Skip to content

A new way of thinking about OCD

What’s going on in the brain when someone experiences OCD? How can we transform treatments? Can you really be ‘a little bit OCD’? Our new podcast takes on these questions with Rose Cartwright and Dr Claire Gillan.

Prefer to listen to the podcast on iTunes? Click here.

For Rose, OCD never left her handwashing, flicking light switches or ordering things. Instead, the repetitive intrusive thoughts characteristic of OCD transfixed on sexual themes, at first: ‘Could I abuse a child?’ and later, ‘Could I be lying to myself about my sexuality?’

These distressing obsessions dominated much of Rose’s young adult life and it took a staggering 11 years for her to find exposure response therapy, the right treatment.

Rose tells her story and talks to MQ-funded researcher Dr Claire Gillan, a neuroscientist, who’s been trying to understand OCD better so we can improve treatments.

Claire offers a new way of thinking about the condition – moving away from the idea that people who experience OCD have disordered beliefs and instead, suggests it’s driven by a propensity to get stuck in habits. She talks through the research which backs up her theory and argues that this repetitive thinking is not only seen in OCD, but crops up in other conditions like binge eating and addiction. 

They discuss how OCD symptoms can exist on a spectrum, and question whether we can actually be ‘a little bit OCD?

Listen, like and subscribe to our MQ Open Mind podcast on iTunes or Podbean

Rose and Claire walking and talking

Last updated: 6 June 2019

Subscribe to our newsletter. Get the latest news on mental health.

© 2019 © MQ: Transforming mental health 2016 | Registered charity in England / Wales: 1139916 & Scotland: SC046075 | Company number: 7406055