Living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Thursday, November 13, 2014
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Around 740,000 people live with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in the UK. Julia McWatt spoke to two of them about how it affects their lives

MOST of us will have experienced some kind of anxiety about whether we completed certain tasks before we left the house or are particular about arranging things in a certain order.

It’s common to double check to see if a door has been locked or whether the windows have been shut, but what happens when that feeling of anxiety and the level of checking starts to hinder everyday life?

Sufferers of OCD will often find that rigorous checking of things like switching off the lights will have a huge impact on their lives, from their jobs to their social lives and the relationships that they form with people.

Dean Pesticcio has suffered with the condition all his life and can trace his feelings of anxiety to when he was a toddler.

The 41-year-old from St Mellons, Cardiff, says he could never understand why he did not feel carefree like other children when he was growing up, but it was not until his teenage years when he started working at his father’s garage that his condition became a real hindrance.

He said: “As soon as I was in contact with other people I realised that I was different in the way I approached life. I can remember being very nervous and anxious when I was going to nursery. Nobody else seemed to be that bothered, they were running around and feeling fine.

“I figured it was because I was in a new environment, but I did not understand why no one else seemed to feel the same way. When I was in primary school, it was the same thing. The other kids seemed to be more at ease than I was.

“Years later those feelings are still causing problems but I am a lot more educated about what is happening to me. It’s the anxiety that triggers the OCD and the whole thing brings you down.

“The OCD signs did not start until I was a teenager, but neither myself nor the teachers understood why it took me so long to do something. I had the ability to do it, it would just take me longer, I didn’t realise it was because of a condition.