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Love and OCD

June 21, 2014

The piece came about as I was thinking of ideas for my first radio documentary. I wanted to find a good personal story and early on I began to think about how mental illness can affect people in relationships. I was especially keen to explore how it can impact the other partner in the relationship, as mental illness affects so many more than just the person experiencing it.

Even though I have no personal experience with OCD, I think it is a mental illness easily misunderstood and stigmatised. It’s not just about locking the door ten times before you leave the house; it also really affects thinking patterns and the ability to be intimate with someone by giving up routines. For someone experiencing this, it’s really important to deal with it and get proper help. I therefore was glad to find a psychologist who could explain how it manifests in different ways and how essentially love sometimes is the best kind of therapy.

Something I’m especially happy about with this story is how I was able to tell it with me completely absent. It can be tricky to guide the listener for ten minutes without a journalist to narrate, but I think it worked here as my interviewees were really good storytellers.

I also got to experiment with music and that’s what took the longest time in the editing process. It’s really enjoyable to be creative like that and see how much a song can change the tone.

You can hear Miriam’s story as part of #1419 Love + [Complication] here.