MIND GAMES director, Rachel Immaraj, has had OCD symptoms since the age of 13. For over a decade, she struggled in silence, not wanting to speak about her obsessions because they were too embarrassing and frightening. By 2018, her mental health had deteriorated so drastically that she was committed to a psychiatric ward for being actively suicidal.
After getting discharged, she became a residential patient in an intensive OCD treatment center. During treatment, she spoke with fellow patients who also struggled with stigmatized, non- traditional types of OCD. For the first time ever, she experienced the empathy of others regarding her situation. After completing treatment successfully, Rachel wanted to find a way to encourage sufferers like herself to openly speak about their personal experiences with these stigmatized types of OCD.
Our documentary sheds light on three types of OCD – harm OCD, pedophilia OCD, and postpartum OCD.
Through a mixture of interviews, archival footage, and b-roll, Mind Games uses footage from our subjects’ lives to piece together their OCD stories. All three of them are now active mental health advocates, and our documentary shows how they overcame personal fears to speak about their stigmatized OCD publicly. Being transparent about OCD is especially challenging in cultures where many deny the validity of mental health.
THE NEED FOR THIS DOCUMENTARY
Despite true experiences such as these, millions of people across the world still do not believe in the legitimacy of mental illnesses. The consequences of this disbelief are devastating. The longer society treats mental health as second to physical health, the longer the stigma survives. If society does not act now, people with mental illnesses will continue to suffer in silence, and many will take their lives. OCD affects between 2-3 million adults in the United States (National Institute of Mental Health) and people with OCD are 10 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population (Science Daily). Countless people are not even aware they have OCD because many health professionals are unable to recognize the non-traditional symptoms. Many OCD sufferers, such as Rachel, receive misguided therapy for years which can end up exacerbating symptoms. OCD sufferers in ethnic-minority communities continue to feel shame and refuse to seek help because of the stigma.
The 21st century mental health movement is happening now, and Mind Games is joining in!