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Rita Simons on living with OCD: 'I thought everyone's going to die'

Lorraine's Shine A Light campaign, which aims to educate and cast a spotlight on misunderstood mental health conditions, continues today with former EastEnders star Rita Simons.

Rita talks in-depth for the first time about her childhood diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorder. She's been living with the condition for 20 years and meets other young women with OCD in order to highlight the different ways symptoms can present themselves.

Rita also offers her advice for anyone suffering with OCD, putting an emphasis on seeking help for any kind of mental health issue, and reveals how exercise, meditation and cognitive behavioural therapy has helped her.

Use our helplines to access information and support.

NHS ChoicesObsessive Compulsive DisorderComprehensive information on OCD from NHS Choices and links to external sites.

Royal College of Psychiatrists OCDThis leaflet is for anyone who has problems with obsessions or compulsions, their family and friends – and anyone else who wants to find out more.

The Mental Health Foundationwww.mentalhealth.org.ukOCDWe believe it is important to involve the people who use mental health services and their carers in our work. We want to support them to have their say on the way that services are run, as well as to use their experiences to inform our thinking.

MIND – Understanding OCDMIND Infoline: 0300 123 3393OCDLink for an introduction to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The symptoms of OCD can be very distressing and can seriously disrupt normal life. This booklet aims to help people understand it, gives an outline of the kinds of treatment or help available, and suggests how people can help themselves.

OCD UKAdvice Line: 03332 127 890www.ocduk.orgOCD-UK works independently working with and for people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, their objective is to make a positive and meaningful difference in the everyday lives of people affected by OCD by providing accessible and effective support services and by campaigning for improved access and quality treatment and care.

OCD Action Helpline: 0845 390 6232www.ocdaction.org.uk OCD Action works for a society where OCD is better understood and diagnosed quickly, where appropriate treatment options are open and accessible, where support and information is readily available and where nobody feels ashamed to ask for help. We are here because OCD tears families apart and leaves people isolated and exhausted. OCD ruins lives. It is a sad fact that many people with OCD delay seeking help. They put up with it for too long, perhaps thinking that nothing can be done or just not knowing where to turn. OCD Action believes in taking action. We want people affected by OCD to seek help, to understand their treatment options and find the support and motivation they need to fight back. OCD is treatable, it can get better.

TOP UK (Triumph over Phobia)Office: 01225 571 740www.triumphoverphobia.comWhat is OCD?Triumph Over Phobia (TOP UK) is a UK registered charity which aims to help sufferers of phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder and other related anxiety to overcome their fears and become ex-sufferers.

Anxiety UKHelpline: 08444 775 774www.anxietyuk.org.ukAnxiety UK works to relieve and support those living with anxiety disorders by providing information, support and understanding via an extensive range of services, including 1:1 therapy. We work regularly with external agencies and healthcare professionals to improve services for those living with anxiety disorders. We also campaign to raise awareness of anxiety disorders.

Young MindsParents Helpline: 0808 802 5544www.youngminds.org.uk OCDNational charity committed to improving the mental health of all children and young people, their Parents Information Service provides information and advice for any adult with concerns about a child or young person.

Moodjuicewww.moodjuice.scot.nhs.ukObsessions and CompulsionsThe site is designed to offer information, advice to those experiencing troublesome thoughts, feelings and actions. From the site you are able to print off various self-help guides covering conditions such as depression, anxiety, OCD, stress, panic and sleep problems.

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Weekdays 9am