Who’s got OCD? Obsessive treatment of OCD on TV screens this week

People seem to be returning to the subject of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) rather a lot lately (boom-boom). And is it any wonder. Almost half of the UK adult population believe themselves to be suffering from mild to severe OCD, a recent study reveals.

The study, conducted by Benenden Health in partnership with OCD UK, was released to mark the start of OCD Awareness week on 14 November 2013. Problematic behaviours include obsessive checking of locks, frequent hand-washing, hoarding, frequent checking of appliances, excessive cleanliness, preoccupation with symmetry and intrusive repeating thoughts.

This week promises to be a bumper week on the OCD calendar with an almost obsessive treatment of the subject on our television screens – no less than three programmes dedicated to its exposition and exploration in as many days.

Tonight (28 October) we start with OCD Ward (9:00pm, ITV1), which focuses the treatment of OCD at the Springfield University Hospital in South London. OCD Ward will address the impact of  the condition on patients and their family relationships, as well as the difficulties involved in treating it.

Then, tomorrow night on Channel 4, stay tuned for Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners which starts at 8:00pm and, as the name suggests, focuses obsessive behaviour around cleanliness. As much as some of us may feel that a small dose of this particular malaise wouldn’t go astray in our lives, this is a serious illness with painful consequences.

Bedlam, on Channel 4, constitutes an OCD triple-whammy. This new four-part series challenges misconceptions about mental illness through unprecedented access to the patients and staff of the South London and Maudsley (SLaM), the world’s first and oldest psychiatric hospital, it promises to make absorbing, if somewhat heartbreaking viewing. The first episode starts this Thursday (31 October) at 9:00pm and will feature OCD and other anxiety-related conditions being treated at the Anxiety Disorders Residential Unit.

So if there’s any week to discover the facts about OCD this is it – just go easy on the replays.

Written by Jacqui Hogan