News

Mark Wright opens up about his secret battle with mental illness

The former TOWIE star wants to help others with the same condition

Mark Wright has revealed on This Morning that he suffers from a mental illness.

The 29-year-old former TOWIE star told hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willougby that he has obsessive-compulsive disorder.

He admitted that he’s been battling the condition since he was a young boy.

The radio presenter also claimed that his father Mark and sister Jessica also have it.

Read more: EastEnders: Viewers in OUTRAGE over Whitney Dean’s heartbreaking miscarriage

OCD sees sufferers repeat certain rituals, such as cleaning, in a bid to relieve overwhelming pangs of anxiety.

Talking about his personal experience with the disorder, Mark said: “I have symmetry OCD, if I touch one leg in a certain place I have to do it on the same leg.

“Growing up as a kid my dad had OCD, little habits he does and so does my sister Jess – we all have little habits, we have to touch things a certain amount of times.”

Read more: Coronation Street: Pat Phelan story to get ‘a lot darker’

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can be hard to spot as people are usually ashamed of their behaviour.

If you have OCD, you’ll usually experience frequent obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours.

An obsession is an unwanted and unpleasant thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters your mind, causing feelings of anxiety, disgust or unease.

A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour or mental act that you feel you need to carry out to try to temporarily relieve the unpleasant feelings brought on by the obsessive thought.

For example, someone with an obsessive fear of their house being burgled may feel they need to check all the windows and doors are locked several times before they can leave the house.

In a bid to help and treat people with the condition, Mark has been working with various charities.

He has found that there are a lot of people out there the same problems, and are going through a lot worse than him.

“Some of the guys I met have OCD so bad that they want to commit suicide,” Mark added.

“With me, I’ll have to turn on a light at a certain time or the volume has to be at a certain level – a lot of people have traits like this. But the people I met recently have serious OCD.

“Some think it’s funny but actually, when you do meet these people, it’s not funny at all.”