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Bryony Gordon on OCD, Overcoming Addiction and Building Mental Resilience

by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee   /  November 23, 2022

CAUTION: Contains swearing and themes of an adult nature.

Today’s guest has a remarkable life story which includes addiction, mental health struggles, eating disorders, guilt, shame and so much more. Bryony Gordon is a prominent mental health campaigner, a journalist and a bestselling author. Bryony’s latest book, Let Down Your Hair, is a novel about social media, mental health, self-esteem and body image. She’s also recently released a Sunday Times bestseller, No Such Thing As Normal: What My Mental Illness Has Taught Me About Mental Wellness in paperback form.

You may be familiar with Bryony from her Telegraph column, her many books, or her Mad World podcast. Perhaps you’re one of the 206,000 people who follow her updates on Instagram. Or, maybe you know her as the Founder of peer support group Mental Health Mates. Even if you’re new to Bryony and her work, you’re about to get to know her pretty well, thanks to her hallmark honesty and authenticity when it comes to telling her story.

We begin this conversation by talking about Bryony’s experience of obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD. This condition is often misunderstood, with people reducing it to being ‘just’ about excessive tidiness or needing things in order. But Bryony shares the reality of the dark, obsessive thoughts that ruled her life from her early teens. She’s unflinchingly honest about how it led her into alcoholism, drug addiction and bulimia.

We also talk about her surprising relationship with marathon running, her new-found commitment to exercise for how it makes her feel, not how it makes her look and the coping mechanisms she uses to deal with the negative voices inside her head.

Although she would be the first to say she’s a ‘work in progress’ – as all of us are – Bryony passes on some real gems of practical advice and encouragement throughout this conversation which is fun, uplifting and inspiring.

Trigger Warning: This episode discusses eating disorders and may not be suitable for everyone.

Disclaimer: The content in the podcast and on this webpage is not intended to constitute or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.*

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Watch the video version of this interview – click below.

'I don't exercise to make myself look better, I exercise to make myself feel better.' Click To Tweet

Find out about Bryony:


Mad World podcast

Mental Health Mates

Bryony’s books:

Related Feel Better Live More episodes:

#88 The Very Best Tips to Look After Your Mental Health: Best of 2019

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*DISCLAIMER: Always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have heard on the podcast or on my website.

†Disclosure: All books marked with a † are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We take part in Amazon’s affiliate advertising program designed to provide a way for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon’s website. You are not charged any extra by using these links to purchase books.

Dr. Rangan Chatterjee MbChB, BSc (Hons), MRCP, MRCGP