Showing posts from August, 2023

The chimp unleashed

  I have a theory that the times in our lives that we lose to trauma, mental illness, or for any other reason become more vivid and significant in our minds and in our invented memories than if we had experienced them in the usual way. I have an interest, perhaps even a fondness, for the events of 2003 simply because I wasn't "present" for much, if any, of it. I began to experience problems with OCD for a sustained period at the start of that year. I had first gone to the university GP about the troubling thoughts that I had raped and murdered people on a night out in the summer of 2002. Of course, I didn't put it like this to the GP because I was 18, had no knowledge or experience of OCD, and was concerned that I would go on some kind of police watch list if I said something like this out loud to a doctor.  And right here is one of the many ways in which OCD ensnares people in its grip: it makes you feel personally responsible for the intrusive thoughts, and it makes

Learning about OCD

  The period since publishing my novel and promoting it on social media has been a revelation for me. I have learned so much from the stories, shared experiences, and expertise available on social media. I am learning about the different forms that OCD takes (but each form following the same pattern and cycle of intrusive thoughts and compulsions). I used my own experiences with OCD in my late teens and early twenties to create a character, Quentin, whose smart and confident personality is destroyed by the intrusive thoughts that he begins to find impossible to resist when he goes to university. The novel uses first person narration as a direct and forceful way to show the impact of obsessions and compulsions on Quentin's mind and on the structure, content, and fluency of the text. I wanted Quentin's sections to be his mind poured out on paper. I wanted to give an honest account of what OCD can do to a person's mind; to use every imaginative and creative tool at my disposal