About Orchard OCD

we build a community of interdisciplinary professionals and work with them closely to progress together in developing new and better treatments for patients suffering from OCD.

Our Vision

is a world where all patients suffering from OCD receive effective treatment for their condition.

Our Mission

is to build that world by advancing collaborative translational research and driving the quest for new and better treatments for OCD.

Our Goals

We have a three-pillar approach,
1. Research (fund and run clinical trials)
2. Hubs (OCD research database and repository)
3. Dissemination (awareness campaigns and conferences)

Learn About
Orchard OCD

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Want To Participate In Brand New OCD Research?

Please have a look at the current OCD studies looking for participants.

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If you want to keep up-to-date on the latest work Orchard is doing then please follow us on our social media platforms.

Call For Proposals 2022

We have launched our 2022 call for proposals seeking hard-to-fund projects that nevertheless have great potential to make a major impact for OCD.
The total budget size for the winning project will be £150,000 + a possible extra £50,000 if our fundraising campaign is successful. This is because we already have £150,000 secured from donors, while the remaining £50,000 will be raised through an international crowdfunding campaign. So you will need to apply for £200,000 maximum.

From The Blog

In this week’s blog Michael Smith shares his OCD story. My name is Michael Smith. I’m a twenty-nine-year-old film camera dealer and musician from Portsmouth. I’ve suffered on and off with anxiety since the age of sixteen. During that time I’ve jumped onto medication during difficult periods and come off again when the anxiety subsided. However, following the birth of my son, my anxiety reached new heights. This time the medication did not help and it was this experience that led to me eventually being diagnosed with OCD. Becoming a father, as any parent would attest, is an enormous shock. Everyone will tell you just how much your life will change and then that baby arrives and the reality thunders into you. Six weeks after my son was born, I went back to performing as part of a high-end function band, which gig across the country. I was eager to get back out to work. Yet beneath the surface I knew things were not right. June arrived and with it a packed calendar of weddings and corporate events. It was then that I heard the voice of OCD. ‘You’re getting worse. You’ll never get better. One day, you’ll kill yourself,’ it said. Upon reflection it was not my first experience with OCD. Indeed, I can now see that I have been living with it for years. But this was my first experience with suicidal-themed OCD. At the time I tried to lean back on what had got me through previous episodes of anxiety, mindfulness practice, plenty of sleep and a healthy diet. Soon enough the thoughts became so overwhelming that I was unable to work. Each night I’d get into bed and hold my wife tight, as a barrage of thoughts crashed through my head. ‘Tomorrow morning you will throw yourself in front of a train.’ – ‘You’re going to hang yourself.’ – ‘You’re going to jump off a motorway bridge.’ I was still gigging and had somehow managed to get through half of June’s dates. However, I was at breaking point and my performances were cancelled. Despite a now free calendar, my symptoms continued to worsen. I was a new father but I was blind to my son. I stopped changing him and effectively left my wife manage alone. All I saw was doom, fear and my impending death. By the end of June, the intrusive thoughts had convinced that I was suicidal, despite the fact that I did not want to die. I remember pleading with my wife and parents. ‘Please don’t let me die. I don’t want to die.’ This was my lowest point. I still remember the look in my wife’s eye as I sobbed into my parents arms. My dad booked an appointment with a psychiatrist and I was initially diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and prescribed a new medication. Yet what I did not see, what I was unable to show the psychiatrist, was just how addicted to reassurance I had become. I read everything I could find on intrusive thoughts and listened to podcast after podcast to try and make sense of what I was going through. The content I found was initially reassuring. Yet the reassurance soon waned. I gave the new medication six weeks, but things were still not right. So I booked a follow up. This time, I had my wife and mum on the call with me. They were able to offer insight I could not. They highlighted my reassurance addiction and repeated calls, where I sought validation that I was not in fact suicidal. The diagnosis was immediate. OCD. I was prescribed a new anti-depressant and my family implemented a cold-turkey ban on reassurance. The initial transition from one anti-depressant onto another was bumpy. Yet as the medication started to settle and I refused the compulsions, I noticed a significant change, as the amount of obsessive thoughts dropped drastically. Days out at the beach and time with friends became a regular in my diary. Best of all, I truly felt like a father again. As my wife was still doing the nightly feed, I offered to get our son up each morning. It was in those quiet moments that I really came to know my boy. To know his quirks, his sense of humour, what he liked and didn’t like, what his favourite shows were and what time he went down for his nap. Eight weeks before, I had been racked with fear. Now, I was being the father I’d always wanted to be.          At the end of October, I decided to the time was right to start ERP therapy. During treatment, I was encouraged to face my worst fears. Initially I had two sessions a week, but after five weeks that dropped down to once weekly. Therapy was difficult and not something I particularly looked forward to. My exposures included staring at pictures of suicide memorials and reading articles about people who had taken their life. However, after four weeks of treatment I noticed that I did not fear the thoughts as I once had. I was also able to recognise other compulsions I was not aware of. It’s now been seven months since my breakdown. If you were expecting me to say ‘and OCD is long gone’ you’d be mistaken. In fact, December was a challenging month. However, what has changed dramatically is my response. In the past, an OCD or anxiety spike would cause me to panic. Therapy has shown me that these thoughts and these feelings will pass if I let them. And yes, I still get the thoughts. I will probably have them for many years to come and have to make peace with the fact that I might always experience them. However, that does not mean to say that I will always suffer with them. That is the future I am working toward, not the eradication of intrusive thoughts but rather the ability to sit with the discomfort and let it pass. Thank you so much Michael for sharing your story!

