Recently Hotstar, an online streaming service, much like Netflix started promoting their new found access to the hit sit-com FRIENDS. In the ad, one thing irked me a lot. The promo talks about how FRIENDS ‘started’ it all from catchphrases to OCD and bromance.


Do the people over at Hotstar believe that FRIENDS somehow started a trend for OCD? They showed the character of Monica stressing on the cleanliness and organization in her apartment. Now I would understand if a young channel or a beginner made this mistake of confusing cleanliness with OCD, but for one of the biggest streaming services in India to make the mistake is simply appalling.

The video has already been seen by around 250,000 on YouTube and the same is being run on television regularly as well. Just think of all the people who are seeing OCD being associated with a simple desire for cleanliness and organization. Chances are that they will believe that that is what OCD is all about.

Now I need to stress that isn’t an outrage post that I am writing while full of fury, punching the keyboard over and over while trying to get my message across. This is something that I write with full consciousness but with a disappointment within. Mental health advocates have to work for months and years to make around 1000 people each about how serious mental disorders are and how they need serious public attention but an ad like this undoes all the work we have done in a few minutes.

One would think that the educated people don’t need to be sensitized as much as the people who had little access to education but to know that this ad was approved at multiple levels shows that either the people in charge of these decisions don’t know what OCD is or that they don’t care about spreading misinformation about the same.

I have talked about OCD in the past. It is a dilapidating condition that is known by intrusive thoughts about an impending doom. The person having these thoughts knows they are irrational but feels compelled to do something about them. Like other mental disorders, it is a battle against the mind where people struggle to control their own thoughts and express their emotions. People with OCD turn to self harm or suicidal ideation to put an end to their intrusive thoughts.

OCD effects lives, it harms people and it makes them hate their own self. What it certainly is not is a trend started by Monica. This advertisement may have caused a lot of harm to the cause of mental health awareness in India and the worst part is, chances are that the people at Hotstar won’t even care.

I am sharing a link of the video for you to see,

Let’s leave a message for Hotstar until they take notice,

“OCD is a harmful disorder that takes lives. It is not a trend.”