A very brave and impressive speech was given this week by Conservative MP Charles Walker in a Parliamentary debate on mental health:
I am delighted to say that I have been a practising fruitcake for 31 years. It was 31 years ago at St John’s Wood tube station—I remember it vividly—that I was visited by obsessive compulsive disorder. Over the past 31 years, it has played a fairly significant part in my life. On occasions it is manageable and on occasions it becomes quite difficult. It takes one to some quite dark places. I operate to the rule of four, so I have to do everything in evens. I have to wash my hands four times and I have to go in and out of a room four times. My wife and children often say I resemble an extra from “Riverdance” as I bounce in and out of a room, switching lights off four times. Woe betide me if I switch off a light five times because then I have to do it another three times. Counting becomes very important.
I leave crisp and biscuit packets around the house because if I go near a bin, my word, I have to wash my hands on numerous occasions. There has to be an upside to a mental health problem. I thought that the upside would be that I would not get colds, because apparently if you wash your hands a lot, you don’t get colds, but I wash my hands hundreds of times a day and I get extremely cheesed off when I end up with a heavy cold.
Hat-tip: Political Scrapbook.