Meet IOCDF Advocate Julia Cavalcante e Silva! Julia shares the reasons why she became an IOCDF Advocate below. Learn more about our advocate program.
I'm a firm believer that not talking about a topic can fuel stigma. We don't need that, especially regarding mental health.
I also think that not talking about mental health can prevent others from reaching out for help.
The media rarely talks about OCD. When it does, it often focuses on organization, cleaning and contamination obsessions/compulsions. It's a step forward that OCD is even mentioned but... it often narrows this disease and its symptoms.
A person presenting OCD patterns that focuses on other less talked about themes of obsessions, might not be able to realize that what they are going through has a name: OCD. It might be one of the reasons why it can take so many years for a person to be diagnosed with it.
I also understand that not everyone feels comfortable in sharing their experiences to the general public. That's ok too.
We need people with OCD represented in the media. At the same time, we need OCD to be represented in all its forms, complexities and intricacies. Language can be a huge ally in doing that (No more stigmatizing phrases!).
I want to reduce stigma. That's why I want to talk about mental health and advocate for it.
Also on the topic of representation and language, I want to add that I’m from Brazil and my mother-tongue is Brazilian Portuguese. Because of that, I hope to bring to the IOCDF perspectives from the Global South, from Latin America and from Brazil. Moving forward, I hope to be able to help the IOCDF to bring culture-sensitive content.
Meet IOCDF Advocate Julia Cavalcante e Silva
Julia is a Brazilian college student. She was formally diagnosed with OCD at the age of 13 after her parents were able to identify some of the symptoms. She is studying International Relations and hopes to bring perspectives from Brazil’s experience with mental health access to the OCD international community. Before the IOCDF Advocate program, she has volunteered in projects related to youth empowerment and environmental awareness in non-profits and international organizations. Moreover, she hopes to get a Masters degree in public international health in the future. She enjoys reading fan theories on movie forums during her free time.