Coronavirus: Welsh OCD sufferers hope for more tolerance post pandemic

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Media captionTuesday Turner explains what life is like with OCD during the coronavirus pandemic

The mother of a woman with obsessive compulsive disorder says she hopes the coronavirus crisis will lead to more tolerance of the condition.

Lesley Turner’s daughter is terrified of germs and says the pandemic has sent her OCD “into overdrive”.

Lesley also suffers from the condition, and finds trips to the shops extremely distressing.

But she is currently having to go out every day to fetch daughter Tuesday much-needed medication.

Tuesday, who lives in Bridgend, has had OCD since she was a child and over time it has developed into a fear of germs and contamination.

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Like her daughter, Lesley Turner suffers from OCD

While the rest of Wales has been taking up hygiene precautions such as regular handwashing and wiping down shopping bags, those have been normal behaviour for Tuesday for years.

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Lesley and Tuesday Turner both suffer from OCD

‘Terrified’ of germs

“Every single hour of every day is spent cleaning, being consumed by the thought and the terror of germs,” she said.

“I can’t explain it. I’m terrified at the thought of being contaminated and I rarely leave my house anyway. With coronavirus it’s just not happening.”

With her regular therapy sessions suspended and a fear of venturing outside, Tuesday relies on her mother to bring her shopping and medicine.

  • Managing OCD in lockdown
  • ‘It’s not just washing your hands’

But heading into town to buy supplies is an ordeal for Lesley as well.

“I’m not really watching the news as it frightens me to death,” she said.

“Unfortunately I have to do a run on public transport every day. I have to take my daughter her medication every day as she suffers with manic depressive thoughts.

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Lesley Turner takes medication to her daughter every day

Tolerance is needed

While the current situation is difficult for both women, Lesley says she hopes people will be more kind to people with OCD in the future.

“Maybe when people see me doing odd things like wiping a chair, or drinking out of a paper cup in a cafe you won’t think I’m so silly, or if my daughter has a breakdown because someone sneezed by her – it’s not because she’s antisocial, it’s because she’s got OCD,” she said.

“Maybe be a bit more tolerant of people with this illness.”

See Lesley and Tuesday’s story as part of Wales in Lockdown on Monday 11 May at 20:30 BST on BBC One Wales and on the BBC iPlayer.

BBC News

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