Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The Sequence Of Hatred and The Impact on Mental Health Sufferers

I'm going to use this week's theme of sequences to explore what no body really tells you about OCD.

Before I begin, let's nip the illusion that everyone who is clean and tidy is suffering from an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and point out the fact that by throwing the term around, you're actually harming the real sufferers of OCD.

Not every sufferer of OCD has to turn a light switch on and off a certain amount of times, or wear the same jacket each time they go to Tesco. OCD can manifest itself in ways that we could never imagine. I once knew a girl who everyone thought was crazy, she was openly mocked within her social circle for thinking if she hadn't heard from someone in a while that they were dead, but this is all part of her OCD, all of these emotions were real for her. Imagine, not hearing from a friend or relative for a while, and then getting an overwhelming feeling of dread and frantically trying to reach out to them, and not being able to rest until you know with absolute certainty that they are alive.

It may be hard to accept that reality doesn't always have to go hand in hand with rationality because everyone experiences the world differently. No two realities are the same and the sooner we realise that the sooner that stigma over people with mental health issues will end. All too often OCD is overlooked and not even considered as a mental health issue.

I've seen an amazing level of acceptance spread for sufferers with anxiety and depression, yet mental health is more complex than a label we use to categorise human beings with.

The truth is that OCD can be debilitating. The mind can obsess over anything macabre, your very own narrative of horror replaying in your mind in infinite repetition. Some people even fear that they're psychotic, and they will end up killing the ones that they love. It's no wonder people with mental health issues often become alienated. This is just one of the reasons why mental health stigma is a killer. OCD sufferers are often regarded as freaks, just because people fail to see life through the eyes of someone that's suffering. This is the sequence of mental health stigma that allows people to become ostracised and ultimately too afraid to speak out.

People who suffer with OCD and any other mental health disorder need social support to recover, because the worst thing that could happen is for the person suffering to stigmatize themselves, thus completing the self-fulfilling cycle of hatred.

Thank you for reading, Amelia Vandergast