OverComeD is the first-ever OCD awareness campaign in Singapore launched by a group of final-year Communication Studies students from Nanyang Technological University. The campaign aims to let youths aged 18-25 know more about OCD.
Since the organisers embarked on this project, they were also honoured to have met people with OCD who have encouraged the sharing of their experiences with each and every person.
The organisers of OverComeD observe that with offhand remarks such as “Wah you so neat ah? You so OCD sia!” sounding familiar, most Singaporeans would have at least used such a comment or similar phrase to describe someone. They find that it is hence no surprise that the majority of us do not know that OCD, also known as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, is actually a mental illness that affects 1 in 33 Singaporeans’ daily lives.
The OverComeD campaign has encountered a multitude of individuals battling OCD. Citing Julia, an OCD sufferer for 23 years, the organisers urge those of who still have little idea on how serious a problem OCD is to imagine having to buy a new hand soap every day because you cannot stop washing your hands, or to imagine collecting so many items that a family member has to sleep at the staircase outside the house. For Julia, facing OCD was a long and arduous recovery journey for her.
OCD can also manifest in the form of thoughts. The organisers of OverComeD learnt of Hazique’s constant obsession with religion and a constant need to search for answers to satisfy his thoughts, leaving him unable to cope with his studies. Currently, he is close to recovering, though his mental fatigue due to his constant thinking makes it hard for him to concentrate for long.
The organisers also crossed paths with Clara, who if not for her OCD compulsion to rewrite sentences till they were perfect, would have had a different career path. Formerly a top-performing student in secondary school and having had to keep up to that standard, Clara turned into a perfectionist. This then led to her to push to be “perfect” in everything, including her writing, and that brought OCD into her life. While the organisers receive updates that she is on the road to recovery, she still does not hold a pen till today.
Such eye-opening stories are hardly all that that the organisers at OverComeD have come across. These people live normal lives today thanks to organisations such as Club HEAL and IMH which provide therapy and help for people suffering from OCD.
OverComeD would like to encourage the public to play a part in providing social support for anyone who may have OCD. The OverComeD organisers urge that the first step would always be to encourage individuals battling OCD to seek help because the sooner help is sought, the easier OCD is to treat and the better their lives would be.