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Dublin: 9 °C Tuesday 20 August, 2019
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You need to read the essay Barb from Stranger Things wrote about OCD and depression

Shannon Purser wants people to open up.

(Trigger warning: this article contains language about suicidal ideation and mental health).

STRANGER THINGS’ SHANNON  Purser – AKA Barb – wrote a brilliant essay on all things mental health this week.

Writing in Teen Vogue, the actor detailed her experience with growing up with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), saying: “I hope someone will read this and feel a little more understood and a little less alone.”

Most people have heard of OCD and even have a perception of what it looks like: someone frantically cleaning their house or adjusting anything that looks a little out of place. You may also have heard of OCD because lots of people like to casually diagnose themselves with it, saying things like, ‘I hate when things are messy, I’m so OCD.’ The world seems to see OCD as a weird quirk to joke about.”

It got so bad that Shannon was she described as a “mental breakdown”.

Up until that point, I’d been wearily battling the demons that plagued me every day; silently suffering and feeling completely unable to share my thoughts with anyone. That night, though, I gave up. My will to fight was gone … I broke down and said what I’d been thinking: ‘I don’t want to be alive.’”
I talked to my mom about what I’d discovered, and we were fortunate enough to find a wonderful therapist that I still see to this day. I was diagnosed with OCD and depression, and that was a huge relief, because now my struggles had a name and could be reckoned with. With a combination of therapy and medication, I got better. I learned to love life again. My problems didn’t go away, but they became much easier to face.”

The 20-year old encouraged anyone in a similar position to try and seek help sooner rather than later, saying she’d wished she’d been able to reach out earlier.

Despite all my struggles, past and present, I am alive, and, now, I want to be.”

You’re some gal for one gal, Shannon!

If you need to talk, contact:

Samaritans 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org
Aware 1800 804848 (depression, anxiety)
Pieta House 1800 247247 or email mary@pieta.ie – (suicide, self-harm)
Teen-Line Ireland 1800 833634 (for ages 13 to 19)
Childline 1800 666666 (for under 18s)

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