The impact of language: trivilasation vs normalisation vs pathlogising in the context of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Matthew Simpson is a student studying on the Research Methods in Psychology MSc at the University of Liverpool and he is inviting you to participate in a new research study.

What is the purpose of the study?

Mental health is at the forefront of government policies, with society demanding better access to services. Much campaigning and research has looked at reducing the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health. Despite this, the way mental health is spoken about may impact stigma. Mental illnesses are commonly used as adjectives within conversation; ‘I’m so OCD about keeping the kitchen tidy’, ‘She’s looking a bit anorexic’ etc.

The aim of this project is to examine whether using mental illness in conversations this way trivialises the said mental illness, whether it is pathologising ordinary emotions/behaviours, or whether it is a positive step in normalising mental health as it brings it into conversation.

Why have I been chosen to take part?

Research shows that OCD is one of the most trivialised mental health conditions, which is why it is the focus of this project. Therefore, having participants identified with OCD is crucial in capturing viewpoints.

What will happen if I take part?

If you choose to participate, you will be involved in an interview in which you and the researcher will discuss general attitudes and experiences surrounding OCD. The conversation will be audio-recorded and last approximately 30 minutes. The interviews will happen remotely via Zoom or telephone call.

Are there any benefits in taking part?

Although taking part in the study may not help you directly, some people find that sharing their experiences can feel worthwhile and rewarding.

It is hoped that the findings will contribute to understanding about mental illness and what can be done to reduce stigma and discrimination.

Please see the attached Information Sheet for more information.

Contact details of investigatory team for any questions

Matthew Simpson (Lead Student Investigator)

Professor Peter Kinderman (Principal Investigator)