Munzir is a 4th year medical student at Cardiff University. He’s currently taking time out from his course after being diagnosed with OCD. He was keen to raise awareness of our research and signed up to be a Research Champion. This is his story:
Since the age of 19, I’ve been suffering from anxiety. I’m now 22. Over the last year or so, I started having violent thoughts and compulsions as if I wanted to carry them out. I’ve now been diagnosed with OCD and have developed eating problems and sexual compulsions too.
I heard about the NCMH through my studies at Cardiff University medical school.
Mental ill-health is so poorly understood yet so common. If we can understand it better we can stop people suffering. I took part in the study as I also want to help break the stigma, as that’s very harmful too.
Volunteering was simple; I filled out the questionnaire and gave a blood sample. The person who interviewed me was kind and professional. I was a bit worried about giving a blood sample, as my OCD means I can’t touch sharp objects. However, having the blood taken was fine.
I’d recommend taking part in the study as the more we can understand these conditions, the better. I’m hoping the research will achieve an understanding of mental health so more effective treatments can be developed. It would also be great to help the public understand it better, to reduce stigma.
Outside of my course my main hobby is film making. Below is the documentary I made with the NCMH last year, How are you?. While I was already very happy with how the film turned out it has now gained a greater significance to me. A few months after making the film, I was diagnosed with OCD and then understood, first-hand, the stigma of mental health. I began to truly understand what the participants spoke of in the documentary.
My hope is that the documentary is seen by many people and that it changes people’s opinions about mental health. Even if it only changes one person’s mind, even if it only helps one person, I will be happy with what we have achieved.