People with OCD are finding community and support on TikTok

Dr. Tatyana Mestechkina is quoted in this article "People with OCD are finding community and support on TikTok" By Isabelle Jani -Friend

Clinical psychologist and OCD specialist, Dr Tatyana Mestechkina, believes that these kinds of online communities can be extremely valuable. “When people are open about their experiences, they can start to accept their condition and work on overcoming shame,” she says. “These online spaces can allow people to feel validated, understood and less alone.”

However, TikTok videos about mental health issues do have the potential to be harmful. “It can perpetuate misinformation, minimise the condition, and trigger others with OCD, even becoming a source of unhelpful reassurance which can exacerbate OCD symptoms,” she says. “There is also a risk that people may turn to these videos as a way of compulsively checking their progress against others, which can further fuel the condition.”

The #OCD thread certainly has the capacity to platform inaccurate and misleading content. One particularly successful thread of videos sees users line up aesthetically pleasing items in a perfect row, or hoover perfect vacuum lines into the carpet, or colour coordinate their food, and caption them ‘cured’ in relation to supposed OCD. “OCD is not an adjective,’ Dr Mestechkina warns. “If people misuse it in TikTok videos to refer to tendencies of being clean or organised, it can be very invalidating to people who experience great pain from it.”

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