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Chelsie

Back at work

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So, after months of much reduced ocd and then a really bad period over the Easter holidays, I am back at work after a 2 week break.  I really hoped that being more occupied would help, but it just seems that my work-related contamination worries have worsened. 

My main problem is that some time before Easter, I saw one of my pupils put a plaster that had been covering a blister on their foot into the waste paper bin. If I’d spotted them doing it in time, I obviously would have told them to put it in the bin in the first aid room, but was too late. Even though the bin was later emptied, I now have the feeling that it is a source of contamination (hepatitis - as in know hiv wouldn’t stay contagious that long). 

Today, this bin was moved several times by pupils. When I returned to my room after a meeting, a piece of rubbish was next to the bin and I wondered whether it had been placed in the bin and then fallen out when it was moved. Someone came in to see me, saw this piece of rubbish (which I had been avoiding, although I know I might  possibly have trodden on it before I noticed it was there) picked it up and put it in the bin. They then left my room, opening the door with the hand they had touched the rubbish/bin with. 

At this point, in panic, I did all the wrong things. I got some spare shoes and put them on, putting the shoes I had been wearing in the bin in the staff room. I did this by dropping them off of my feet into the bin without touching with my hands. They inevitably touched the rim if the bin, causing another contaminated area in another room. 

Have now left work, but leaving behind a disaster zone ready for tomorrow. Dreading having to go back :( 

Edited by Chelsie

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I know exactly how you feel. I'm an engineer and I work in an environment where grease, oil, metal shavings and strong chemicals are a common thing, and my OCD is having a feast about it. It gets harder everyday. All my coworkers seem to not worry a little bit about those hazards, but I have a mental map of every contaminated surface, tool or area. I don't want to get into details about my thougts and rituals, that's not the point. 
Have you ever tried therapy? I got my formal OCD diagnose yesterday (even though I know I've had it for years) and I'm starting treatment soon. It gives me hope!

Hope you get better soon. And sorry that's all the advice I can provide you. I'm a sufferer myself but I know it can be beated, and everything that torments us is not real at all. 

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You didn't leave a diaster zone anywhere. What you did was throw out a perfectly good pair of shoes for no valid reason.

There never was any danger. It was all a big OCD lie. But you fell for it and did multiple compulsions, which only made your situation worse.

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I'm signed off for 2weeks but I'm going to go back. It is best to face it and be busy. Tomorrow you will see everything is fine and it will pass try and relax this evening. I am so nervous so I understand but once we have done it we will feel better. 

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Thanks for replies. I’ve  just got home, as had some private work to do on way home. I’ve put my feet up and poured a glass of wine - determined to relax and put it out of my mind. Will deal with what tomorrow brings in the morning. 

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2 minutes ago, Chelsie said:

Thanks for replies. I’ve  just got home, as had some private work to do on way home. I’ve put my feet up and poured a glass of wine - determined to relax and put it out of my mind. Will deal with what tomorrow brings in the morning. 

That’s the way to do it Chelsie :yes: 

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14 hours ago, Chelsie said:

Thanks for replies. I’ve  just got home, as had some private work to do on way home. I’ve put my feet up and poured a glass of wine - determined to relax and put it out of my mind. Will deal with what tomorrow brings in the morning. 

Hi Chelsie,

I hope you have a better day today. 

Contamination-symptoms are so awful, especially those involving 'spreading contamination'. I have a slightly different contamination-OCD concern so i'll let you know how I would feel in that situation, which wouldn't trigger my OCD:

a. I would not be worried that there was hepatitis on the plaster: the chances are that the student does not have hepatitis- s/he is a child and much less likely to have the infection.

b. In the unlikely event that the pupil did have hepatitis then I would not be worried about the plaster because you cannot catch Hepatitis from a scrunched up plaster in a bin- you would have to eat the plaster or deliberately rub fresh blood into a cut to become unwell with it. 

c. I would not be worried about the bin because the Hepatitis would not spread through remote contact like that- you need quite direct contact to contract the disease.

So I would think: 

1. The plaster is quite safe- it's old, dried up and doesn't pose a risk.

2. The bin is safe- there is no risk of Hepatitis if you move the bin. (well actually I'd have my own contamination worries about the bin and you'd probably not have those!)

3. Your shoes are safe- there's no hepatitis on them.

4. All the door handles and everything else are safe too. 

 

Edited by BelAnna

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Thanks, BelAnna

Not too bad a day, all things considered. Doing my best to not give the thoughts any room to take over my life! 

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