- The article "As A Journalist, I Reported On My Own OCD" was written by Mark Joyella and published by Mashable in January 2016.
- Mark lived in silence with OCD for years before reaching a correct diagnosis and deciding to share his story.
- Mark has Purely Obsessional OCD and does not engage in physical compulsions.
Stigmas about mental disorders keep many professionals from speaking out, especially when their job involves being in the public eye. Mark Joyella is a journalist and television reporter who has OCD. For years, he kept his disorder hidden, afraid of opening up to others and of how they might react. After his wife encouraged him to share his story, he decided to use the power of his profession to raise awareness.
Mark’s January 2016 article “As A Journalist I Reported On My Own OCD” tells the brave story of his decision to make his battle with OCD public. He first broke his silence in 2014 with the article “Screw Stigma. I’m Coming Out.” In it, he described the years he lived with undiagnosed OCD and the habits he developed in an attempt to cope. He attended talk therapy and took antidepressants, but they only helped marginally. He used humor to distract those around him from noticing how he was really feeling. Everyone thought of him as “that charismatic guy from TV,” when inside he was suffering.
At work, the smallest mishaps or criticisms would send him into an anxious spiral. Conversations would play over and over again in his head, driving him to find a distraction. Sometimes it was drinking. Other times it was shopping. However, these behaviors never really helped. They only provided a momentary sense of relief.
Mark was eventually diagnosed with OCD. He suffers from Purely Obsessional OCD and does not show physical compulsions. Because of this, he spent years living undiagnosed and in silence. Mark says that he prepared himself for harsh judgement and negative reactions when he spoke out. Instead, he got the opposite. Those who know him, and countless strangers from within the mental health community, were nothing but kind, supportive and helpful.
Mark thanks his family and the supportive mental health community for keeping him strong in his fight against OCD and stigma. He continues to use his journalistic skills and social media following as a means of helping others.