Woman who saw sex and naked bodies everywhere – now her Pure OCD is new Channel 4 drama

Imagine waking up every day and all you can see in your mind are vivid images of naked bodies and sex.

All day, every day – there they are, refusing to leave your brain.

You can’t help but mentally undress everyone you come into contact with – friends, family, colleagues, the person serving your coffee.

And the raunchiest scenes of 50 Shades of Grey have nothing on the moving pictures running through your brain the entire time your awake.

This is Pure OCD, known as Pure O, a condition involving distressing internal intrusive thoughts.

Woman who saw sex and naked bodies everywhere - now her Pure OCD is new Channel 4 drama

The new Channel 4 show looks at Pure OCD, which is extreme and intrusive thoughts
(Image: (Channel 4 images must not be altered or manipulated in any way) This picture may be used solely for Channel 4 programme publici)

Woman who saw sex and naked bodies everywhere - now her Pure OCD is new Channel 4 drama

Pure OCD affects thousnads of people in the UK
(Image: (Channel 4 images must not be altered or manipulated in any way) This picture may be used solely for Channel 4 programme publici)

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It can be utterly debilitating, and unlike many other forms of OCD where the sufferer displays outward symptoms, it can often go unrecognised because all the patterns of behaviour are inside your own head.

This is daily life for Rose Cartwright, who has used her experiences to write a critcally acclaimed biography that has inspired new Channel 4 comedy drama, Pure, which starts tonight.

Pure follows Marnie, a 24-year-old with Pure OCD.

At breaking point she flees her parents anniversary party and hops on a bus to London.

Here, she meets a recovering porn addict, Amber, who’s gaining a reputation for sleeping with anyone and finds herself at the start of a will-they, wont-they romance.

Woman who saw sex and naked bodies everywhere - now her Pure OCD is new Channel 4 drama

Rose Carter has Pure OCD and wrote a critically acclaimed biolgraphy about her condition
(Image: BBC)

Pure has taken more than two years from conception to reaching our screens.

Those behind the compelling new comedy drama spoke to scores of people with OCD, charities and psychologists.

And while Marnie’s experiences might seem stranger than fiction, Cartwright has lived through having Pure O.

Her symptoms started when she was just 15 and had finished a meal with her family.

Out of nowhere an image of a naked child flashed into her head.

Woman who saw sex and naked bodies everywhere - now her Pure OCD is new Channel 4 drama

Rose Carter’s symptoms were so severe she dropped out of university
(Image: @RoseCartwright_/Twitter)

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She battled the symptoms for more than a decade, even at one point fearing she could be a paedophile.

But instead she finally discovered she had Pure OCD, which affects just one per cent of the world’s population.

Over time, as with many forms of OCD, Cartwright’s symptoms changed.

She began seeing breasts and vaginas in everything and thought she could be gay.

Cartwright told The Guardian: "I didn’t understand that I had the ‘douting disease’, as OCD is otherwise known."

Woman who saw sex and naked bodies everywhere - now her Pure OCD is new Channel 4 drama

Marine flees to London because of her condition
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Her symptoms became so bad, Cartwright quit university aged 20.

But it was when she was googling a possible meaning behind the X-rated images that flashed through her mind unbidden for up to 16 hours a day that she came across an information page about Pure O.

Cartwright said everything suddenly clicked into place and she went to her GP with her self-diagnosis.

Six months later Cartwright began a course of cognitive restructuring therapy, which helps people rationalise their thoughts to determine which are true and which aren’t.

Sadly, it didn’t work and she began to spiral further and further into depression.

Woman who saw sex and naked bodies everywhere - now her Pure OCD is new Channel 4 drama

Marnie’s character is based on what Rose went through
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After moving to London and embarking on a relationship, Cartwright travelled across America.

But it was after meeting Hollywood A-lister Jake Gyllenhaal on a shoot for a music video and seeing his face crumble into the shape of a vagina in he rmind’s eye that she almost overdosed.

This was the wake up call she needed and Cartwright began a course of private therapy.

She started exposure and response prevention therapy, communicating with her counsellor by Skype.

This involved being exposed to ever more explicit sexual images and forcing herself to watch porn three times every day.

Woman who saw sex and naked bodies everywhere - now her Pure OCD is new Channel 4 drama

(Image: (Channel 4 images must not be altered or manipulated in any way) This picture may be used solely for Channel 4 programme publici)

Cartwright now says, since her therpay, there are times when "the pure O has lifted, like light, and I’ve had no thoughts in my mind".

She used her experiences to pen her critcally acclaimed biography, also called Pure.

And this formed the basis of Pure, written by Kirstie Swain.

Swain said: "A lot of people think mental health is just about the relationship with yourself but it colours how you relate to everyone."

Described as "warm, fresh and groundbreaking", Pure is sure to both entertain and transform some people’s thoughts on living with OCD.

  • Pure is on Channel 4 tonight (Thursday) at 10pm.