February 23, 2015
OSWEGO, N.Y. – Maggie Lamond Simone has dealt with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) for her entire life. She did not know that there was a name for what she was going through until a few years back.
The release of her book entitled “Body Punishment,” detailing her struggles throughout her life marks the beginning of her journey into being able to openly talk about her illness.
“If you have a mental illness you shouldn’t have to be afraid to talk about it,” Simone said.
Simone cites such public figures as Tia Leoni and Olivia Munn as those who can and have helped break the stigma against these types of issues in our society. Both of these women came out to the public with the stories of their struggles.
“Through an absence of information in society about these issues, people become tend to blame themselves for their problems,” Simone said.
Simone advises young women to talk to someone, even if it’s just a friend or roommate. She says the act of saying your problems out loud is validating in itself, and it can be the difference between leading a normal life and a very painful life.
“If you say it aloud, you validate it and the stigma goes away,” Simone said.
Simone’s main goal in writing her book was to help people who face similar issues and don’t necessarily understand what is happening to them. She wants to help break the stigma against OCD and self-harm issues. She has already begun to make strides toward her goals by helping her daughter’s friend and a young girl from the place where she takes karate class.
“One thing in life I can do is help a kid in karate who was where I was at when I was little (can’t yell in class because of self-esteem issues),” Simone said.