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  2. It's not a "cold turkey" process Phil. You can't just do it. That may be the goal, but you gradually work towards that. So must we all. So have I and things that would totally floor me before just don't bother me now. So, whilst it just now might seem impossible, that will gradually move along the scale to improbable, then possible and so on. It's softly softly catchee monkey.
  3. Yes I mean I what people said about replacing the door handle I could delay doing the work. I get the new handle by post next week. The new door handle holes may not match up that’s my concern. Using a plastic bag? Possible. At the moment I am using my elbows to open and close the door not very practical? People day about not replacing a compulsion in my case I believe if I could bleach it and clean it as I did and that saved me replacing that would be progress however I have done this and got little relief so can people see if I can’t cope with that how can I get to a stage where I touch that door handle and not wash my hands?
  4. Today
  5. Agreed. I am not a fan of replacing one compulsion with another, except in one instance: where a sufferer's compulsion is causing them physical harm and a lesser compulsion would solve the problem. Example: a sufferer who uses bleach and a scrub brush to wash has hands that are cracked and bleeding. A switch to mild soap as a first step could be in order. Other than that, delay, reduce, stop the compulsion.
  6. But that is surely playing into the hands of the OCD, supporting a compulsion which suggests there is something to fear. The point is that there isn't. Sufferers have to learn to accept this and expose themselves to what frightens or revulses them. The urge to confess, replace, surrender to the police for crimes OCD says we have committed or whatever the OCD theme must be faced up to. No-one is going to recover without weaning off the carrying out of compulsions. Kicking the can further down the road won't help.
  7. Try a door handle cover or a plastic bag, they are a lot cheaper & as you progress with cbt, you'll learn to take it off as exposure.
  8. Except with a subset of those with Contamination OCD, basically not at all. Dog poop is a common occurence. So is dirty laundry. But people generally don't wash their hands after touching dirty laundry. Dog poop gets cleaned up. In all cases, there is no such thing as forever contaminated. That is an irrational concept your mind invented with no basis in reality.
  9. So being honest how often do situations I would find as “forever contaminated” come up in daily life with others? For example dog poo, toilet germs, blocked toilets, dirty laundry without washing hands. How common is this?
  10. We can't obey a rule that everything has to be free of everything else at all times. And if we "see" something, it doesn't then - magically - become a problem, where none was perceived before. If I hadn't faced up to the attempted rules of my OCD I would never have been able to leave my house, never been able to go to work. OCD's rules are fabrications and exaggerations
  11. I think you've experienced this stressful situation of being suspended and now you're OCD has kicked in and is trying to convince you that you have put yourself at risk in your job again. What you're doing isn't going to help unfortunately. It's understandable that you want to figure out whether you have actually said something bad or not, but the reality is that you have to let this go and move on. You won't be able to figure it out, this is OCD and it will always leave a trace of doubt in your mind and the more you try to figure this one out, the more new situations OCD will introduce for you to worry about. Just try to accept that this situation has been caused by OCD and try to stop ruminating over this, just go about your life and your job like normal.
  12. There's been quite a few CCG referrals from across the country already apparently, but waiting time is still non existent at the moment. So funded referrals should be seen more or less within couple of weeks.
  13. ‘New’ and clean do not equate. You could have had a factory or packing operative that had gone to the loo (no.2) and didn’t wash his hands and went straight back to packing/assembling. You’re just wasting your money buying new stuff. You need to accept that everything will have an element of ‘contamination’ but the contamination itself isn’t harmful and should not be focused on, investigated, or stopped.
  14. As long as you keep doing that behavior you will keep suffering, its that simple. New yes? Clean no. The "clean" you think is there (or not there) is something you have made up, its not real. It doesn't matter which bin it came from, its not "contaminated" either way, thats all in your head.
  15. I had forgot about the letter box issue for a while but it’s come back to my head if that envelope came from the bin my bank card and all my mail is dirty but I cant prove it came from the bin thats the annoying thing.
  16. There is a guilt from me about replacing the door handle as it’s original and been in the house a while. That said it’s going green and a bit rusty and the replacement is similar but it’s new and clean so perhaps if I do replace it then its only going to improve the house but I feel the guilt of replacing something that’s been there for years. I admit there is some other handles in my street been replaced though.
  17. Yes that’s true I mean I have stayed myself for almost 4 years now but I have realised when you need repair men out or stuff that happens the house gets dirty. I spoke to my therapist and she explained how someone she knew had a toilet leak. They wanted to move but in the end never. Again the problem is when I witness it? I mean I would be horrified to go into another house where they don’t wash there’s hands after the toilet, bins and dirty laundry..I admit it most happen but right now my urge would be to get a new house each time but I know that’s not practical. I went through a house move it was stressful but it costs thousands of pounds. The only contamination I can think of is my sister had a dog and it pooped everywhere when it was a puppy. My brother had a sofa that was at my mums “contaminated house” so I can see other people’s houses may have germ risks. I use avoidance behaviour like I won’t take a bag of shopping to these houses
  18. Phil there is nothing going on around you that isn't going on in miriads of other homes. It's YOU that has to change. Change your interpretation of what OCD is telling you to do. Understand it lies and grossly exaggerates. Change your demand for absolute cleanliness. Learn to cast off revulsion, as I and others do. There will be anxiety as you go through this process, but then it will ease away - as it has done in my case. Only YOU can make this happen.
