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Guest Phil10

False ocd thoughts urge to throw clothes away

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Guest Phil10

I have been battling these for weeks now 

Few examples:

* I get a thought I pooped myself or peed myself
*I get a clean towel for a shower and I have to take another as I get a thought saying it’s dirty. 
*Some food from the supermarket fridge was wet and I also bought shampoo to my head said don’t eat it shampoo leaked. 
*Thoughts im not clean after going to toilet.
*I take a clean top and get ocd thought that it’s dirty
*Thouhts I’ve not washed my hands even right after washing 
*Thoughts the world isn’t real. 

Sometimes the thoughts in the past were so powerful I would cross the road and worry I was run down?

How can I tackle these thoughts? So far therapy ain’t working. The thoughts just distress me more and I can play out a whole situation in my head and almost believe it. I can make myself 90% sure a top was dirty.

Right now I battle these ocd thoughts daily and worry nobody else’s life is real. The ocd is quite powerful and controlling right now.

I reckon I will give up on therapy soon spend hundreds of pounds with zero results all that’s happening is worse ocd pattens are developing. I’ve stopped my ocd replacing but instead I’m dealing with these false thoughts instead? 

Tonight I had a thought i popped myself so i have the urge to throw my clothes away. I wiped my bum before toilet usually that helps but my ocd tonight said maybe I pooped myself or have a dirty bottom so the urge is to throw away. A few weeks ago this happened and I disposed or my clothes what can I do tonight to stop this?

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2 hours ago, Phil10 said:

A few weeks ago this happened and I disposed or my clothes what can I do tonight to stop this?

Don't throw them away.

Seriously, that's it.

You say the therapy isn't working- what point are you up to in the therapy? Are you doing ERP yet or no?

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Guest Phil10
7 hours ago, ChrisB said:

Don't throw them away.

Seriously, that's it.

You say the therapy isn't working- what point are you up to in the therapy? Are you doing ERP yet or no?

I tried delaying response but that never worked I threw them away. There was a pile of other dirty washing I want to toss the whole lot but I resisted my head says “if I wash them and put my phone or wallet in the pocket they will be dirty and the sofa too” so I gave in. 

She has started some exposure therapy however she tried get me to reduce hand washing, delay too and now she’s moved on to writing down how many thoughts I get. She seems to try something new each month.

She says my ocd is severe so I think that’s why she is trying different tactics because rather than obsessively clean I throw away and replace stuff so it’s an expensive habit and causing me lots of stress.

what else can I do to beat this?

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Probably to work through this baby step by baby step might help, breaking it down into smaller more manageable steps. Firstly don’t throw your things out that’s the biggest compulsion ever. People might disagree with me here because your replacing one compulsion with another, however my outlook is to break things down into more manageable steps until you start to understand and see things more clearly. Only on a temporary basis you could by dettol for washing machines that kill germs, please baring in mind to remember this is a temporary solution whilst you start working through the beginning of therapy. Eventually you will start to realise your fears are unfounded and you will be able to discard using this at all, don’t let it become another compulsion. I havnt used mine for months now and I found this an easier first initial step to take.

 

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Guest Phil10
8 minutes ago, lostinme said:

Probably to work through this baby step by baby step might help, breaking it down into smaller more manageable steps. Firstly don’t throw your things out that’s the biggest compulsion ever. People might disagree with me here because your replacing one compulsion with another, however my outlook is to break things down into more manageable steps until you start to understand and see things more clearly. Only on a temporary basis you could by dettol for washing machines that kill germs, please baring in mind to remember this is a temporary solution whilst you start working through the beginning of therapy. Eventually you will start to realise your fears are unfounded and you will be able to discard using this at all, don’t let it become another compulsion. I havnt used mine for months now and I found this an easier first initial step to take.