13 Jan 2023
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Do You Have Problems with Seeking Reassurance from Others? & Do You Have Obsessional and Compulsive Problems? The University of Oxford are interested to learn more about the effects and perceived acceptability of seeking and receiving reassurance for your obsessional and compulsive problems. They are also curious to learn whether these effects and perceived acceptability differ when seeking and receiving support instead. If you are over 18 years old, a resident of the UK/ROI, and are interested in taking part, please first complete our 15-minute online screening form. This study is being carried out by Chiara Causier at the University of Oxford, UK, who is a Trainee Clinical Psychologist at the Oxford Institute of Clinical Psychology and Research. The study is supervised by Professor Paul Salkovskis (a consultant clinical psychologist). This study has been reviewed by, and received ethics clearance through, a subcommittee of the University of Oxford Central University Research Ethics Committee ([R79097_RE001]). Study Purpose The purpose of this research study is to find out more about how people experience seeking and receiving reassurance from others for OCD symptoms, and whether it differs to people’s experience of seeking and receiving support from others for OCD symptoms instead. Therefore, please understand that this study will ask questions about your OCD, and reassurance-seeking behaviours. Payments OCD UK is supporting recruitment for this study. For each participant completing the study, this charity will receive a payment of £2 from our research fund. Aftercare We will not be able to follow up with you personally after the video call session is complete, although if you are eligible to take part in the main study and complete further questionnaires about your mood, we may discuss some of these responses with you during the video call. Please remember that you can exit the surveys, or Microsoft Teams call, at any time if you begin to feel upset. If you feel upset after completing the study or find that some questions or aspects of the study triggered distress, talking with a trained support worker (see below), or qualified clinician (e.g. your GP) may help. If you feel you would like assistance please contact your GP, The Samaritans on 116 123 (UK or ROI) (www.samaritans.org), Mind Info line on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk), or a mental health support organisation local to you. You can also find ways to access psychological support for OCD by accessing the following links: UK ROI In the case of an emergency please call 999 or your local emergency number. These details will be shown again at the end of the survey. In addition, the following resources are specific to OCD. These will be shown in the footer of each questionnaire, and at the end of the survey: OCD Action OCD UK How will my data be used? We will be using information from your responses to questionnaires and discussions with the researcher in order to undertake this study. This will include the collection of some special category data: ethnicity, and mental health. The research team will also use your name and contact email if you choose to provide these, to contact you about the research study. The questionnaires will be delivered by a service provided by Qualtrics. Qualtrics will be a data processor with respect to your personal data and its servers are based in the EU. Where we use third-party service providers or subcontractors in connection with any of the research activities described above (including IT services and survey provision services), these companies are required to take appropriate security measures to protect your personal data in line with our policies. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes, but rather to only process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions. The confidentiality of your answers and the security of your data are very important to us. Once we download your answers from the survey platform, we will separate your name and email address from your survey answers and store these separately so that your answers are de-identified. Your data will be stored in a password-protected file on the University of Oxford network and will be anonymized once data analysis is complete. Your IP address will not be stored. You can find out more about how we use your information, or withdraw your email address at any point by contacting chiara.causier@hmc.ox.ac.uk Will the research be published? Could I be identified from any publications or other research outputs? The findings from the research will be written up as a thesis and will be published as original research in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, as well as presented at relevant conferences, to facilitate future research and clinical care. A copy of my thesis will be deposited both in print and online in the Oxford University Research Archive where it will be publicly available to facilitate its use in future research. No personally identifiable information will be included in any of these publications. Who do I contact if I have a concern about the research or I wish to complain? If you have a concern about any aspect of this project, please speak to Chiara Causier, chiara.causier@hmc.ox.ac.uk and she will do my best to answer your query. She will acknowledge your concern within 10 working days and give you an indication of how it will be dealt with. If you remain unhappy or wish to make a formal complaint, please contact the Chair of the Medical Sciences Interdivisional Research Ethics Committee at the University of Oxford Email: ethics@medsci.ox.ac.uk Address: Research Services, University of Oxford, Boundary Brook House, Churchill Drive, Oxford OX3 7GB). The Chair will seek to resolve the matter as soon as possible.

7 Dec 2022
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We have an exciting announcement.  This year we will be doing our first-ever Christmas Appeal! Let's break the stigma around OCD and show OCD is not a joke. OCD advocate, Shaun has a few words to say to introduce our Christmas appeal: Here at Orchard, we want to film a video series to spread awareness for this widely trivialised and misunderstood mental health disorder. OCD affects 2-3% of the world population yet it is still commonly misunderstood and stigmatised. Our video series will focus on intrusive thoughts, rarer forms of OCD, and future treatments. We will use the company DragonLight Films to direct and shoot the videos. Our supporters will remember this company as they filmed our 2020 crowdfunding video. We will be creating 3 short videos highlighting just how devastating and debilitating OCD can be. Orchard trustee & TV journalist, Sean Fletcher will be hosting these videos, with researchers like Professor Naomi Fineberg and Professor Trevor Robbins being interviewed on new and better treatments into OCD. We will also use OCD volunteers to share their personal OCD journeys and show what living with OCD is actually like. We have already raised £10,000 from the National Lottery Awards for All Scheme but we need donations from our 2022 Christmas appeal to finish funding this video project. Any donations from our Christmas appeal will scale up our video project helping to pay for shooting and editing. We aim to film the videos in early 2023. Please use the button below to donate to our first Christmas appeal – thank you! Donate here

18 Nov 2022
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Here at Orchard OCD, we are focusing on developing treatments for patients suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a serious mental illness. You can help us treat this debilitating disorder, through taking part in research, donating towards crowdfunding campaigns and promoting our work. All of this information will be sent to you through our E-News. Sign up today and you will be part of the future of OCD treatment.