“I went the other way.” Dealing with OCD, restrictions, and lockdowns

Credit: Emma Goode

Emma Goode said that she knew the moment Covid hit 18 months ago, it would impact her mental health, especially as one of 750,000 OCD sufferers in the UK, but she dealt with it in a way which may be familiar with many others who have the disorder.

“I went the other way. I’m going about my business,” Emma described.

Emma Goode is the founder of the social media agency, “24 fingers.” She is also a mother and proud Essex girl. Like anyone with OCD, it affects her in a unique way, and began to greatly affect her following a lifechanging event.

 “It started eight hours after I gave birth,” Emma described how her issues with the disorder began for her.

OCD, like many similar disorders, affects each person differently. The businesswoman and mother explained her own symptoms.

“I started having panic attacks about my possessions, I would need stuff around me, so I would take bags of newspapers with me to the office. If there was a receipt I knew I didn’t need, but I knew it wasn’t there, it would be quite traumatic for me.” Another lesser-known symptom is the pulling out of hair, “I have trichotillomania, where you pull your hair out.”

OCD is an anxiety disorder, according to OCD-UK, around 750,000 people in the UK are living with it. It is often associated with intense anxiety, intrusive thoughts and tiresome rituals or compulsions.

When the lockdowns and restrictions were put in place almost two years ago, it can definitely be described as an uncertain and concerning time, for all. Though the pandemic affected everyone greatly, for OCD sufferers like Emma, it could said be a completely different experience.

She detailed how she dealt with the restrictions, “I wasn’t pretending it wasn’t there, but I was kind of in a bubble. If I let it in, I would have gone very agoraphobic again. I didn’t want to go back to that place.”

She also detailed how she coped with her OCD given the new rules, “I went the other way. I’m not going to wash every-thing down. I am going about my business. Covid was around, but I didn’t let it in.”

Everyone knows the one-way systems in shops and other areas, arrows and reminders stuck to the floor like white lines on roads, and the yellow and black stickers that were stuck everywhere like something from a film.

“Going to the shops where they tell you to walk one way. I am walking where I want.” The businesswomen went onto explain.

Though the Essex girl assures she isn’t rebellious, “I wouldn’t be rebellious. I don’t rock the boat or anything.” She said what many are familiar with, “the moment Covid hit I knew my mental health would be impacted.”  

The woman with OCD explained how Covid impacted her ultimately, “I just forgot it was there.”

To find support regarding OCD or to find out more about the anxiety disorder, you can find out more from OCD-UK.

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Journalism bachelors graduate form the class of 2021. Interested in current affairs and Northern Irish politics and social issues.