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Resilience: An LGBTQ+ Teen Author's Memoir about Their Struggle with Harm OCD

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

We caught up with now 22 year old LGBTQ+ author Finn Conrey to talk about their first book, which they started writing in their late teens. Co-authored with Mom, Sci-Fi and Urban Fantasy best-seller Kim Conrey, YOU'RE NOT A MURDERER : YOU JUST HAVE HARM OCD, is a nonfiction account of what it's like to live with frightening, recurring mental images of hurting oneself or others.

An estimated 1 in 40 adults and 1 in 100 children suffer from OCD, it is estimated that up to 50% of both groups also suffer with the intrusive violent thoughts of Harm OCD, and it is estimated to be even higher among youths at 70%.

In this authentic and courageous memoir, mother and teen grapple with the unseen, misunderstood beast known as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

Hi Finn, thank you very much for sharing. What was it like to write about something as personal and painful as Harm OCD?

It was very hard. Sometimes it would dredge up things I didn’t want to revisit. It had me focusing on things that seemed better left alone. The flip side of that is it could also be cathartic. Since I wrote this with my mom, I got insight to the events I didn’t have before. While sometimes that could be interesting to hear and helpful, it could also be painful to know how another person you loved processed something.

We appreciate your candor. Would you mind telling us about what it was like to do the artwork for your memoir?

I really enjoyed it. Art is how I express myself. Many times, I put scenes together in my head even if I’m not about to draw them. It helps me express and deal with my feelings. Drawing is often more cathartic than writing. I’m an art major, so I’m very visual, as in, this represents that. I truly enjoy drawing, creating. It was uncomfortable at times but in general it was less painful than writing.

What advice would you offer other young people who want to write or pursue their art?

Start out with things that you enjoy or find cathartic to you. All the technical skills you might gain don’t mean anything if you end up hating what you do. Make time for the aspects of art that you love. Don’t worry about it being perfect. Do what you love. Perfection is needless. Art only needs to exist to be good.

Do you see more writing in your future?

Yes, because ultimately, I want to create a graphic novel series and stories that combine both my art and my writing in a very cohesive way. Even though it won’t be in the same genre as this, I will be writing and creating in the future.

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