 

Yes basically over the last few months “false” ocd thoughts have troubled me as much as normal worries. My mind makes me believe stuff is true. I mean I checked the under wear for poop and none so I was like maybe it was just a stain? It happened a few weeks back it was a stain however this time I wiped a few times and nothing but my ocd tried to trick me into thinking I pooped myself and my mind believed it. 

When I get a thought I avoid stuff like the bins went near the grass so I now use two strimmers I’ve not been able to get over that. Ideally I’d like to use one but I fear the whole grass being dirty. 

But anyway good news is I won’t throw all the clothes away as I can’t afford to but I worry about wearing jeans as my phone goes on the pocket. I had ocd about the letter box I had a false thought a letter came from the bin so I wouldn’t use the door it took me months to accept it and I let stuff come through the door expect my mobile phone case for my new phone. 

My ocd has patterns I can tolerate these thoughts to a degree and I can use stuff then there’s always one item I don’t feel comfortable with why is this? 

I could bleach the clothes and still worry the reality is I have to find a way of accepting the thoughts are actually a lie my ocd is telling me lies all the time to make me dispose and avoid stuff. Expensive stuff like a door is easier as it’s not cheap to replace if the item is cheaper I will replace. 

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That’s good to view it this way and not to replace it with other compulsions. However some times if we can’t find a way forward we have to break things down to make things a little easier, an easier step forward so to speak. The anxiety would still be there doing this but not as great and not so overwhelming, so making it easier to start working through therapy. The main part is to change the way we think as well as we act, finding the core values and what our fears are surrounding these issues and when you slowly start to work through the thinking behaviour around it it becomes easier to do the behavioural work :yes:

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Guest Phil10
22 minutes ago, lostinme said:

That’s good to view it this way and not to replace it with other compulsions. However some times if we can’t find a way forward we have to break things down to make things a little easier, an easier step forward so to speak. The anxiety would still be there doing this but not as great and not so overwhelming, so making it easier to start working through therapy. The main part is to change the way we think as well as we act, finding the core values and what our fears are surrounding these issues and when you slowly start to work through the thinking behaviour around it it becomes easier to do the behavioural work :yes:

Cool what can I do about my urge to throw all my clothes away? I binned some but still want to bin more due to these thoughts.

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Guest Phil10

My ocd has had a thought maybe I wore a dirty item of clothing on train a few weeks back and that’s contaminated? This is the nature of my ocd right now 

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You say if an item isn't cheap you won't replace it, so there's the proof right there, you can not replace something and you'll cope.

I don't think your therapist trying different techniques is a bad thing or a sign that it's not going well. So long as you stick with it and trust in what you're being told, trying different things is perfectly fine. You should probably work together on a plan to deal with this specific issue and how to manage not throwing stuff out.

Personally, I'd say, put the clothes on. Wear them. Go out in them. Sit on whatever you want to sit on in them. Considering where you're at though, you'd probably be best advised speaking to your therapist on how to do that in a more gradual and manageable way.

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3 hours ago, Phil10 said:

My ocd has had a thought maybe I wore a dirty item of clothing on train a few weeks back and that’s contaminated? This is the nature of my ocd right now 

You need to learn to see the thoughts for what they are, just thoughts and nothing more. It’s called the doubting disease for a reason, you don’t know you did and you don’t know you didn’t, you have to learn to accept and live with the uncertainty of never knowing and then each and everytime you get the thought just simply notice it’s there and then refocus your attention to what you are doing, eventually in time the thoughts will get fewer and far between, but it takes lots and lots of practice, you need to be motivated and firm with yourself and do it over and over again :yes:

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Guest Phil10

I still have thoughts I pooped myself after each toilet trip so throwing those jeans away wasn’t the best idea 

I don’t know what’s causing these thoughts but I have to try not throw away clothes. I wiped my backside for ten mins last night before I pooped and the thoughts still came today :doh:

I sometimes think i peed myself too but this is the worst I have felt with the toilet worry. I always wipe myself before I do the toilet due to ocd anyway but this new “doubt” is causing lots of intrusive thoughts.

