Viewers have praised Channel 4’s new drama Pure, commending its portrayal of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
On screen depictions of OCD often feature characters cleaning obsessively or counting actions, and while these are symptoms many sufferers experience, another common manifestation of the disorder is intrusive thoughts.
In Pure, 24-year-old Marnie battles against sexual ones, known as “Pure O” and the first scene saw her struggle to finish a speech as she could not stop picturing herself kissing her own mother.
Taking to Twitter after the first episode aired, sufferers praised Channel 4 for “doing a programme on OCD that isn’t cleaning and counting”.
“Not all of us #ocdsufferers are obsessed with hygiene and light switches... a very common and damaging misconception,” another added.
Mental health charity Mind has also praised the show, with their media advisor Julia Lamb explaining: “Media portrayals of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) tend to focus on compulsive behaviours that other people can see, like hoarding, cleaning or handwashing.
“Pure sidesteps these associations completely and shows what it’s like to experience the obsessions, or the ‘O’, which are actually at the heart of OCD.
“The distress Marnie feels at having intrusive thoughts will ring true to many people with OCD, regardless of what their own intrusive thoughts focus on, as will the confusion around what those thoughts mean before they know it’s OCD.”
The series is based on a book by Rose Cartwright, which “tracks her farcical ten-year path to redemption, from the time she was first seized by graphic mental images to her eventual recovery through therapy, acceptance and love”.
Pure features newcomer Charly Clive in the lead role, alongside Peaky Blinders star Joe Cole, Doon Mackichan and Kiran Sonia Sawar, who previously starred in BBC Three’s Murdered By My Father.
Watch the trailer for Pure above and see the whole series on All4.
Useful websites and helplines:
- Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393
- The Mix is a free support service for people under 25. Call 0808 808 4994 or email: email@example.com
- Rethink Mental Illness offers practical help through its advice line which can be reached on 0300 5000 927 (open Monday to Friday 10am-4pm). More info can be found on www.rethink.org.