Wednesday, 8 February 2017

The tragedy of obsessive compulsive disorder that goes untreated

OCD resembles an addiction where the need to repeat something is not because it is pleasurable, but because not doing it is intolerable.

In the Singapore Mental Health Study, it was found that nine out of 10 people with OCD have never sought any kind of treatment, and of those who did, they took an average of nine years to do so.

We do not really know why that is the case. It could be that they are not aware that it is a mental illness, or do not know where they can go for help, or they could be afraid of the subsequent stigmatisation and discrimination after being diagnosed with OCD. It could be that they are fearful of being misunderstood and ridiculed, or are too embarrassed by the contents of their obsessions and are afraid of being labelled violent or perverse.

Whatever these reasons might be, it is beyond sad; it is a singular tragedy as OCD is a treatable condition.


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