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Hi Phil,

18 hours ago, lostinme said:

You need to learn to see the thoughts for what they are, just thoughts and nothing more. 

Lost is spot on here. You've sussed the compulsions don't work anyway. Throwing things away because you experienced the intrusive thought they were contaminated doesn't stop the thought or doubt from popping back, it's just gonna guarantee the opposite whenever we perform any compulsion.

I share the same theme around contamination as you, something it took me a long time to realise was just how often I was taking a seemingly new worry around something being dirty at face value. One moment it would be a possibly dirty door handle, the next did I remember to wash my hands after picking something off the floor...and of course just when I'd resolved that doubt another would just as quickly ping into my mind about something else. 

Basically,  I was fire fighting each new thought and doubt as if each were valid. 

None were, they were all part and parcel of the same overarching theme around contamination that bothered me because I suffered from OCD. It's obviously nowhere near easy to do, but try not to be bamboozled by each specific thought.

Those around pooping, peeing, the shampoo in the fridge, letters through the post, grubby bins, clothes from the train journey...all are basically the same underlying contamination thought/fear and can all be treated in exactly the same way by ignoring them.

The key's to try to resist the urge to perform any compulsion for as long as you can. Depending on the day, it might only be half an hour, the next a couple of hours, the next only 10 mins...some days we do well, others are a real struggle, that's okay....this is a dufficult thing to overcome, but slowly progress can be made.

Maybe this evening you might be able to cut down on how long you wipe to 5 mins, see how you go, but that's the way forward.

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Guest Phil10

A Major issue has happened today it’s related to dirty washing 

At home my partner will wash her hands if she touches dirty washing so that is ok for me that reduces my anxiety.

On holiday she has touched my bag with my camera and expensive headphones so the result is I want to replace the camera, headphones and bag or I won’t use it again or I would feel uneasy using it.

Cleaning no use as many of you know on this topic cleaning won’t solve it I “must” replace. It’s going to be hundreds of pounds to replace but the items will be sold and money towards replacing.

I know it’s bad my ocd is very bad but this is where I am at, this is the situation 

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1 hour ago, Phil10 said:

 or I would feel uneasy using it.

Go with feeling uneasy. It might be very difficult facing this to begin with Phil, I appreciate that...but to beat this, allowing yourself to feel anxious w/o engaging in any compulsions is ultimately what you need to do.

You don't have to listen to that 'must,' I honestly know all too well it doesn't feel like it, but you do have a choice in this.

Something I had to ask myself was, how do I want to feel in a couple of years from now? Constantly feeling anxious?

No thanks, I'd had about as much as I could take having my life dictated by OCD and feeling like that, or waking up each morning feeling free to live it how I want.

Try with the camera, headphones etc to make a firm stand over the next few days and refuse to replace them, keep using and enjoying them as everyone else does. 

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7 hours ago, Hal said:

Go with feeling uneasy. It might be very difficult facing this to begin with Phil, I appreciate that...but to beat this, allowing yourself to feel anxious w/o engaging in any compulsions is ultimately what you need to do.

You don't have to listen to that 'must,' I honestly know all too well it doesn't feel like it, but you do have a choice in this.

Something I had to ask myself was, how do I want to feel in a couple of years from now? Constantly feeling anxious?

No thanks, I'd had about as much as I could take having my life dictated by OCD and feeling like that, or waking up each morning feeling free to live it how I want.

Try with the camera, headphones etc to make a firm stand over the next few days and refuse to replace them, keep using and enjoying them as everyone else does. 

What sort of germs would there be from touching dirty washing in a suitcase then touching something else? Would you wash your hands after putting your dirty washing into a case or would many? 

My partner has put stuff of her own in her suitcase next to dirty washing in the past and I’ve touched her stuff before then been on my phone after it so like sometimes I don’t think about this stuff. 

