Bryony Gordon has revealed how her obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) meant she spent most of her childhood thinking she was a ‘serial killing pedophile’.
The journalist , 40, from London, has suffered with the ‘debilitating’ mental health condition since she was a teen, and explained that it can often lead to her brain obsessing over ‘intrusive thoughts’ which don’t mean anything.
Appearing on Loose Women today, she explained that as a child and through some of her adult life, she would ‘ruminate’ on distressing thoughts, to prove to herself that they weren’t true.
The mental health advocate, who in 2017 hit headlines for interviewing Prince Harry on her podcast, also spoke of her alcohol addition and admitted that she ‘would have died’ had she not had the help she needed.
She confessed that she knew her life was going to end, whether that be through taking her own life, ‘choking on her own vomit’ or just by ‘living in this awful groundhog day existence.’
Bryony Gordon has revealed on Loose Women how her obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) meant she spent most of her childhood thinking she was a ‘serial killing pedophile’
‘OCD is extreme and the World Health Organisation have listed it as one of the top ten most debilitating diseases to live with’, said Bryony. ‘So I describe OCD as your brain refusing to acknowledge what your brain can see.
She went on: ‘It can be about thoughts. We all have intrusive thoughts, but we are not our thoughts.
‘We’ve all had that thought were someone hands you a baby and we think: “What if I just throw that baby?” and we know that’s just the madness of our heads and we’re not actual baby throwers.
‘But someone with the type of OCD I have, becomes so distressed they ruminate on them to prove they are not their thoughts. So, to put it bluntly, I spent lots of my childhood and some of my adulthood thinking I was a serial killing pedophile.
The journalist , 40, from London, (pictured in 2017) has suffered with the ‘debilitating’ mental health condition since she was a teen and explained that it can often lead to her brain obsessing over ‘intrusive thoughts’
In her latest book ‘Glorious Rock Bottom’ Bryony, who has been married to husband Harry Wilson since 2013, detailed her alcohol addiction, and she spoke to host Denise Welch (pictured) about problems with her drinking
Bryony added: ‘So you can see why it’s not spoken about and it was tortuous and awful, but of course there was nothing to turn to try and help me.’
What is obsessive compulsive disorder?
Obsessive compulsive disorder, usually known as OCD, is a common mental health condition which makes people obsess over thoughts and develop behaviour they struggle to control.
It can affect anyone at any age but normally develops during young adulthood.
It can cause people to have repetitive unwanted or unpleasant thoughts.
People may also develop compulsive behaviour – a physical action or something mental – which they do over and over to try to relieve the obsessive thoughts.
The condition can be controlled and treatment usually involves psychological therapy or medication.
It is not known why OCD occurs but risk factors include a family history of the condition, certain differences in brain chemicals, or big life events like childbirth or bereavement.
People who are naturally tidy, methodical or anxious are also more likely to develop it.
In 1997, Bryony sought help for her condition, and has since become an award-winning mental health advocate, speaking to the Duke of Sussex about his mental health for the first time for her Mad World podcast.
Speaking of meeting Harry, she told: ‘I had no idea he would be that honest with me, I was expecting a very general chat about the importance of talking about you mental health.
‘He said, “Can it be just me and you”, and he said “What I’m about to say, I think I would be more comfortable if it’s just the two of us”.
‘What a journey it set me off on, I had always spoken about my mental health but my main coping mechanism for OCD was alcohol and the more I spoke about mental health and other people’s stories, it because clear what was wrong in my life.’
In her latest book ‘Glorious Rock Bottom’ Bryony, who has been married to husband Harry Wilson since 2013, detailed her alcohol addiction, admitting that she thought her problems with booze would go away once she’d settled down.
‘My daughter was four when I got help, she said: ‘I genuinely thought when I got pregnant and married “This is going to cure my alcohol issues” and of course it didn’t.
‘I told myself it was totally normal, I justified my drinking issues because my daughter was in bed and of course I needed to relax.
‘It became clear it wasn’t helping and I wasn’t drinking all day, but I was thinking about it all day and it ruled my life, it was all I thought about.’
She explained that her drinking led to a life of constant anxiety, and that she has hit ‘several rock bottoms’ over the years.
‘I lived in this constant sense of anxiety and feeling like the world was going to end, she told. I had several rock bottoms, there was going awol there was assault, but I was just hollowed out by self-loathing.
‘I knew if I didn’t get help I was going to die, I was going to die by choosing to kill myself or choking on my own vomit, or living in this awful groundhog day existence.’