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This man's OCD got so bad that he had to brush his teeth 30 times a day

Ben Jeffreys suffers from OCD which once got so bad he had to brush his teeth 30 times a day

A man has spoken out about how he hit "rock bottom" after his OCD took over his life.

Ben Jeffreys' mental health got so bad that he was brushing his teeth 30 times a day - a symptom of his obsessive compulsive disorder.

Ben, who is now chief executive of Pontypool RFC, has suffered from OCD since school, but it all came to a head in 2013 when his wife was seriously ill and his dad suffered a stroke.

Ben said his OCD got so bad it led him to the brink of suicide. He would start repetitive behaviours such as washing his hands 60 times a day - and use burning hot water which would leave his hands red raw.

He said his behaviour got so severe, he collapsed with exhaustion.

I would cross roads not looking, hoping a bus or car was coming and the driver would end it all.

But my condition, coupled with the fear of losing the two people closest to me, meant I was about to hit absolute rock bottom.

Over the course of a few months, I had totally lost control of my life.

– Ben Jeffreys

Ben was taken to hospital and it was there he realised that he needed to make changes and get help.

Just before his stroke, Ben’s father had recently invested in Pontypool RFC, saving it from liquidation, but he was left weak and unable to work. Ben decided to help out at Pontypool and after months of volunteering Ben was made CEO. He says it was the club that saved his life.

CEO Ben Jeffreys said the club helped save his life

I felt totally undeserving of the role at the time, particularly when I was still coming to terms with my father’s ill health, as well as battling with my own mental health. Nonetheless, I believe it came at the right time. I needed a sense of purpose and an opportunity to grow as a person. In short, Pontypool RFC saved my life.

– Ben Jeffreys

With other support, such as cognitive behavioural therapy, Ben has managed to learn to live with his OCD and now wants to raise awareness as an ambassador for Time To Change Wales.

Between 300 and 350 people die by suicide each year in Wales – almost three times the number killed in road accidents.

World Mental Health Day is about opening a dialog on self-care, prevention and raising awareness of mental health problems.

– Lowri Wyn Jones, Time to Change Wales
Ben raised £2,000 for the mental health charity Mind after running the Cardiff Half Marathon

Ben recently ran the Cardiff Half Marathon for the mental health charity Mind. He raised £2,000.