‘Pure’ is pure Joy!

Once in a while a ground-breaking TV programme comes along about mental health. ‘Pure O’ as its sometimes called, part of the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) family on Channel 4 is just brilliant. Pure O is categorised by unwanted intrusive thoughts which are distressing. Their content can vary from blasphemous, highly sexual or murderous, and abusive.

The thoughts are frequent and upsetting. The person fears that if they disclosure the content of the thoughts, they risk rejection of friends and family and partners. So, you can see why people who have this form of OCD are reluctant to seek help.

This brilliant comedy drama played by Charly Clive follows Marnie a 22 year old woman who moves from her rural Scottish town to London to find out what is wrong with her and discover herself. She has frequent sexual thoughts and images relating to men, women, and family members often triggered by those around her.

OCD drama on Channel 4-Marnie (Charley Clive) and friends in 'Pure'
Marnie (Charley Clive) and friends in ‘Pure’

Sadly, some tabloid journalism have labelled this as ‘soft porn’, but what it does is explicitly show the kind of distressing thoughts and images many people are trying to live with.

We ALL have unwanted thoughts just pop in our mind and images, sometimes triggered by a reference to that even/person/thing but these don’t upset us. For the person with ‘Pure O’ thoughts are highly upsetting and secretive due to the highly personal nature, which leads to avoidance of those situations. For example , if you have thoughts about harming your child in some way, the tendency can be to ruminate on ‘what does this say about me, ‘it must mean that I really want to hurt my child’ and then you start to avoid contact with them and take especial precautions whilst being understandably very distressed and anxious.

The irony is, that the content of the thoughts are often the opposite of what we would want in real life. Thoughts are just thoughts, not actions; subconscious desires a sign of us being bad/evil/a paedophile. Marnie (I’m only a few episodes in) having tried to have sex with a woman and then joined a sex addicts group has realised she has ‘Pure O’ and is now seeking therapy.

CBT is effective at helping the person to manage their symptoms and medication can help in addition. So do check out this ground-breaking drama, which doesn’t take itself seriously and doesn’t sugar coat the experience. If this sounds familiar and you want someone to talk to about your unwanted intrusive thoughts do get in touch, help is out there.

OCDaction and OCDUK are great websites for further information.


Hove seafront don’t miss it !

Hove beach huts

Colourful beach huts on Hove seafront

I try to be mindful, and try, and try ! Walking along Hove seafront most mornings I’m struck by how many people are either looking at their phone or plugged into their music or having a conversation.
I don’t know about you but I’m really bad as multi-tasking. My intention when I might make a call, look at my phone is a way of saving time. However, the truth is I lose valuable time, by missing out on my daily walk, and that space before work with myself and my thoughts.

Its only by giving ourselves these spaces, we can tune in and observe, “How do I feel”, “What’s going through my mind” and be present to whatever is going on for us. Sometimes the most difficult thing is to ‘feel the feelings’ and experience the discomfort .

Psychologically we get into trouble when we repress, ignore our emotions by distraction, avoidance or using substances, tempting though that is. Being digitally connected is a socially acceptable way of doing this, but we rob ourselves of the here and now, of being present.

So, here’s my challenge; make your journey to work, to school, to college gadget free tomorrow, experience the life around you, observe the people , surroundings and your internal world. Notice what happens and accept it.
Want to know more about being mindful ? Check out the Headspace website,