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17 September 2014
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Obsessions TV Programmes

Programme One - Who's Normal Anyway?

One million people in Britain and six million people in the US suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), the second most common mental illness after depression. Programme one, Who's Normal Anyway?, looks at this debilitating illness and talks to people who have learnt to cope with the intrusive frightening thoughts and images that plague them.


Bob has lived in New York all his life, but for the past 30 years nobody has been allowed into his apartment. Like one in two million Americans, Bob has a hoarding disorder; whatever comes into his apartment never leaves it. Is he beyond help?

Shirley, also a hoarder, might be Bob's saving grace. She is part of a 'mentoring' scheme that puts hoarders in contact with each other in order to offer support and encouragement. Will she be able to help Bob start the huge task of throwing things out?

Irrational fear

Stephanie has contamination fears, checking rituals and number rituals but since the birth of her son Jake, her obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) has turned into a fear of her child being harmed or kidnapped. She literally cannot take her eyes off him and knows that without help she could ruin his life as well as her own.


Liz's hidden secret is a cousin to the OCD family; since the age of 12 she has been pulling the hair out from the top of her head and eating the roots - she suffers from trichotillomania. Having tried every kind of therapy to stop, she resorts to the unconventional - a hairpiece and hypnotherapy.


Claire's OCD is so extreme that she has asked for extreme measures to be taken to end her crippling disease. She is one of 30% of people who won't improve with behavioural treatment so has turned to Professor Nuttin of the University of Leuvin in Belgium, who is pioneering a deep brain stimulation treatment on her.

Will this finally cure her of her 18 hour a day washing obsession?

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