Ep. 20: OCD and intrusive thoughts are ruining my life
Updated: Oct 24, 2020
James McMahon is a music journalist and former editor of Kerrang music magazine who also had several prominent roles at NME – which is also a very big music magazine. He’s very talented and does all sorts of things, from illustration and animal portraits to a paranormal email magazine called Spoook and interviews with the likes of Green Day, U2 and 50 Cent. He’s also written for Vice, The Guardian and the Big Issue among other prestigious titles.
But today, we’re going to talk about his struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. It’s something I struggled with myself as a teenager and haven’t really spoken about. I wouldn’t want to now say I have OCD any more than the average person; I’m sure all of you have some aspects of obsessive compulsion – but the disorder part is where James comes in.
I came across his other project, the OCD Chronicles, in which he interviews all sorts of people with different kinds of OCD, which affects everybody slightly differently. His latest interview was with Mara Wilson, the child star you might know from Matilda or Mrs. Doubtfire. I put forward the theory to James that learning to be Matilda – a young girl who can control things with her mind – might have been a catalyst for her disorder. But I think both James and Mara can see that it’s a little more complicated than that.
In any case, we talk about how it has affected James, and get on to parts you maybe didn’t expect from OCD, including intrusive thoughts – and there are some surprising and difficult ones that have plagued James for some time.
If you think that you, or your loved ones might be suffering with this debilitating disorder, I’ve put links to OCD UK and OCD Action in the episode description, so do get in touch with them. Check out James’ OCD Chronicles or follow him on Twitter. I'll be livid if you don't also follow my Twitter page, Insta and Facebook. ;)
While you're here, consider listening to some other recent episodes, like the Dr. Tessa Dunlop on flirting in TV, Rhia O'Reilly on wrestling's #SpeakingOut movement and Bobby Caldwell, in prison for accidental manslaughter of his girlfriend.