“I’m a bit OCD too! I have to change the volume to an even number! Isn’t that strange?”
I think one of the hardest parts of coming to university with OCD is that the majority of people don’t understand the difficulty that can come with it; instead, they just make jokes about hand-washing and light switches. Did you know there are like a million jokes about light switches? They are all hilarious.
A recent series on Channel 4 did highlight some of the issues of living with the disorder, but there are still so many people who think I’m going to pull my hair out just because one of my pens isn’t parallel to the others. Luckily, I’ve managed to surround myself with a core group of friends who are really supportive. Especially with a disorder like OCD, which I’ve experienced as an illness fuelled almost entirely by guilt, knowing that you have a good support system and a great group of friends can make you feel invulnerable to any kind of nonsense your brain is throwing at you. Even if you don’t talk to them, just knowing they care can be enough to give you a bit of hope that all is not lost, so just let your friends know when something’s wrong and they’ll be there for you. I can never express to the people closest to me how much they’ve helped, even if they don’t think they’ve done anything at all.
The horrible images that flood your mind even going about your daily business can make you feel pretty trapped, but this disorder can never define you. The Mental Wealth campaigns are helping to highlight how a good support system can help you overcome, or at least talk about anything that’s pulling you down.
Incidentally, having the volume on an even number allows such monstrosities as 16 and 32, which, in my opinion have no place on any volume spectrum. Just leave it on 15 or 30 and put the remote down.
by Eliot Fallows
Non-Portfolio Union Officer