Thought Pattern, Pattern Thought

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2020112220201128 (R4)Poet and writer Joanne Limburg presents an immersive and revealing audio composition, exploring her experience of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) to create brand new poetic work especially for Radio 4.

Joanne has written about her experiences of OCD before but has never attempted to write poetry about it - until now.

This programme follows Joanne as she creates a set of poems to encapsulate the inner thought patterns and processes of her OCD.

Around 1-2% of people in the UK are affected by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. A widely misunderstood and misrepresented but treatable condition, it often takes many years for people to seek help.

Common misconceptions about OCD still persist - the belief that someone can be “a bit OCD”, that it’s a quirk or personality trait of people who like things neat and tidy, or that it’s about washing hands. In reality, OCD is a serious and often debilitating anxiety disorder that causes negative, relentless intrusive thoughts and an overwhelming sense of danger which can lead to repetitive compulsive behaviours.

OCD has been part of Joanne’s life since she was a teenager. She reflects on the dark fears, intrusive thoughts and imaginary disaster-filled images caused by her OCD before she received treatment. She reveals her fears of crossing roads and her overwhelming anxieties as a new parent.

With sound, music, Joanne’s words and evocative new poetry, it's a visceral exploration of the OCD thoughts and feelings she has lived with for much of her life.

Joanne Limburg is a Cambridge-based poet and writer. Her memoir, The Woman Who Thought Too Much, is among her published titles.

A 7digital production for BBC Radio 4

Poet Joanne Limburg explores her experience of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.