New Documentary Outlines Everyday Struggles Of Living With OCD
Connor, 27, has suffered with OCD since he was four years old.
For him, the condition means distressing obsessions - otherwise known as intrusive thoughts - can lead him to believe he's hurt or killed someone, all day, every day.
Speaking as part of a BBC Stories documentary, Connor said: "I lie in my bed and I think I've killed someone. I can lie in my bed for three months, four months at a time and the realisation that I haven't done anything can come up to six, seven months later."
He lives at home with his parents, as his condition makes it hard for him to hold down a job.
Sometimes, Connor explained, he will be driving and suddenly think he's hit someone.
"I'll hit a pothole and then my mind will think that's a person," he said.
"So I'd have to drive back to that pothole and go check and I'd just be doing that for two or three hours."
Connor, who revealed he has had suicidal thoughts, has a camera on him while he drives, along with CCTV set up around his home.
He also holds his phone in one hand as it films his other.
Explaining what it's like to be faced with distressing obsessions continuously, Connor continued: "I get these thoughts every minute of the day - they revolve around violence, or sexual thoughts. It's about me being a bad person and how much I don't want to be a bad person.
"Me and my first girlfriend were waiting for the bus and there were some bushes at the back of the bus stop, and I remember I got this intrusive thought about people getting sexually assaulted in bushes.
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"And obviously my girlfriend was next to me and I started panicking, 'Why would I think that next to my girlfriend?' I just started crying."
Connor has tried many therapies in the desperate hope that they might help ease his condition, but now believes he has one last chance with an innovative new treatment called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation.
The treatment is non-invasive and medication-free, and involves a highly concentrated magnetic field which turns on and off very rapidly - the same type and strength as those produced by MRI.
Currently only available on the NHS for depression, TMS is otherwise costly, but the BBC reports that it can lead to remission in around 30 percent of OCD patients - with 55 percent gaining a clinically significant improvement after failing to respond to conventional treatments.
Professor David Veale, a Consultant Psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, explained generally peace-loving people who want to help the world often end up getting 'violent intrusive thoughts', which can prove 'extremely shameful' for the individual.
He said: "For most people [OCD] will become a chronic condition and it can go on for many years to come if you don't do anything about it."
Since filming the documentary, a clinic offering the treatment, called Smart TMS, has been in touch with Connor, and he is due to start the process soon.
Connor said: "I feel like this is the only option I've got left. I'm just living in existence, it's not a life to live."
Watch the full documentary on the BBC website here.
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MIND: 0300 123 3393.
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Featured Image Credit: BBC
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