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6 minutes ago, Ashley said:

Thanks for your replies all... one thing that did come out of this thread is that several of you are talking about weekly washing of the bed sheets.....    eeeeer are you meant to wash weekly?   I only wash mine every few weeks (unless OCD intervenes). :lol:   

You could start up another thread on how often bedsheets should be washed and why..... :biggrin:

Ours need changing now because I have only just managed to clear a path to the washing machine in our new home's kitchen (after two weeks of sheer chaos) - and I need to wash them because, at the moment, there is no place to keep the dirty ones prior to washing them:biggrin: 

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17 minutes ago, Ashley said:

Thanks for your replies all... one thing that did come out of this thread is that several of you are talking about weekly washing of the bed sheets.....    eeeeer are you meant to wash weekly?   I only wash mine every few weeks (unless OCD intervenes). :lol:   

I share a bed with a man whose body temperature functions differently to mine. I'm always cold so need extra blankets, and he's always too hot so sweats more. Hence the need for weekly washes! I do think you are supposed to wash the sheets about once a week though cos of bacterial build-up etc.

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If that is so then currently I must be covered in bacteria - but guess I will just take it on the chin :winking:

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6 minutes ago, taurean said:

If that is so then currently I must be covered in bacteria - but guess I will just take it on the chin :winking:

I'm sure if you left it longer between changes it wouldn't be the end of the world! Like most things really.

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Well we don't change them that frequently and never have :)

 

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Me either and doesn't bother me OCD wise.... But mainly because I can never change duvet covers very well so easier not to :a1_cheesygrin:

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I don’t *think* I have contamination OCD, but...

1. Yes, this would bother me if they hadn’t washed their hands. I don’t like hand shaking in general, though, and wash my hands if I do have to shake hands with someone. However, I think there’s a greater chance of cold or flu viruses on hands than seminal fluids.

2. I would wash hands in this situation or wash off any fluids elsewhere.

3. I have never been a situation where fluids got everywhere, but would spot clean with a wipe until I had time to wash the sheets.

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8 hours ago, Ashley said:

Thanks for your replies all... one thing that did come out of this thread is that several of you are talking about weekly washing of the bed sheets.....    eeeeer are you meant to wash weekly?   I only wash mine every few weeks (unless OCD intervenes). :lol:   

we change the bedsheets (I use "we" loosely as I have nothing to do with it :) ) once every 8 days apparently!

TBH even in my slob days I used to change my bedsheets once a week, but more because I liked them smelling of fabric conditioner than anything else.  It's one of those things like showering every day that there's no real need to do, it's just a habit.

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I do think you are supposed to wash the sheets about once a week though cos of bacterial build-up etc.

I don;t know where all this bacteria is supposed to come from!!!  These days most people tend to shower and change their clothes daily, so unless someone is particularly sweaty don't worry about changing bedding less often.  In my childhood (and Roys) people only changed their clothes twice a week.  You'd bath & wash your hair once a week (usually on Sunday night),wear your school clothes a full week unless you physically spilled something like ketchup down them, wear weekend clothes & Sunday Best if you were going out.  We're still alive!! :Old:

As to the three questions I would answer similarly to Snowbear.

Having got a fairly conclusive set of answers Ashley, how does that make you feel?  I'm guessing it won't change how you personally feel about the issue much.  How long has this particular obsession been with you?  Has it started sometime in your adult life or has it been with you since adolescence or sooner?

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53 minutes ago, Caramoole said:

Having got a fairly conclusive set of answers Ashley, how does that make you feel?  I'm guessing it won't change how you personally feel about the issue much.  

Not really, the answers were as I expected. To be honest my therapists wanted me to read the NHS choices website about masturbation, and ask others about what their thoughts are. I had absolutely no confidence in either exercise helping me, but I wanted to at least show willing.

I am glad my experience and talking about it was helpful for others though :)  So that's something positive.

 

55 minutes ago, Caramoole said:

How long has this particular obsession been with you?

I am not really sure, it's one of those that crept up on me but I thinks its been a problem for a decade, maybe 15 years. It seems to have got worse in recent couple of months but I don't know why, I guess as I push other aspects of OCD out my life.

