Animated Minds

Obsessively Compulsive
Steve describes how whenever he thought of Saddam Hussein he thought that he was contributing to the conflict in the Gulf. Walking, talking, eating, and drinking – all these actions had to be completed in the absence of an intrusive thought about Saddam, otherwise he would have to repeat the action again and again and again. A rare glimpse into the struggle for those faced with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Director: Andy Glynne
Voice: Steve
Animation Director: Gemma Carrington
Music: Jake Roberts

Whenever I thought of Saddam Hussain I thought I could cause the conflict in the gulf to increase. And this could quite literally end up with World War Three. And then I’d had to blank the thought of Saddam Hussain out all the time.

Ordinary day to day simple tasks from picking something up, putting something down I had to do it in the absence of an intrusive thought. If I couldn’t do that I had to repeat the behaviour over and over again.

A big problem I did have was walking from one side of the room to another in the absence of an intrusive thought. If an intrusive thought came through I would have to retrace my steps back a bit like someone who walks through the mine field really. I’m very careful as to where I put my fate. If a sat down in a chair when an intrusive thought came through I’d get out of the chair and go though the action again.

From half way though reading to cut sentences and paragraphs and an intrusive thought came through I’d had to return to the section again and read it again and make sure that I had blanked the intrusive thought out.

If I breath in while an intrusive thought came through I though well I put it in my lunges I had to breath out very sharply and breath in again I would regurgitate out food after I swallowed it because an intrusive thought came in. Again the fear that I’m contaminating my body. I would pick skin from the back of my hands and I had to do it in the absence of an intrusive thought. If I wasn’t successful I picked again and again and again until there was just one big scab.

It’s a bit like an itch, you want to scratch and you don’t want to because you might spread it. And then it comes a time when you can’t take any longer and you scratch it and scratch it and that gives you temporary relief and then it just comes back. The pictures of Saddam Hussain, reports on every wall of every room of the house. I had to record in my own voice the name Saddam Hussain, Saddam Hussain over and over again. After a period of time the length of time you are experiencing the anxiety becomes less and less and less. And the next day the things that were annoying you the day before aren’t annoying you anymore. And you get another lot of symptoms come in.