Don't Call Me Crazy

Last night I watched the first episode of BBC 3's Don't Call Me Crazy, with a side of Twitter to keep me company. Overall, I get the impression that the documentary went down well (a lot better than Obsessive Compulsive Cleaners, shall we say).

Set in a mental health inpatient unit for teenagers, this week's programme included those suffering with an eating disorder, depression and OCD. There are a few questions floating around about the authenticity of the footage, but in reality there were cameras in an inpatient unit, so insight might have not been 100% accurate, but it's insight many viewers haven't had before.

One patient that really stood out was Emma, who suffered with OCD. At 15, she demonstrated insight, understanding and articulation that I couldn't have dreamt of at her age. She said:

"OCD doesn't define who I am. I've got it, but I like music, I like playing the guitar, I like bands, I like the colour yellow, I like chocolate. But I don't like all them things because I have OCD. I like them because I'm Emma. It doesn't define me as a person."

I have hopes that, with the help of teenagers such as Emma hitting common misconceptions of mental illness on the head, Don't Call Me Crazy will help to challenge stigmas. It makes uncomfortable viewing, but often the truth is uncomfortable.

Every time I hear someone say: 'I'm a bit OCD about cleaning', I wince. But there's less of an excuse to be so ignorant these days - apart from the fact that most people watched a documentary on another channel about some man with giant testicles instead. That about sums it up.

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