Shaun’s OCD Story

Posted on: September 14th, 2022

This week’s blog is written by Shaun, who is a model, podcaster and influencer. Shaun has OCD and wants to share his experiences living with this disorder.


First, I write this article as one of the lucky ones with OCD. I am on the path to recovery, after being diagnosed with ‘Pure O’ OCD at 27-years-old. My life has significantly changed since then. I wish to share my story to help others and raise awareness around this debilitating disorder.

OCD in many ways is a doubting monster than can truly rob people of their lives. Imagine believing you are the worst things that society could conjure up. Yet many suffer in silence. Dialogue is so crucial to remove the stigma.

According to OCD charity UK “around three quarters of a million people are thought to be living with severe, life impacting and debilitating Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) here in the UK.” OCD is a lot more common than people realise. Yet with so many people suffering with OCD, it has really and truly gone so far under the radar and it’s so important to speak about.

As a model, podcaster, and influencer I aim throughout my public facing engagement to have the right influence on the world. I have modelled in world renowned magazines and for global companies.

My latest project has been my podcast called “Flower Hour” speaking to different individuals in an attempt to bridge societal gaps, working towards a society that is more inclusive.” It’s time to make sure I tell my story.

I have delivered two TEDx Talks,  TEDx 2022 & TEDx 2018.  I now aim to deliver a third TEDx talk about OCD to raise awareness, and a potential charity to help people with OCD.

Where did it all begin?

Looking back on my journey I believe my OCD has been triggered by experiences, I had been given a STI “chlamydia” to be precise. I was convinced every time I went to the toilet, I had something. No matter the number of tests I took I was obsessed with the idea I had something. As time went on, I was able to allow the thought to pass. Then on one random occasion I believed out of nowhere I had HIV, as a result I paid for the same day test at a private clinic for £300. That is when I knew my anxiety was getting the better of me.

Life moved on, then another thought came due to a dream that I was gay. I woke up with the new belief I was attracted to the same sex. I was incredibly anxious, upset and utterly confused. The rabbit hole begun, I couldn’t stop searching over and over, with constant rumination, the thought came so often, it would leave but I bought into the thought every single time.

A year on I had another thought about sexual assault which was horrific, and I thought was the salt added to the wound. I then had a suicide thought to which I believed meant I was suicidal. I did not want to die but as a result of my thoughts I said goodbye to my friends.

Getting help

I sought out help through psychodynamic counselling, but unfortunately it made the thoughts worse. Social media brought to me my gift in the current form of my therapist Emma Garrick, who also had OCD and treats it with specific CBT ERP therapy. Without her I truly believe I would have been drowning in severe depression as before I lost hope. I was hopeless and thought I would never get better. Recovery is possible.

Since publishing my article in Jacamo’s The Book of Man countless people have reached out to me personally, informing me about their shame for having OCD. The more we speak up the more the shame is eviscerated.  I pray this article and the others out there will continue to help others.

Since my OCD diagnosis, I was diagnosed with OCD; I am recovering from knee damage after a collision in football, and I also caught pneumonia. Times have been hard and despite this I remain here regardless. I am on the road to recovery. I buy less into the thoughts every single day.

Orchard OCD is doing fantastic work so please support, and for those with OCD remember you are not your thoughts. OCD was the worst thing to happen to me, but I will be the worst thing to happen to OCD.


Thank you so much Shaun for sharing your story!

2 thoughts on “Shaun’s OCD Story”

  1. Avatar Emma Garrick says:

    Your openness & honesty will be a beacon of comfort & reassurance for so many who may see themselves, and their own struggles, reflected in parts of your story. Well done Shaun, I know this has not been an easy journey for you but taking time to support OCD awareness and the organisations, like Orchard OCD, who work so hard for the cause, is incredibly inspiring. I’m so proud of you, Emma x

  2. Avatar Timo Kallioaho says:

    Dear Shaun,
    My name is Timo Kallioaho and I live in Finland. I’ve had my OCD for over 30 years. Here, I send you a link to a special treatment for SEVERE and THERAPY-RESISTANT OCD, which I’ve had – in this text you can read about some neurosurgical operations used for treatment of psychiatric illness. In my case, I underwent a capsulotomy.
    I’m lucky when I saw your name in the International OCD Foundation – and that’s because I’ve never seen another person with the same history of OCD + neurosurgery. I’ve been totally alone since 1992 when the operation was conducted. My name: Timo Kallioaho
    My address: Konduktöörinkatu 2 B 20
    60100 Seinäjoki, FINLAND

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