This issue arised a few years back when I would have a dirty washing basket and I had soaking wet towels after I came out shower to wipe my backside my fear was toilet paper particles hit the towels so since then I have had a massive fear of dirty washing. 

Im not sure how common it is for people to wash there hands after touching dirty washing? The headphones were in a headphone carrier. The camera wasn’t. I could possibly try cleaning them. 

I was sure I had to replace the items but I may have to wait and see. It’s causing me lots of anxiety right now. 

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It doesn't matter if other people would or wouldn't. They don't have OCD, so it wouldn't affect them going forwards either way.

Any reason or rumination you come up with for chucking or replacing stuff isn't going to help. If you replace stuff now, what's that going to teach your brain for when the next time it happens is? And the next? Teach it the right way and teach it by not doing what it's saying.

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Guest Phil10

My brain seems confused at what point the washing becomes “dirty”

*The clothes I wear from my suitcase that surface has contained both clean and dirty washing before.

*Ive touched my partners stuff that’s been in her dirty washing cases before 

*The clothes I’m currently wearing will become dirty tonight but I’m touching my phone now. 

The anxiety seems to kick in at the point my brain says they become “dirty”..

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10 minutes ago, ChrisB said:

It doesn't matter if other people would or wouldn't. They don't have OCD, so it wouldn't affect them going forwards either way.

Any reason or rumination you come up with for chucking or replacing stuff isn't going to help. If you replace stuff now, what's that going to teach your brain for when the next time it happens is? And the next? Teach it the right way and teach it by not doing what it's saying.

Nothing it would just see me replace and replace like I have done in the past :/

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Guest Phil10

My ocd says if I don’t replace this time everything I touch after I touch my phone will become dirty??

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5 minutes ago, Phil10 said:

Nothing it would just see me replace and replace like I have done in the past :/

In which case, you know what to do to break that chain. And, you know you're able to do it as well. So surely it's worth it?

3 minutes ago, Phil10 said:

My ocd says if I don’t replace this time everything I touch after I touch my phone will become dirty??

Noticing that your OCD is saying that is fine. You don't have to respond to it. Finding something that's a better use of your time than listening to it or conversing with it and doing it is okay.

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14 minutes ago, ChrisB said:

In which case, you know what to do to break that chain. And, you know you're able to do it as well. So surely it's worth it?

Noticing that your OCD is saying that is fine. You don't have to respond to it. Finding something that's a better use of your time than listening to it or conversing with it and doing it is okay.

So it’s ok to have these thoughts? Like I may think my phone was perfect but now it’s tainted or dirty the problem is these thoughts at there worst can stick around months or years. Replacing is the only way I can get a relief from the thoughts I know not responding or replacing is the cure for ocd but I’m unable to deal with the anxiety.

I have tried challenging them, writing them down nothing seems to help. I am really battling the avoid replacing the items however I’m finding this very difficult and the alternative may be avoid using the items if I don’t replace so either way the ocd wins here?

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16 minutes ago, Phil10 said:

So it’s ok to have these thoughts?

Thoughts are just thoughts.  Studies have shown that non-OCD people have intrusive thoughts too.  The difference is their brains automatically recognize they are garbage and don't cause anxiety.  You can't control having thoughts, your subconscious mind is pumping out thoughts constantly.  The vast majority you never even notice, the ones you do you only pay attention to some.

But the thing is, you don't need to stop having the thought, the thought is not the problem, its the reaction to the thought that is the problem  The idea that in order for everything to be ok you have to be absolutely certain about something.  That you can't do anything BUT dwell on the thought.  That feeling anxious about the thought means that the thought is important.

