THE Bolton News Comment Disorder is no joke ­— it ruins people’s lives (September 22), amounts to a valuable contribution, both to improving the health and happiness of the UK, and to easing the pressure on the NHS.

With mental health problems on the increase, we should also be immensely thankful to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry for spearheading the Heads Together campaign to end stigma around mental health.

Doesn’t it make sense that, if a person can be born with terrible disabling/disfiguring physical impairments, they can also be born with terrible psychological ones?

And, from the likes of Thalidomide and monkey dust, can't anyone/everyone succumb to mental illness?

The Bolton News comment piece highlights OCD sufferer Martin O’Doherty ­— whose symptoms included terrified of being locked in confined spaces ­— became so bad he had to stop training as a teacher.

At secondary school (from 1959), if I had an obsession, it was sport, and in the likes of maths, tech-drawing and woodwork, my work had to be perfect: no doubt in my DNA, from my late father being a draughtsman, and keen woodworker. Also, at age-10, I became obsessed with cycling after my grandad took me cycling around Scotland.

When I started work as an apprentice (fabrication) welder my "obsessions" paid dividends ­— I saved money by cycling to work, and with the need for perfection, my fabrications attracted praise and a pay rise.

Indeed, they had to be perfect: on my first day at work (after cycling from my grandparents in Edinburgh the day before) my foreman told me: “Get it right first time. Mistakes cost money.” He meant preparation is the key to success, and I trust any professional (of worth) from athlete to architect to editor, will vouch for that.

In short: if my fabrication was perfect, it made it easier for the fitter/machinist to make his/her job perfect.

Then isn’t everyone is a winner?

In working to such principles, (despite a few falls from my bike and grace) by the time I was 43, I was happily married with two grown-up children, and as a (Lloyds) coded welder, earning more than I’d ever earned.

I was then seriously injured in a cycling accident which prevented me from returning to work. It didn’t prevent me getting back on my bike but when I do, I fear for my life and hate lawless drivers and pedestrians crossing roads glued to their phones.

Isn’t it time for all sensible people to work together for the common good ­— rich help poor; strong help weak; young help old?

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