Raising awareness of OCD is one of the Charitys key objectives, and throughout the year we work closely with the media to ensure OCD is accurately portrayed. Although we feel we are making progress, there are still too many occasions when OCD is not portrayed correctly. The damage this can cause to those living with the condition is huge. We are passionate about changing these misconceptions, and banishing stigma altogether, so that no one living with OCD feels ashamed to speak out and get the support and treatment they so rightly deserve. That is why we were absolutely delighted to hear that the brilliant documentary, 'Living With Me And My OCD' had been released. Created by Claire Watkinson, this informative and inspiring film follows Claire's journey of living with OCD, as she meets others with the condition and raises awareness of OCD amongst the general public. We are confident its release will have a big impact on people's knowledge and understanding of OCD and make people feel less alone.
We caught up with Claire a few weeks after the premier, so she could tell us a little bit more about her documentary...
When did you first start making the documentary, and what was your inspiration for making it?
I started production of Living With Me And My OCD in 2012 during a tough time battling my OCD. My OCD was affecting my current work position and there was a lack of understanding from my then employers when I tried to explain the thoughts that were affecting me coming into work. I had studied Film at University and had just purchased some film equipment and decided that capturing my thoughts on camera about the battles of my OCD would be a way to increase the level of awareness. From there I started to develop my idea expanding to interviewing other people about their personal experience with OCD alongside how they viewed the awareness levels to be. I edited together a trailer, which was widely received, and to date has over 50,000 views collectively on all the platforms it has been uploaded to. From there I went onto interviewing over 40+ people across the UK and world via face-to-face, Skype chats and video submissions.
What is the aim of the project?
The main aim of the project is to raise awareness of OCD and challenge the often used ‘I’m so OCD’ term. It is a damaging phrase and illustrates what a lot of people believe OCD to be about, the need to clean or tidy and actually enjoying it. I wanted this film to show the real struggles, battles and emotions of living with OCD and how debilitating it is to live with. I also wanted to reach out to people who might not understand what their thoughts and feelings are or have spoken to anyone about it and provide a film that would hopefully help them to seek help, speak to someone else or know they are not alone. I have received a lot of positive feedback of the film from all over the world ranging from people saying it has helped them understand what OCD is, to using it as a teaching resource to giving someone the confidence to seek professional help again. This was why I did the project and I am so thrilled that it is doing what I sought for it to do.
When speaking to members of the public on the street about OCD, did you find anyone who truly understood about OCD?
There were a couple of people I spoke with that did know correctly what OCD was about, but overall the majority of people stated the stereotypical examples such as cleaning and having things ordered. I hope this film has reached some of the people who had that view and helped changed it.
What are your plans for the documentary?
The documentary is now fully accessible online via the film’s personal YouTube and also OCD-UK’s YouTube. I don’t have plans on submitting to film festivals, as I wanted it to be uploaded as soon as possible online to reach as many people as possible. If anyone wants to screen it at events, use it as a teaching resource or anything else please do get in touch with me as I would like the film to be used as much as possible to help raise awareness of OCD.
What would you say to someone who watched the documentary, and is concerned they may have OCD?
I would say please remember you are not alone and there are lots of people who can help you. I would encourage to seek help from a professional such as a doctor but also source support from online support groups and forums. Charities such as OCD Action and OCD-UK also provide support groups, online support and have fantastic networks to help. The most important thing is reach out to someone and don’t battle it alone.
If you haven't already seen this eye-opening documentary, then you can view it below (and please share it too!).
Congratulations to Claire on creating such an inspiring and informative film, and for all of those involved who bravely shared their stories.