  19. This is a perfectly normal, reasonable behavior. Lots of people do this. No problem. This is also totally normal, the materials we use to color things don't always adhere 100%, trace amounts can remain that can be washed/wiped off. If you use older/cheaper printers you'll see this same phenomenon, streaking/smudging of ink etc. Again, this isn't a big deal. Here is the core problem, you have gotten in to a situation where you have come to believe a grossly exaggerated sense of how the world works and fallen into both exaggerated responsibility and black and white thinking. The reality is its simply impossible to live in a completely safe world. The world is full of risks, we can't avoid that. Trying to live without risk, to yourself or to others will leave you trapped. You express the concern that you'll transfer toxic paint particles to your friends babies. Ok, thats technically possible, but is it a reasonable worry? Lets say you are completely free of toxic paint particles. Further, lets say you never hold the baby. Lets say instead, you sit down at the table. While you are sitting down at the table, you put your purse on the ground. Ok, now your purse is on the ground. Because its on the ground an ant that was walking on the ground changes its path. That ant was carrying a bread crumb. That bread crumb now catches the eye of a bird. That bird flies over the table where you are sitting. While flying, it poops. That poop lands on the babies head. Now, instead of a few stray paint particles the babies head is covered with bird poop. All because you put your purse down. Does that sound like a ridiculous series of events? Does that sound extremely unlikely? Absolutely. But it COULD happen. Just about anything COULD happen. But that doesn't mean the odds are high, that the risk is high. And so, because the risk is incredibly low, you don't worry about it. And you SHOULD respond the same way to these worries about toxic paint. The odds of something remotely bad happening because of it simply from putting a shirt in the draw, wearing the shirt, and then holding the baby are so low that its not even worth considering in the minds of most people. The difference between you and them is OCD, and OCD triggers false alarms. For you those false alarms are related to toxic substances, but they are still false alarms. The anxiety you feel is genuine, the distress it causes you is real, but the source of that anxiety is not. I used this analogy in another thread, and I think it applies here too. When a fire alarm goes off, whether its for a real fire or a false alarm or a test, it sounds EXACTLY the same. The cause of the alarm doesn't change the behavior of the alarm. Same with OCD. The anxiety you feel from an OCD intrusive thought is the same as you would feel for a genuine threat. Which means you can't judge risk based on anxiety alone, you have to consider other factors, and you have to consider that you KNOW that you are prone to false alarms. Overcoming OCD requires teaching yourself not to panic over false alarms. In this situation your false alarm is about spreading dangerous substances to others. The possibility exists, but the chances are extremely low. It wouldn't make sense to avoid putting your purse down for fear of starting a chain reaction that leads to a bird pooped baby, it doesn't make sense to march to the beat of a drummer that you know is misleading you. Given time (and work) your brain will learn to treat these thoughts as unimportant, but you have to challenge OCD when it makes these kinds of demands on you, thats the only path out of the forrest of OCD.
  20. What you are doing is not being "extra clean" since you, yourself, admit its only an issue if you witness the supposed "contamination". This is just another excuse to avoid doing the hard and unpleasant work to get better. You might never be able to let go of these worries? Sure, maybe, who knows. But you definitely will remain stuck this way if you don't change what we have told you you need to change. There is a difference between can't and won't, and you are firmly in the won't camp. You would rather keep suffering the anxiety you know rather than face the different (but temporary) anxiety you don't. Thats your choice, of course, but things won't change if you continue to make that choice.
  21. Yesterday
  22. Phil, I know you have high anxiety and I know in your panicked mind, all you can think of is getting rid of the anxiety. That's what drives you. What you need to understand is that YOU have caused your anxiety to be so high. Every time you do a compulsion, you reinforce in your mind that the thoughts were true. That guarantees more thoughts in the future and higher anxiety. It slowly gets worse and worse. You don't want to return to a mild form of OCD, Phil. You want it gone, obliterated. Your gosl needs to be to kill OCD once and for all. Kill it! And how do you do that? Mainly by abstaining from compulsions and exposing yourself to that which you fear.
  23. My therapist talked me out of buying a new door after the letter box issue so maybe it can help? The replacing doesn’t stop there it was a spike to more I need a new measuring tape that I measured the handle with I have quarantined the screw drivers. I needn’t a new rucksack as someone left a badge at my stag night I worry it was my dads and bin germs got on the bag. It’s hard to keep up with the ocd. That said I have been able to resist replacing many stuff over the months. I like to wash my hands and stay extra clean so I hope to continue some mild ocd to keep me clean but I hope to cut back on the severe ocd and belief something is forever contaminated. The door handle I mean they say don’t clean it but the fact is those germs or whatever it is got on my front handle as she never washed her hands. Im not sure much can change my mind on that. It was like when I binned my shoes after dirty laundry fell on them. I admit yes if I don’t replace something perhaps I don’t think about it all the time but sometimes I do and I can’t cope with the anxiety. I replace as I can’t handle the anxiety I get I don’t fear the germs in any way
  24. Phil, replacing the door handle is a big mistake. You know that after being told such a hundred times here. The fact is, there are no germs on the door handle or anything else you touched. The germs exist only in your head. If you replace that door handle, you will make things worse for next time. And there will be a next time. And another and another. What do you hope to accomplish with CBT? Because if your therapist is any good, s/he will tell you the same things we have. You haven't listened to us or done any of the hard work we've advised you do, so what's going to be different going to a therapist?
  25. Since when / how is a GP referral to a clinic which doesn't exist an NHS route? Since when did the NHS legal framework allow for the prioritisation of the treatment of celebrities to promote "awareness"?
  26. I don't even know if I said it! Part of me is trying to be rational and that if I did, the kids would notice and a) ask what it means or b) be like miss said a bad word. kids are honest. they weren't phased at all.
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