I haven’t seen this new program yet — but if I did, I would probably be complaining about it, as are many others out there with OCD.
This article, from time-to-change.org.uk, puts it well by saying: “I’ve got a great new idea for a TV programme that I think Channel 4 may just be interested in. The programme would seek to tackle the national obesity epidemic by getting together a group of people with eating disorders to share their weight-loss tips with obese people.”
And here’s a YouTube video response to the show by LWMAMOCD.
It looks like there are lots of awesome people out there doing a great job of trying to spread true awareness of this often misunderstood disorder.
Unfortunately, I predict the stereotypes will not end — for the same reason that lots of other stereotypes never end. People cling to what they previously knew and believed. People want to use OCD as a catch-all term for cleanliness; and because they want to, they continue to, even though they may eventually learn that it’s technically inaccurate. Educating people before it becomes habit is key.
It’s also true that mental illnesses — like OCD — can be an exaggeration of what is, in moderation, a normal trait for people to have. Therefore, it’s possible that everyone truly does have a small inclination of OCD now and then. But for people whose lives have been seriously affected by obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders, it is not a light or laughing matter. It would be like saying you have anorexia because you have sometimes thought about hesitating to eat, or because you have felt slightly guilty about eating. Sometimes people go as far as Libby Wolfson from the sketch comedy show SCTV with her line: “I’d kill to be anorexic!” by saying things like “I need to be more OCD” or “I wish I had OCD.” These people don’t know what they’re saying. They can’t possibly. Even if you wished to die, you probably would not wish yourself a slow and painful death first by torturing yourself with a debilitating disorder — unless you’re very masochistic, but most of us probably are not.