I'll use an example from my own OCD journey.  My first OCD anxiety was about throwing up, especially in public.  This stemmed from an incident in school where that actually happened.  Now, its perfectly normal to not want that sort of situation to happen.  And it is perfectly normal to feel a little embarrassed if it does.  But what was not normal, and how I learned I had OCD, was how much anxiety and worry I spent because of that thought.  "What if I throw up..." became my constant companion.  Any minor stomach ache, any time I might find myself "trapped" and not have an easy way out (say on a bus or an airplane) if i started feeling sick (or usually THINKING i was starting to feel sick).  The problem was never the thought "what if I throw up".   I can think that thought now and not worry about it.  I can type it multiple times in this very post and it doesn't cause me anxiety.  I'm still having the thought.  In order to talk about it i HAVE to think about it.  The thought is meaningless.  I'm not going to throw up or not throw up because of the thought alone.  And heck, I MIGHT have the thought and then I MIGHT throw up.  The thing i'm anxious about is in fact, a very real possibility.  So I don't even have to believe its never going to happen.  What I had to do, and what you have to do, is work at how you respond to the thought.  It took time, therapy, and medication to get where I am today.  But I am much much better.  Not because I never have that thought: "What if I throw up...".  No, I got better because I taught myself not to CARE if I had that thought.  That the thought itself is meaningless.

You are not going to get better because you force yourself never to have a thought about your phone being dirty or contaminated.  You are going to get better by training your brain not to CARE if you have that kind of thought.  To recognize that that thought is utterly meaningless and you don't have to waste any time on it.  If you do the work you'll get to the point where you can INTENTIONALLY have the thought and it won't bother you at all.  I realize that may seem impossible now, but tons of people WITH OCD learn how to do it.  There's no special trick, no magic word.  Its just hard work and following the process, one step at a time, one day at a time.

 

28 minutes ago, Phil10 said:

Replacing is the only way I can get a relief from the thoughts I know not responding or replacing is the cure for ocd but I’m unable to deal with the anxiety.

This is OCD lying to you.  Replacing is NOT the only way, its just the shortcut to temporary relief.  But look at your situation, does it really give you relief?  You keep having the same worries about new things.  Your anxiety isn't going anywhere because the real anxiety isn't coming from the things themselves or what state they are in, its coming from the OCD and you believing it.  Yes, OCD is a difficult challenge, and its understandable you feel like you can't deal with it.  But I am willing to bet you can.  Now, do I (or anyone) expect you to go to bed tonight, wake up tomorrow and never have these worries again?  Of course not.  It takes time.  You aren't a race car, you don't have to go from 0-60 in 3 seconds flat.  You can take time to build up to being where you want to be.  Each time you struggle with feeling like something is contaminated you try and resist for as long as possible before you react.  Maybe today its 30 minutes.  Ok great.  Thats a start.  So tomorrow, push yourself to make it to 35 or 45, or even an hour.  The next day, push yourself further.  And so on and so on.  Imagine everyday just trying to be 1% better than the last time.  1%, thats not very much.  1% is really small.  But it adds up.  1% every day for 100 days is 100%!  Small, regular progress adds up, one day at a time, one step at a time.

And maybe you need a little extra help.  Thats what therapy is for, thats what medication is for.  Its 100% ok to ask for help.  Its 100% ok not to get it right every time.  Its 100% ok wish things didn't have to be this hard.  All totally fine. But the only way it can change, the only way you can get better, is if you put in the effort and try.  A journey of 1000 miles begins with one step. And then another, and then another.  So why not start walking?  You don't have to finish the journey right away, you can take some time.  But the sooner you get started, the sooner you start that walk, the sooner you'll reach the end.  Its pretty nice at the end.

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Guest Phil10

Update 

I had the new items in the bag on the online site and I felt so anxious I had to reach over an use the headphones with my phone due to feeling so stressed I needed a visualisation to try and relax me 

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Guest Phil10

So I don’t know what I will do the headphones have touched the phone now so I can’t replace a £1000 phone.

may be little point in replacing but I could still keep the stuff separate ?

I may feel stressed about my camera and phone and rucksack every day maybe I will just replace the rusksack instead?

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