As an advocate for OCD awareness, what frustrates me more than anything is the media portrayal of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. On television there’s Monk, Glee, a few reality shows or specials here and there, and the occasional guest characters with the disorder. In the movie category, we have As Good as It Gets, Matchstick Men, and The Aviator, to name a few.
To be honest, I haven’t seen all of these shows or movies, but I’ve seen enough to know that OCD is often trivialized and sufferers are depicted as quirky, crazy, or anal retentive. Even when a more accurate representation is sought, the true nature of OCD, which is so widely misunderstood, is never captured.
Print media, in my opinion, is just as bad. It is not uncommon to find the misuse and misrepresentation of OCD in books, magazines, and newspapers. And by people who should know better. I recently read a newspaper column in which Dr. Mehmet Oz advised a reader “to be a bit OCD about detoxing your fruit and veggies.” See why I’m so frustrated?
But there is hope on the horizon, and it’s called Machine Man. I first blogged about this film back in January 2011, but I hope you will visit their updated web site, learn all you can about the project, and donate if you are able.
The difference between Machine Man and the other movies I mentioned is that Writer/Director Kellie Madison and Producer Craig Pietrowiak “get it.” They get what OCD is and the best way for you to get an idea of what I’m talking about is to view their trailer. They showed this powerful clip to a roomful of people at the OCD Texas Conference I recently attended, and everyone I spoke with about it agreed: They “get it.”
Think Rain Man, Forrest Gump, and A Beautiful Mind. Quality, mainstream movies where we fell in love with the main characters and learned something about humanity along the way. Machine Man will be in this category, and I for one, can’t wait.
OCD is a neurologically based anxiety disorder with the potential to devastate lives. Most people don’t realize this. At the very least, OCD sufferers and their loved ones deserve to be taken seriously and the media currently leaves us swimming against the tide.
We need everyone to understand.
We need accurate portrayals of what it is like to live with OCD.
We need Machine Man the Movie.