Q Tips On OCD

Kent Sepkowitz applauds how the latest episode of Girls depicts Hannah’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:

She inserts a Q-tip into one ear and traumatizes it, causing a bloody mess and giving the episode its great line (“I heard hissing” after the puncture). Then comes the requisite sitcom schlemiel-like ER visit with a doctor and some drops and some close-ups. But in the episode’s last scene, she grabs the difficult third rail of mental illness once again, showing us Hannah placing a new Q-tip into the other ear. And counting.

With this scene, it appears Dunham is willing to portray real OCD, not the scrubbed and kinda fun version where people are cleaning their hands at inopportune times or else hopping over cracks in the sidewalk. She is trying—I hope—to pull the mental illness away from the lighthearted and silly, and show it as the anguishing compulsion that requires immediate attention and a rain-dance-like repetitive activity to maintain the ordered rows and columns necessary to assure that true darkness remains way over there. The depiction seems promising enough that Dunhamalready has gotten thumbs-up from people involved with OCD treatment and research.

Relatedly, William Brennan advises never putting Q-Tips in your ears:

The problem with removing earwax (by Q-Tip or any other home remedy) is that earwax serves important functions: It is a lubricant, a defense against foreign objects, and even a natural antibiotic. Earwax becomes a problem when it is packed into the canal and hardens, causing “impaction” (or blockage), and evidence shows that Q-Tips can cause impaction.