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July 19 , 2007

Coming Clean - Living with OCD


HAYLEY LEITCH WAS JUST FOUR WHEN SHE FELT THE NEED TO JUMP HER FATHER'S FISHPOND. SMALL FOR HER AGE AND UNABLE TO SWIM, HAYLEY ALMOST DROWNED, BUT SHE COULDN'T STOP HERSELF.One compulsion followed another until soon Hayley was performing exhausting rituals and was plagued by intrusive thoughts every day. As she grew, Hayley became obsessed with germs. She washed her hands with neat bleach and scrubbed her house for hours on end.Her fear of contamination was so crippling it prevented her from holding her babies at birth because her illness required the blood to be wiped from them first. After Hayley cleaned her house for 18 hours solid on the eve of her wedding, her husband Robin pleaded with his wife to seek help. He suspected post-natal depression but he was wrong: Hayley was suffering with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).The illness had blighted her life and almost driven her to suicide. In Coming Clean, Hayley describes her daily battle with this much misunderstood illness. Her story is honest and heart-breaking - Hayley knows she will never be 'cured' of OCD but explains how she eventually sought professional help. It not only saved her life, it brought her illness under control.By appearing on television, this remarkable young woman has brought the very taboo subject of OCD into the public arena. It's Hayley's wish to give hope to other OCD sufferers and allow them to lead a happier life.
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