Rebecca Ryan

Posted by Sue Leonard on Friday 11th November 2016

Rebecca won prizes for her short stories when she was in primary school.

“I’ve always had a big imagination. Writing on the computer was my equivalent of playing with dolls.”

As a teenager, suffering full blown OCD, Rebecca kept a diary in able to understand what was going on in her head. Writing became an integral part of her recovery.

“I wrote for myself, but decided, even in my worst times, that the diary might make the basis of a book. And when I showed it to my geography teacher, Dr Joe Power, he encouraged me to send it out to different publishers. was the first to respond.”

The book has been nominated for the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards, in the RTE Listener’s Choice category, making Rebecca the youngest ever nominee.

Now in sixth year at school, Rebecca says her OCD is 95per cent gone.

“After Leaving certificate, I want to do everything creative,” she says. “Animation, directing in film-making, writing, music production, and acting.”

She’s already made a start. A film of hers was a semi-finalist in the Fresh Film Festival in Limerick, and she acted in a short film with Dave Duffy of Fair City.

“It’s currently in production.”

Who is Rebecca Ryan?

Date of birth: 18th December, 1999 in Galway

Education:  Kilrush Community School.

Home:  County Clare.

Family: Dad, Mum, and two dogs, Shadow and Monty,  a black and a golden Labrador.“They are so cute they chew everything.”

The Day Job: Secondary School Student.

Interests: Film making, music production, acting.

Favourite Writers: David Walliams; Stephen King; Philip Pullman; Jacqueline Wilson; Japanese Manga books by authors such as Satomi Ikezawa and Natsuki Takaya.

Second Novel: She has many ideas, but nothing concrete.

Top Tip: Have self-belief. “People said I could never write a book. That was more of an incentive to try.”

Twitter: @dictatorshipOCD

The Debut: Dictatorship. My Teenage War with OCD. Onstream: € 11.99

This wonderful book details Rebecca’s experience of living with OCD; her debilitating rituals, the trauma they induced in school, and of how, with therapy, she brought her OCD under control. It contains Rebecca’s own illustrations. 

The Verdict: Quite brilliant! Humorous, and clearly written; essential reading to gain an understanding of this most complex condition.

Published in The Irish Examiner on 5th November, 2016 

© Sue Leonard. 2016

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