LIFESTYLE

Michelle Mone And Good Morning Britain Criticised For 'Trivialising' OCD: Here's What The Condition Is Really Like

14/10/2015 14:37 | Updated 14 October 2015

Celebrity entrepreneur Michelle Mone came under fire for saying she "loves having" Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) on Tuesday.

Appearing on Good Morning Britain, the founder of lingerie brand Ultimo said OCD "can prove really useful in business".

"It makes you really organised. I've always said that if your drawers are organised, then your life will be too. So I love having OCD," she added, before confirming that she hasn't been diagnosed with the condition.

Charities and members of the public on Twitter criticised Mone and Good Morning Britain for "trivialising" a recognised mental health condition.

And when you separate facts from fiction around OCD, it's clear it's not a topic to be spoken about lightly.

michelle mone

Michelle Mone on Good Morning Britain

OCD affects 12 in every 1,000 people in the UK, which equates to around 750,000 people.

It can have a serious effect on an individual's ability to work and maintain relationships, yet all too often we equate OCD with tidiness and being particular.

OCD-UK, the leading national charity dedicated to helping those affected by OCD, said they are concerned the comments made on Good Morning Britain "have done significant awareness damage by adding to the misconceptions that OCD is a simple quirk that people choose to be helpful".

"The reality is that OCD is an incredibly debilitating and disabling illness that impacts on every aspect of a person’s life from education, to relationships to careers and sometimes with sad and tragic consequences, so it is disappointing that even when OCD-UK advised the Good Morning Britain last week that what they wanted to film will add to the misconceptions that OCD is a ‘bit of checking', they still proceeded with their piece," they said in a statement.

Mone's comments are particularly controversial as this week is International OCD Awareness Week, the charity added.

According to the NHS, OCD affects sufferers in different ways, but usually causes a person to repeat a particular pattern of thought and behaviour.

This pattern has four main steps:

Obsession – where an unwanted, intrusive and often distressing thought, image or urge repeatedly enters your mind.

Anxiety – the obsession provokes a feeling of intense anxiety or distress.

Compulsion – repetitive behaviours or mental acts that you feel driven to perform as a result of the anxiety and distress caused by the obsession.

Temporary relief – the compulsive behaviour brings temporary relief from anxiety, but the obsession and anxiety soon return, causing the cycle to begin again.

Although cleaning and hand washing are common compulsive behaviours that people with OCD display, the condition is far more complex than being neat.

Despite that fact that Mone's comments focussed on "tidying drawers", not everyone thought her interview was damaging.

Speaking to HuffPost UK Lifestyle, Nigel Campbell, associate director of marketing and communications at Rethink Mental Illness, said he was pleased Good Morning Britain had sparked a conversation about mental illness.

“It’s really important that OCD is discussed widely so people understand it better, so it’s good to see the issue covered on Good Morning Britain and that high profile people such as Michelle Mone are talking about their experiences openly," he said.

"It’s important that there is a greater awareness about OCD as a whole, and how it affects different people in very different ways, so that those affected can get the support that’s right for them."

SEE ALSO:

Comic Proves Why You Shouldn't Joke About Being 'OCD'

'Mental Illness Doesn't Make You Any Less Human': Sufferers Explain What Dignity Means To Them

9 Signs Of OCD

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