BYU students spread awareness through The Real OCD Club

BYU students started The Real OCD Club last year to spread awareness and empathy for students with OCD. The club meets twice a month, and students with OCD or those who want to learn more about it are welcome to join. (Logo courtesy of Brooke Taylor)

Community. Understanding. Reliability. These are all words The Real OCD Club’s presidency members use to describe the group.

Club members say they love the community aspect of the club, and that is exactly what BYU senior Brooke Taylor wanted to create — a camaraderie among students who have OCD. 

When Taylor started having OCD symptoms early last year, she reached out to a few people she knew had OCD. One of those people was Katelyn Garcia, a high school friend. 

Garcia had been posting content about OCD on her Instagram stories, and Taylor realized she identified with a lot of the content her friend was sharing. Soon, Taylor and Garcia started talking, and Taylor started learning more about OCD.

A few months later, Taylor received her OCD diagnosis. She began going to therapy to learn skills that help her in her struggles with it. 

Taylor and Derek Baker, a senior studying ancient Near Eastern studies, were talking to a friend about their experiences with OCD. Their friend suggested they start a club for BYU students who are also struggling with OCD.

“We were like, ‘oh, we never thought about starting a club,’” Taylor said. “We just went forward and found other people in my life who were also diagnosed and went from there.”

Taylor reached out to Garcia and Miranda McQuarrie, Taylor’s mission trainee, and asked if they would be interested in starting a club. Soon after that, the students formed The Real OCD Club last fall semester.

Today, the club’s presidency consists of Taylor as president and Baker, McQuarrie and Woodson Parker as co-presidents.

“The club helps you know that you’re not alone,” Baker said. “It shows you that other people are going through similar things.”

McQuarrie said people are willing to be vulnerable and empathize with each other in The Real OCD Club. However, the club’s purpose is not for people to pity others’ experiences. “It’s not a commiseration club, it’s a progression club.”

The Real OCD Club meets twice a month — once over Zoom and once in person. BYU students who have OCD or who want to learn more about OCD are all welcome to attend meetings. 

Students who are wanting to join or learn more about The Real OCD Club can visit the club’s Instagram and Facebook pages, Parker said. There, they can get more information about meetings and learn more details about the club’s goals.

“One of the best things that people with OCD can do is confide in someone,” Taylor said. “Real OCD Club has helped me to not feel shame and guilt about my mental health struggles.”

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