Health and Wellbeing, Mental health

Living with OCD: A poetic insight

In line with OCD Awareness Week in October, Wellbeing Champion, Emma, shares a personal poem called ‘Quirks’ about her experience with Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).


Sitting in a coffee shop talking to your friend

You laugh,

The big proclamation: ‘I’m so OCD!’

You proceed to explain

Your charming oddity,

The funniest joke in the world.


‘How so?’ She asks,

You tell her how you slightly moved your coffee mug

Three centimetres to the right,

A mild annoyance.

You erupt in laughter,

You’re so quirky.


Little do you know she left the house this morning

Fourteen times.

Little do you know how many times she heard the





Of the stove,

Only the fourteenth attempt enough to persuade her


That she would not burn the house down.

Your ‘quirk’ is her

Worst Nightmare.


She lay in bed an hour this morning before waking,

Thinking of ‘what if he never loved me?’

‘What if they hate me because of that thing I said?’





She must say a word ten times so her daughter doesn’t die,

Because OCD told her so.

She fears her thoughts telling her to throw her child out of the window.

But who can she tell,

When your definition of OCD is clearly the

Correct one?


Her eyes bleed tears,

Nobody knows why.

‘Read my mind!’ She begs of



To release her from this torture.


‘I’m so OCD,’ you say with conviction,

As she wonders

‘Is your joke really that funny?’


About OCD

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder where repetitive behaviour is intended to relieve unwelcome and intrusive thoughts, fears, doubts and worries.

Compulsive behaviours may feel like they help, but in fact they reinforce obsessions, creating a vicious cycle of OCD. This means that OCD can significantly interfere with your daily life.

It’s common for people to talk casually or even joke about having OCD, but real obsessions and compulsions cause suffering. This is why it’s important to know if you’re displaying symptoms of OCD, and if so, take steps to overcome it.

Visit our Self-Help pages on the Student Intranet (search ‘Self-Help’) to find more information about the symptoms of OCD and how to overcome them.


Further Support

To find out more about OCD, there are a number of charities who provide information, resources and support:

OCD Action




If you think you may have some symptoms of OCD, please make an appointment with your GP to talk about support that is available for you.

You are also more than welcome to refer into our Counselling, Health and Wellbeing Service for one-to-one support.

If you already have a diagnosis of OCD, in addition to the support available above you may find it helpful to attend Stepiau’s 10-week OCD Course being delivered in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.

The course includes the following:

  • Understanding OCD
  • Understanding the model including the maintenance formulation
  • Understanding purpose of behavioural experiments / Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP)
  • Behavioural experiments both independently and within session
  • Maintenance and Relapse Prevention

To access the OCD course please ensure a referral is made to the Primary Mental Health Support Service for assessment via your GP or Community Mental Health Team in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.


Contact the Counselling Health & Wellbeing Service

If you are experiencing any kind of emotional distress, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Counselling, Health and Wellbeing Service who can offer support to anybody experiencing any sort of difficulty, however big or small.

The Counselling, Health and Wellbeing Service offer booked appointments via an online referral questionnaire, in which friendly, approachable staff can offer you non-judgmental support in a safe and confidential space. They also offer a daily Wellbeing Walk-In Service (3pm-3.45pm: Monday–Friday and Wednesday mornings: 9.30am-10.15am at the Student Support Centre at 50 Park Place)

If you are worried that you are experiencing physical symptoms that may be affecting your health, we strongly advise you to make a GP appointment to discuss this. If you do not already have a GP, please contact NHS Wales on 0845 46 47 or check out their website.

If you have any questions or queries about this please contact us at


Your feedback and help please

Have you found this blog post useful?  Please help us by commenting in the comments bar below, and if there is anything further you’d like to know ask your questions there too.

We’d also be grateful if you can share this information by re-tweeting or sharing with your fellow students who may find this useful – you can do this by using the share buttons or via twitter and Facebook.


Best Wishes,

Emma, Wellbeing Champion.

Your Student Life, Supported.

The Student Support Centre has a range of services dedicated to helping students make the most of their time at University, including: Advice & Money, Careers & Employability, Counselling, Health & Wellbeing, Disability & Dyslexia and International Student Support.

The Student Support Centres are located at 50 Park Place, Cathays Campus and Cardigan House, Heath Park Campus. For further details of services, events, opening times and more find us on the University Intranet.


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