest element of my OCD, I was unsure how to show it to a camera. I felt I almost had to prove I had this illness and the hell it gives me.

However, after over-thinking it for a while and having seen my ten-chinned crying face looking out of the TV, I realised that’s exactly what the point in this documentary was. The eight individuals who appear may show a catalogue of varying symptoms and compulsions driven by their OCD that seem to contrast in levels of severity and complexity. But, the reason why we feel we have to do these things is for the same reason. Whether it’s tapping, counting, cleaning or checking, every compulsion, physical or cognitive is driven by an anxiety-inducing doubt that convinces us we can stop bad things happening.

I guess the reason I’m sharing my thought process with you is because I spent a long time thinking I wasn’t worthy of help. Due to widespread stigma and lack of understanding, “other people have it worse” is a phrase that is chucked around carelessly a lot. What ‘My Extreme OCD Life’ has taught me is that if you have a diagnosed illness that affects your life in a negative way, then you DO deserve support. Unfortunately, criticism and comparison is inevitable. There is always someone who is worse off than you or in more distress. However, just because I have fought through the debilitating years where my OCD locked me away from the outside world and now I am more high-functioning, does NOT mean I am not sick and deserving of continued treatment. The same goes for you too!

Catch¬†‘My Extreme OCD Life’¬†10pm on Tuesday 22nd & 29th August on Channel 5.

P.S. If you’re reading this after the show is aired, what are you waiting for?! Find it on catch up!

 

 

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19 Comments

  1. 05/09/2017 / 05:00

    Congrats to you on your lovely blog. I am guessing you don’t live in the US since I don’t know what Channel 5 is or have a channel 5 but it all sounds very exciting. Good luck on your journey!

  2. 23/08/2017 / 11:37

    Well done Meg for having the courage to take part in the show! It can be hard to make sense of OCD but it was shows like this which helped me to understand it, and what you have done will go on to help so many people. I hope you’re looking after yourself. Xo

  3. Milly
    23/08/2017 / 08:11

    Hi there! Just wanted to say how much comfort I got from watching the program tonight- I’ve never watched anything quite so relatable in my life. You should be super proud of yourself. Thank you for being so brave and sharing your story.

  4. Anne
    23/08/2017 / 08:10

    Your such a brave girl speaking out and I wish you all the very best in the future and hopefully you can get the help you so deserve xx

  5. Holly
    23/08/2017 / 08:10

    Really relating to what you’re going through and completely admiring your bravery by showing your rituals on television x

  6. Abi
    23/08/2017 / 08:09

    Just watching you on TV. Thank you for bringing light to dark intrusive thoughts as I find that’s a part of OCD that people never understand

  7. Carly
    23/08/2017 / 08:06

    Thank you for sharing your struggle with us. I related to everything you said…just felt like you were talking about me xx

  8. Rosie
    23/08/2017 / 08:06

    Thank you for your bravery and honesty. I wish you all the best.

  9. Harriet
    23/08/2017 / 08:05

    Watching you was like seeing myself on tv. Literally everything you said, I can relate to. Keep fighting it, you’re doing so well

  10. Annie
    23/08/2017 / 08:05

    You’ve done absolutely amazingly! Be very proud my love and keep your head held high! X

  11. Lucy
    23/08/2017 / 08:04

    My heart goes out- it can be debilitating. Wish I could tell Meg & Dad it can be ok with help.I salute your bravery and everyone in the programme. You’ll all help lots of people by appearing on the show and showing the reality of ocd.

  12. Becca
    23/08/2017 / 08:03

    I can totally relate to everything you said. Made me cry. Thank you for being so brave x

  13. Carla
    23/08/2017 / 08:03

    My heart goes out to u. Everything u said u feel on a daily basis is what I feel. Be proud that u have spoke out xxx

  14. Manda
    23/08/2017 / 08:02

    Meg you have such a great support network, I know you can get better, heartbreaking to see how OCD effects you

  15. Hannah
    23/08/2017 / 08:01

    thank you Meg for having the courage to voice so publicly what so many of us have to go through in secret <3

  16. G
    23/08/2017 / 08:01

    i can definitely relate. It can be hugely frustrating & it takes over your life. On the road to recovery, hope you are too

  17. Bex
    23/08/2017 / 08:00

    watching on C5, you’re amazing lovely so so brave and I’m so proud of you

  18. Lucy
    23/08/2017 / 07:59

    you are utterly brilliant + brave for sharing your experiences – I can completely relate to the intrusive thought process x

  19. Elizabeth Zampetti
    21/08/2017 / 20:38

    My son has OCD And I would like to watch your show. My channel 5 did not have it listed. Can you let me know the network and what area you are in to see what channel it would be on here. Thanks for doing this!!!!

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