 

 

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I do have contamination fears similar to those listed. But my non-OCD self ... prior to having OCD - or before the OCD settled on the same  - wouldn't really have given a (no pun) toss. 

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I've actually had to sleep in my friends bed before knowing it's probably covered in spunk and god knows what ?? Sheets hadn't been changed in a very long time and her and her partner were always banging..He was more of a bang buddy really. 

It wasn't the best I can tell u! I had to block it from my mind and wash clothes/shower when I got home lol. 

I've been in the 1st situation before. It did cross my mind about what they'd been up too just before ? But they didn't attempt to hug or anything, I think most people would hold off from doing that? 

If they went to hug my child I would be grossed out. 

I always shower after sex but if we were rushing I would at least clean hands and body parts. 

Sheets I wouldn't really think about, if it was bad we would change sheets ASAP. If it was a tiny bit we probably wouldn't notice. 

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On ‎16‎/‎02‎/‎2018 at 07:06, Ashley said:

Thanks for your replies all... one thing that did come out of this thread is that several of you are talking about weekly washing of the bed sheets.....    eeeeer are you meant to wash weekly?   I only wash mine every few weeks (unless OCD intervenes). :lol:   

In the army, we do a weekly change of bed sheets and pillow cases - hygiene regulations, once very Wednesday, I didn't recall wrongly. Clean sheets and pillow cases were issued in exchange for the dirty ones.

At home, I only get them washed once a month.

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I wasn't sure if I would do this or not, but with a couple of people commenting this thread helped them a little, I decided to try and put into words (not very eloquently) where I am at with this. The video may help understand why I wrote this thread. 

There are some adult words, but I added as text on the screen rather than verbally saying them.  I chose to use the more crude variations of the words to help me overcome the difficulties talking about this. 

Please Note: The most unflattering video angle, and I didn't bother shaving before heading out on the bike, by this point I had just climbed 800ft in 4 or 5 miles so I was not looking my best and it's embarrassing enough so let's all ignore my double chins.. ok! ;)

 

 

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I think you expressed yourself very eloquently and conveyed the message that CBT isn't just about ERP. :clapping:

 I totally agree that doing cognitive work makes the behavioural part of therapy easier (for many makes it even possible.) Hopefully you'll be doing more cognitive work as you move through this course of therapy. :) 

Being free to say the crude word versions without embarrassment or hesitation will come in time. Avoidance gives them power and keeps the association with disgust/shame/OCD beliefs going. Typically people tell themselves they aren't saying the crude versions to avoid embarrassing others, but often it's something more personal such as fear of making a social gaff, fear of how you'll be perceived for talking about the subject, or avoiding the feelings that saying/hearing the words generates in you. 

I'm rather jealous of you getting out in the fresh air and sunshine for some exercise. Looks like it's been a lovely day for cycling. Glad you posted the vid. :) 

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2 minutes ago, snowbear said:

Looks like it's been a lovely day for cycling

Slightly off topic... but it's cycling talk so allowed.  It was cold, but rideable (given out snow for all of next week), believe it or not my main weather challenge today was the sun, it was so low and half my ride was riding back towards the sun on narrow county lanes, with fast downhills where I was blind at times.  Need a cap rather than a keep warm hat under my cycle helmet.  

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Good video Ashley :)

Can i ask a question about your problem? I'll ask, you can ignore if you want. If you didn't wash do you worry that your feelings would overwhelm you? That you wouldn't be able to cope. And do you know what those feelings are now or is it that that is difficult to work out?

I haven't posted previously because i have my own contamination issues as you know :)

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1 minute ago, Gemma7 said:

If you didn't wash do you worry that your feelings would overwhelm you? That you wouldn't be able to cope. And do you know what those feelings are now or is it that that is difficult to work out?

That's what I can't work out Gem, what happens if I don't wash and clean.. I get a surge in anxiety, but I can't quite put my finger on what I am worried about,  I think it's something along tyhe lines of disgust, shame etc but I cant quite put my finger on it, and no amount of thinking when in that moment is leading to answers.

