We are a small group of people who are connected because we have a diagnosis of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or are supporting somebody with OCD. We found each other through a closed Facebook page called Fixate and from discussions on that page.
Fixate allows people to make connections and post messages. However, membership is steadily growing and it is becoming apparent that more is needed to help both those individuals living with OCD and their families alike, in New Zealand. If you would like to join Fixate, just search for it in Facebook and ask to join. Alternatively if you do not want to use Facebook, please email us.
We have all struggled to find local information about OCD [apart from the Mental Health Foundation website] and there was no New Zealand website purely dedicated to OCD that would provide information that could be helpful when a diagnosis or even a suspicion of the possibility of OCD occurs.
We decided our first port of call was to create this website so that we could include useful resources and information about OCD, treatment and who to turn to in New Zealand for help. OCD would appear to be a condition that is little understood by the general public. It is often joked about or trivialised when the reality of living with OCD can be devastating, debilitating and ever so challenging. The fact that it is known as the ‘secret’ disease or the ‘doubting’ disease also means people can be reluctant to share their struggles.
We are in the early stages but wanted to DO SOMETHING to make a start and address this void in New Zealand. We have yet to decide the next step, for example, whether to become a registered Charity or an Incorporated Society and all the decision making, planning, organisation and action that brings.
It would be fantastic to bring together individuals living with OCD and their families alike, for regional or national gatherings for social events, or even national workshops whereby some of our own NZ therapists could offer advice, support and guidance.
We would certainly also like to raise public awareness in the future and would welcome suggestions and assistance.
We have been undertaking some advocacy in the public arena over the last year or so. Here are some examples :-
- International OCD awareness week – A fixate member sharing her OCD story on The Voices of Hope website. This year plans are afoot to raise awareness about OCD on Instagram during OCD week October 11-17th so watch this space.
- Seeking more OCD books in Public libraries.
- Reaching out to other individuals and and organisations to advise them of the existence of Fixate and this website and to seek inclusion on their websites.
- Preparation of information with support from Fixate members to mitigate inaccuracies in the media around OCD e.g a complaint to Newstalk ZB or seeking an apology from Minister David Clark regarding comments make about OCD during the COVID19 period.
- Setting up interviews or seeking volunteers and psychologists to lend their lived experience in both televised, audio and written articles.
- Preparation of resources for the NZ Health Education Curriculum – a unit on destigmatising Mental Health for an NCEA standard. Preparation of information for School Counsellors and Youth workers.
- Establishing and monitoring an email address associated with this website and giving support to individuals where possible.
- Posting information on Fixate which might be of interest to members including relevant and up to date articles or statements from Mental Health agencies in New Zealand and internationally.
- Advising members of relevant surveys in the event they would like to contribute e.g a research survey on lived experience around seeing a clinical psychologist
- Accumulating a a network of knowledgeable and helpful contacts.
- Seeking involvement in Otago University CBT training courses by having volunteers give an account of their lived experience of OCD to help trainee clinicians learn more about providing treatment.
Click on our Contact page to get in touch.
Disclaimer: We are not therapists. Our information is sourced from published books, articles and other reputable sources.