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"About 18 months ago, I heard somebody talking about OCD on the radio and they stated that "cure is too strong a word". Those words have continued to haunt me ever since, but they have also strengthened my passion in, and commitment to, OCD-UK, and its aim to make a real difference to the lives of sufferers.
"Through the work of the charity it is imperative that we deliver the message that recovery from OCD is actually possible, provided the right tratement is offered.
"I have suffered with OCD since I was a boy of about 8, and now, 30 years later, OCD is still with me. But I do believe it is in its last throws of plaguing me and hope that 2011 will see me put this thing to bed once and for all. I still have obsessive thoughts, but the good news is that I am rarely responding to the compulsive urges anymore. However, as someone with OCD, what I want to hear is that this illness is curable. Hearing this will offer me hope in my future and give me the belief that OCD is not a part of me, but simply an experience in my life that one day I will look back on.
"After suffering with OCD for the majority of my 38 years, I have been passionate about working for people with OCD and it is one of the reasons I started this charity back in 2004. Myself, and my colleagues at OCD-UK, have all been personally affected by OCD, and that, along with our work with children, young people and adults affected by this insidious illness, makes us an authoritative and credible voice for the OCD community.
"I spoke about my determination beforehand, but the real inspiration that drives me to make a difference is the people, the many amazing people with OCD whom I have met on this journey. I have met some amazing children with OCD who are so special, and also some amazing and talented adults. OCD may be what brings us all together, but it is the individual characters and personalities that makes them stand out, together with their determination to fight OCD. It is for them, that I will work tirelessly to help support them through to recovery.
"Those that know me will testify that I am not one to shy away from speaking out when I feel it is necessary, but I pledge that I shall use my voice, and that of the charity's, to speak out fearlessly on behalf of our community, and together, we will make a difference.
"Wishing you all good mental health." - Ashley.