That's why I went back to see a therapist, in the hope she would ask me the right questions, to get me thinking in the right process and maybe, just maybe help me join the missing dots.  I truly believe if I can join the dots with what is keeping the anxiety and fear so high, I will be able to deal with and challenge and overcome.

 

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In the video I talked about when I am triggered I go through a ritual which takes two hours.  It goes something like this:

I can sleep after (area already dirty), but then when I wake I can't touch anything or do anything until my rituals complete. If someone knocks at the door I have to ignore:

  • Carefully tip toe to the bathroom, use the toilet and then bath (without touchsing shower curtain), then shower straight after bath.
  • Get out, open all the doors to the kitchen and washing machine door, set the cycle to run. Then strip the bed and carefully place bed cloths in without touching doors or walls and kick the door shut with my foot so the machine starts.  Back into the bathroom, clean the toilet (in case anything on it from night before), then shower myself clean.
  • Spray with Dettol kitchen cleaner all the doors and handles  with I passed with the bed clothes, the outside of the washing machine, the edge of my bed and anything I may have touched i.e phone.
  • Back into the bathroom and spray the bath, taps and anything else I may haver touched in the bathroom.
  • Back into the shower to clean myself all over again.
  • Ritual complete and wont bother me again for days or weeks until I next trigger.   

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That's really difficult so i can see why this is a real struggle to overcome. Have you looked in to how you learnt about sex when you were young, what social attitudes to do with sex you were surrounded by? I know this can be a source of shame for lots of people.

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27 minutes ago, Gemma7 said:

Have you looked in to how you learnt about sex when you were young, what social attitudes to do with sex you were surrounded by? I know this can be a source of shame for lots of people.

Touched upon it, but I am not sure.  I mean talking about sex, well this is perhaps the first real time in my life!!!!   Because of OCD I wasn't exposed to it until later in life.  But I don't think I have hang ups about sex, I know it's normal and I want to have sex (well with the right person). 

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It's a well presented video Ashley. Good idea to post it from an enjoyable place and time, that seems to have helped you. 

Maybe it's a combination of revulsion and fear - both in themselves behind OCD issues of such nature. 

The drive to decontaminate is high, suggesting a fear of harm to  yourself. 

Why?  I don’t think it is rational, because the sperm in semen quickly dies outside the heat of the body, and it dries to a solid mass - to my thinking inert. 

So the question is, from a behavioural perspective, do you believe - subconsciously even - that the OCD is true, there is some potential threat (even if it's exaggerated)  or can you find a way to look at it from the theory B position - you are worried about there being a threat of some sort. 

If you can get to B, then you must have been considering evidence. 

If you can't find evidence for theory A - the intrusions are true - then maybe really you can buy into theory B. 

Re the need to produce the sperm to work the exposure Mmhhh don't think so. It's perfectly possible to use the power of imagination to get into the "feared" situation, and in a structured, such, session think about the fact there is no evidence, and it looks like you are nevertheless still worried the fear threat revulsion is true. 

Sit that out over some "imagine" sessions with the sperm - keep reminding yourself that, cognitively, the OCD suggestions are falsehoods or exaggerations. And see how that goes, maybe. 

Edited by taurean

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Yes I totally agree with Roy, perhaps using your imagination firstly would be a good way to deal with the fear and sitting with the anxiety and see how this goes first. PolarBear gave me some similar advice a few months ago and it made it a lot easier facing the fear when I actually came to do it :yes:

Just a thought and I hope you don’t mind me asking?  I may be a mile off the mark but is it possible that deep down you think that any sexual activity is dirty? 

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1 hour ago, Ashley said:

Touched upon it, but I am not sure.  I mean talking about sex, well this is perhaps the first real time in my life!!!!   Because of OCD I wasn't exposed to it until later in life.  But I don't think I have hang ups about sex, I know it's normal and I want to have sex (well with the right person). 

It doesn't surprise me that you don't logically think theres anything wrong with it but on some emotional level you might, it sounds like typical OCD in that sense. It's just the working out what is causing that emotional response!

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Maybe using the downward arrow principal might reveal the hidden core belief? 

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