OCD: The War Inside

OCD: The War Inside

| 1 h 10 min

This feature documentary explores the daily lives of individuals living with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a misunderstood anxiety disorder characterized by intrusive thoughts, nagging fears and ritualistic behaviour. From the outside, its sufferers have no physical disabilities and have every appearance of being as functional as the next person. But inside, a daily war is waged for survival.

Warning: This film contains strong content.

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  • director
    Mark Pancer
    David Hoffert
  • producer
    Silva Basmajian
  • editor
    Greg West
  • director of photography
    Barry Stone
  • sound recordist
    Eric Fitz
  • original music
    Paul Hoffert
  • sound editor
    Stephen Barden
    Kevin Banks
  • re-recording
    Jean Paul Vialard
    Shelley Craig
  • archival footage research
    Brenda Hoffert
    David Hoffert
    Mark Pancer
    Julietta McGovern
  • creative director
    Tony Cleave
  • animator
    Roy Rodriguez
    Derek Gebhart
  • executive producer
    Louise Lore

  • OCD777JFN

    As someone who has suffered wiith severe O.C.D. for 23 years, this is a difficult film to watch, even for me. There are more than a few "triggers" (meaning people mentioning ideas that I am afraid will create another obsession or more anxiety), and I've not yet watched the entire film. What I will say is that this film, from what I have watched, is the first and only unvarnished and truthful expose' of what living with O.C.D. is REALLY like. It is not "Monk", "As Good As It Gets" or "Matchstick Men". There is tremendous ignorance of the realities of mental illness in this country. That the abbreviation "O.C.D." is now a part of the vernacular (meaning a part of common speech) is a testament to just how misunderstood, "pop-culture" and ubiquitous this hellish disorder has become. Hearing someone say "I am, like, so O.C.D.", or "I'm going to go O.C.D on him/her" is, apart from being grammatically incorrect, evidence of a true misunderstanding of the seriousness of the disorder in its moderate, severe or extreme forms. People usually associate the abbreviation "O.C.D." with someone who keeps their house immaculately clean with everything arranged in perfect order. While this is true for some people who have Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder, in other words, people who derive pleasure from their rituals and cleaning, this in certainly not the case with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The rituals involved with true O.C.D., even in its moderate form, are not pleasurable, and are soul-witheringly exhausting. The Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Survey (Y.B.O.C.S.) will let anyone know if they perhaps have O.C.D., and its severity. My understanding from experience is that, if your obsessions and compulsions take up more than an hour of your day, and are not pleasurable, then you may have O.C.D. The person posting the "I can't help but [to} wonder if everyone doesn't have some degree of this disease?". Apart from the question mark not being required, O.C.D. is not a disease. It is, in my thinking, a biochemical "mis-wiring" of signals to certain parts of the brain (the caudate nucleus, hippocampus, etc.). While some people do have, perhaps, some behaviors that could be considered actual O.C.D. rituals if they are carried out very frequently such as checking to see if the car is locked a few times, other repetitive behaviors or superstitious actions they do, these do not at all mean that the person has O.C.D. If the compulsions take up an hour or more per day, and are a problem in your life, then you may have a mild or more intense form of O.C.D. I agree that there is a spectrum of seriousness, frequency and intensity of the disorder's symptoms. However, for someone to say - as they frequently do, and usually with a blissfully ignorant smile - that "Everyone has O.C.D." is simply willfully ignorant. Whenever I hear someone say something like this in that way, I ask them, or think silently: "You really don't have the vaguest idea of what you are talking about. What you are saying is similar to walking up to Christopher Reeve ("Superman" star and, later, a quadraplegic) and saying: "Yes, I understand what you are going through. Sometimes, my leg goes to sleep when I've laid down too long. It feels really prickly when it starts to wake up. Does that happen to you, Chris?". This is the magnitude of misunderstanding of this disorder, and one of the things that, apart from the disorder itself, makes it even more challenging to deal with. Walk a mile in the shoes of someone with severe O.C.D. for a day. It is my thought that anyone's comments about the lighthearted humorousness of the disorder would change to: "This is terribly difficult. I don't see how someone could deal with this every day."

    OCD777JFN, 8 Jul 2013
  • speaknow

    I stumbled upon this site by accident and had no intentions on even watching a movie. This is one of the best films I have ever watched by far. Extraordinary work by a very talented film maker! Thank you so much for your contributions in making this film and for giving us a candid look into O.C.D. I can't help but to wonder if everyone doesn't have some degree of this disease?

    speaknow, 13 Aug 2012