It’s episode 16 of Blended: I’m joined by another amazing panel of guests and we’re talking about OCD – obsessive-compulsive disorder. This is a really interesting topic because it’s a name I think a lot of people recognize, but I’m not sure it’s something that as many people really understand. And that is why we do this show.
Today we’ll be diving into our guest’s personal experiences with OCD; the impact of the media; issues around stereotypes and assumptions; and the panel will be sharing their advice for creating more supportive and inclusive workplaces.
IN THIS EPISODE WE DISCUSS:
[0.37] Introductions to our Blended panelists.
- Miguel – Student of finance and accounting
- India – OCD expert, speaker and trainer
[02.04] An explanation of what OCD is, and how it impacts a person’s life.
“The OCD brain is highly analytical.” India
[07.14] The panel shares their own stories and personal experiences of OCD.
- Emergence in childhood
- Biological, psychological and social combination of factors
- Genetic component
- Links to factors such as strep virus or trauma
- Impact on others
“It impacted my marriage – it was taking me four or five hours to get into bed because of my rituals. It can be very confusing and disempowering for a partner.” India
[15.49] The group discusses inaccurate assumptions around OCD, both in the media and in wider society.
- Personal experiences of other’s understanding, or lack of
- Different OCD manifestations
- Lack of belief and accusations that people are exaggerating their condition
- More education
- Stop using OCD as an adjective
- Trivializing OCD and presenting it as comical
“OCD is incredibly serious, it’s often very dark and it’s often so abhorrent, so disgusting and revolting for the person experiencing the thoughts, that it results in these extreme and bizarre behaviours.” India
[24.28] The panel reflects on the prevalence of OCD within society, compared with the lack of understanding.
- International OCD Foundation statistics
- Destigmatizing mental ill health
- Raising awareness
- Media impact and social media – double-edged swords
- Empathy and not leaping to judgment
- Seeking help
“Many people think that mental health is exaggerated, that people want attention – but mental health is just as important as physical health.” Miguel
[41.43] The group discusses OCD in the workplace, and the impact on both person and business.
- Why people don’t inform workplaces
- Why Miguel shares his diagnosis upfront
- Workplace support – eg training, extended deadlines and time off
- Education for management and HR
- Creating safe spaces
“The key is in respect and understanding, without judging in a hasty way.” Miguel
[57.12] The panelists sum up their thoughts from today’s discussion.
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