1. ITV Report

Carmarthenshire woman reveals battle with severe form of OCD

A woman from Carmarthenshire has spoken out about how she was driven to the brink of suicide while battling a severe form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

For over 15 years, Lauren Treharne, 26, suffered with obsessive, or intrusive thoughts, at difficult times in her life.

She spoke to ITV Wales' current affairs programme Y Byd ar Bedwar about her experience with the condition.

Credit: Y Byd ar Bedwar

Last year, she became obsessed with the fear she could harm children.

POCD - or Paedophilia Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - is a condition where sufferers develop obsessions about harming children, despite having no paedophilic tendencies.

At one point her obsessive thoughts got so bad that she thought the only way out was to kill herself.

Credit: Y Byd ar Bedwar

I’ve been fiercely independent and extremely determined since I can remember, but real fear has ripped it from me. It makes it seem like the only option is to die.

– Lauren Treharne's diary entry

In March 2016, following years of suffering, Lauren Treharne was finally diagnosed with OCD. Having been told there was a three month waiting list before she could be seen under the NHS, Lauren decided to pay for private treatment, at a cost of more than £2,000.

Between 1% and 2% of the population suffer with different forms of what is seen as a complex mental health illness.

Estimated number of people with OCD in Wales

According to the Welsh Government, OCD sufferers benefit from being treated in their communities, and said 'sufficient arrangements are already in place.'

But a leading clinical psychologist told ITV Wales' current affairs programme Y Byd ar Bedwar, a specialist unit should be set up in Wales to treat those suffering with OCD.

Credit: Y Byd ar Bedwar

I think people with OCD need a lot more support than they’re getting.

England spends £300 million a year on access to psychological therapies. I saw a statement recently from the Welsh Government saying they spent £3 million over two years, so it’s certainly not on the same scale.

– Dr Louise Waddington, Cardiff University

Over the past two years we have increased funding for psychological therapies by more than £4m.

Wales already has practitioners in every health board who provide a wide range of evidence based interventions, such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), which can be specific to individual conditions, including OCD.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

To see more on this story, you can watch the programme in full with English subtitles here.

You can read more about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder here.

Further support and advice on the condition can be found at any of the following websites:

OCD Action OCD-UK TOP UK Health Unlocked OCD forum