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Phil10

False ocd thoughts urge to throw clothes away

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So now I’ve used those headphones I fear my phone is tainted and has dirty washing germs on it now too. 

See keeping these items isn’t helping I feel miserable now and I wish I could replace my phone only that’s three times £400 pounds almost so can’t !

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You don’t need to replace anything. There is nothing wrong with it. You’ve replaced other things and yet you still keep having anxiety right?  Because the anxiety isn’t caused by the things. It’s caused by OCD and by repeating the same compulsions, and buying in to the false idea you need to replace stuff. You don’t. No matter how much stuff you throw away you won’t get better. But if you follow the steps to treat OCD you can. 

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2 minutes ago, dksea said:

You don’t need to replace anything. There is nothing wrong with it. You’ve replaced other things and yet you still keep having anxiety right?  Because the anxiety isn’t caused by the things. It’s caused by OCD and by repeating the same compulsions, and buying in to the false idea you need to replace stuff. You don’t. No matter how much stuff you throw away you won’t get better. But if you follow the steps to treat OCD you can. 

How can I accept the dirty washing germs though? They are not clean but my brain is confused at what point it becomes dirty washing or if the washing gets piled in together? I know people wear stuff twice sometimes however my brain is a muffle over what germs are what 

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4 minutes ago, dksea said:

You don’t need to replace anything. There is nothing wrong with it. You’ve replaced other things and yet you still keep having anxiety right?  Because the anxiety isn’t caused by the things. It’s caused by OCD and by repeating the same compulsions, and buying in to the false idea you need to replace stuff. You don’t. No matter how much stuff you throw away you won’t get better. But if you follow the steps to treat OCD you can. 

The stuff I replaced I never got anxious about again it gave me relief but it moved onto other stuff instead 

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Right I used the headphones but it’s made me want to replace the iPad and iPhone.

why do people tell me to to keep the items when it makes me feel much worse and replacing helps me? 

Believe me I can keep the stuff but it would still be on my mind I would still feel the items are dirty.

 

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Replacing things hasn't helped you. It's why you're here. That's the thing.

25 minutes ago, Phil10 said:

Right I used the headphones but it’s made me want to replace the iPad and iPhone.

why do people tell me to to keep the items when it makes me feel much worse and replacing helps me? 

Believe me I can keep the stuff but it would still be on my mind I would still feel the items are dirty.

 

Think of it like this. Say you got in a lift and as the doors shut, your brain thought "this could get stuck". If you got out of a lift every time you had that thought, you'd be walking up and down a lot of stairs for no good reason. You don't have to LIKE going in lifts. You don't have to feel completely calm in every lift you're in before you can set off. You go from the bottom to the top, the same as everyone else, whether you're anxious or not. And eventually, you'll realise that the worrying isn't worth it.

You really need to work on this with someone, cognitively. Your brain is blowing all of these things out of all proportion and now, it's about teaching your brain how and how not to deal with it. Replacing is teaching it things that will only keep you stuck.

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3 hours ago, ChrisB said:

Replacing things hasn't helped you. It's why you're here. That's the thing.

Think of it like this. Say you got in a lift and as the doors shut, your brain thought "this could get stuck". If you got out of a lift every time you had that thought, you'd be walking up and down a lot of stairs for no good reason. You don't have to LIKE going in lifts. You don't have to feel completely calm in every lift you're in before you can set off. You go from the bottom to the top, the same as everyone else, whether you're anxious or not. And eventually, you'll realise that the worrying isn't worth it.

You really need to work on this with someone, cognitively. Your brain is blowing all of these things out of all proportion and now, it's about teaching your brain how and how not to deal with it. Replacing is teaching it things that will only keep you stuck.

I don’t seem able to I’m ready to order 2 grand of stuff on a credit card it’s that bad I feel I can’t keep these items? 

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Hi Phil,

Do you understand that you are where you are now because of all the compulsions you have done in the past? They may make you feel better in the short term, but long term they just set you up for more and more OCD.

Haven't you had enough? Wouldn't you like to be free of this? 

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2 hours ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

Hi Phil,

Do you understand that you are where you are now because of all the compulsions you have done in the past? They may make you feel better in the short term, but long term they just set you up for more and more OCD.

Haven't you had enough? Wouldn't you like to be free of this? 

My therapist says count the thoughts and let them pass by ignore them I mean easier said than done? They do the opposite cause me worry and distress. 

For me to get better I have to cope with toilet germs and dirty washing germs. The reason I won’t replace whole house is I was on holiday this happened so I want to replace my iPad camera and phone at a cost of over £2 thousand pounds 

Like I say the letter box troubled me for months and I never had confirmation the envelope came from the bin. The thought may be neaturlized but I still won’t allow things like a phone case though the door. The good news is I am using the bank card however everything feels tainted. I remember these “contamination” issues the problem is the list is building up and like my last house I made a post that “everything is contaminated” 

But yes I never replaced the front door I only went as far as getting a quote for a new door. I find it more difficult to replace expensive items where as cheaper items I replace in days. The issue is as the list of contamination grows I either replace it or avoid. For example I won’t touch the kitchen door handle without washing my hands.

