Jon Richardson: A Little Bit OCD, produced by Open Mike for Channel 4 in 2013, was shortlisted and subsequently won a Mind Media Award which the charity Mind hosts every year.
In it’s category were four other outstanding documentaries . Open Mike were very proud to win and are quoted as saying that it was the sharing very brave stories of those living with OCD that made it such a great documentary.
In John’s early teens when he and I suspected OCD and the rest of the world were either oblivious or in denial, John tried to combat the condition himself (without the stigma of having a label slapped on him by the medical profession)
For my part I hoped that if we ignored it, it would go away. Perhaps he would grow out of it? I wondered if acknowledging it’s existence might somehow justify the rituals and discourage John from trying to suppress them. I wonder still if time alone with OCD allows the sufferer to indulge what should be resisted. We were both naive, however, and underestimated the OCD grip!
The rituals and compulsions multiplied and became more severe with time. The realisation that this was not going to go away hung like a black cloud.
Now, years on in the midst of the battle I am still regularly fooled into thinking that all is well. Each time John has a few ‘good’ days (not to say that he is ever OCD free, but sometimes in good spirits, functioning well, sleeping, eating with only moderate compulsions), I am euphoric and find myself acting as if he is well. Perhaps he is cured? Perhaps it was all a dream and he never had it at all?! I fall for it every time!
When the meltdown comes it devastates me anew.
I relive the heartbreaking realisation that my son is not perfect. That life will probably always be hard for him, but you know what?….
…….I am proud of him, at 16 he is already his own man despite his difficulties, he is perfect !
Comedian Jon Richardson with my son John filming for Channel 4. ‘A Little bit OCD’ which aired July 2012.
The program aimed to discover if Jon has the disorder. He visited several sufferers, including John in the hope that he and viewers learn more about what it is to have OCD.
John took part, despite misgivings, in the hope that it would help to raise awareness, which we hope it did. It’s first airing netted an unexpectedly high 1.6 million viewers. Both John and the subject were treated with sensitivity by the production company and Jon Richardson, who spoke to him by phone after the show.
I think that John was very brave to do this, as he has hidden the condition for years. He is my hero.
This event and the feedback it created from other sufferers and their families inspired this blog to share my experiences of having a child with OCD. The idea came from thediaryofthegirlinthehat who reviewed the show on her blog. Thanks to her for that.
My hope is that this blog will be therapy for me and helpful to others in the same position.
September 2013. We just heard from the production company that the documentary has been nominated for an award from Mind.
Hidden in clear view
When I tucked my boy in bed at night
And passed his teddy bear
I closed the door and didn't even notice you were there .
You followed him to school each day,
Hanging at his sleeve.
You poked your bony finger in his back and wouldn't
You bullied him and frightened him
And wouldn't let him tell.
You wouldn't let him sleep at night
You made a living hell.
I can't believe I shouted at him
When you made him late
And when you wouldn't let him eat the food upon his
What kind of mother doesn't know?
How could I be so blind?
You were his only friend
-The liar, poisoning his mind.
You lived amongst us silently for years before
We saw your shadow once or twice
Hidden in clear view
But now I know you're here, beware!
watch this! With my last breath
I will protect my son
And we will fight you
to the death.
by Jane Drew