People may say not replacing something is fine and doing well but let me talk about the tainted feeling. It feels like somebody has spoiled or smashed up my item. Something I would feel proud and happy about I would now feel sad about and think about replacing it. I get a tingling sensation and anxious feelings when touching the tainted item. I feel anger, annoyed that the item got contaminated in some way. The item doesn’t feel perfect I get negative thoughts that it’s cheap and nasty and someone else’s phone or camera is better as it’s new and clean. I think about the people who this never happens to maybe there dirty washing is store better. Over all the items just feel wasted and ruined nothing anybody has ever said has helped that tainted feeling. I moved house to escape the windows issue it helped because I never had to see those windows again. I really fear only spending 2 grand will give me some relief and happiness again? I can see it’s irrational however let me explain it’s not the germs or fear of getting harmed by germs that trouble me it’s the i can’t live with it being tainted how can I deal with this? Something being tainted isn’t easy to look up online it’s a selective issue and not sure how to tackle it 

 

Edited by Phil10

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Touching the headphones which were in the bag she touched without washing her hands after the suitcase is enough to make me fear iPad and phone is dirty? 

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2 hours ago, Phil10 said:

Over all the items just feel wasted and ruined nothing anybody has ever said has helped that tainted feeling.

If you were addicted to smoking and you had a cigarette every time you felt nervous, somebody saying "you don't need that cigarette" wouldn't cure you of your addiction. Stopping smoking would.

Buying one more new phone is going to be like buying one more pack of cigarettes.

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I know it's a cliché, but short term pain, long term gain.

You have this feeling. The thoughts cause you distress. All noted and understood. Getting better involves feeling all of that and changing your behaviour.

Next time you speak with your therapist, bring up the part about letting the thoughts pass by and ignoring them and ask them, "how?". They can advise you on things to do to help. But at the end of it, getting better is going to involve feeling what you're feeling and doing healthy actions to ensure a healthy future, not finding a quick fix to stop the feelings for a day. Or less. You don't have to be lead by any of these feelings or thoughts.

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Phil,  
The anxiety and distress you feel are genuine, we all understand that.  But the source of that anxiety, the idea that your items are "contaminated" thats not real.  You've bought in to a false idea that the OCD has caused.  Again, thats understandable, pretty much everyone on this forum has been down that road, its part of why we came here, to find other people who can relate to what we are going through.  But theres another part too, and thats to get help, and we are genuinely trying to help you.

You can continue as you are now, throwing away perfectly good, perfectly usable, completely fine items and spending money on new ones that are no different.  It'll give you temporary relief, but as you know, it won't stop the anxiety, you'll just think something different has been contaminated, and the cycle will go on endlessly.

Or you can take on the challenge of OCD, and someday in the future, get to the point where you don't throw things away anymore.  It won't be easy, it will take time, and probably help from others such as a therapist.  But it also requires you choosing to take on the challenge, you choosing to want to get better. 

Ultimately the choice is up to you, its your life and none of us can live it for you.  I can't tell you how long it will take, but I can tell you that it is worth it.  That it can get better.  That these fears and anxieties you think will never go away can and do.  I hope you'll decide to make that choice, because you seem genuinely unhappy now and I'd hate to see things continue that way for you.  You deserve better in life, we all do.

 

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6 hours ago, ChrisB said:

If you were addicted to smoking and you had a cigarette every time you felt nervous, somebody saying "you don't need that cigarette" wouldn't cure you of your addiction. Stopping smoking would.

Buying one more new phone is going to be like buying one more pack of cigarettes.

The only way I have been able to challenge the thought is: 

 

*I touch my partners stuff that she put in her dirty washing case then touch my phone - no anxiety 

*I wear clothes in a suitcase that surface has contained dirty washing and clean. At home clean washing only goes on clean surfaces where as a holiday the clothes sit on a case which also has dirty washing at one point so when I put my phone in my pocket is that not the same type of germ I would be touching as hit the rucksack?

That said these thoughts continue the iPad and iPhone never got touched but I touched headphones in a bag where someone never washed there hands after putting there dirty laundry in a case?

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4 hours ago, dksea said:

Phil,  
The anxiety and distress you feel are genuine, we all understand that.  But the source of that anxiety, the idea that your items are "contaminated" thats not real.  You've bought in to a false idea that the OCD has caused.  Again, thats understandable, pretty much everyone on this forum has been down that road, its part of why we came here, to find other people who can relate to what we are going through.  But theres another part too, and thats to get help, and we are genuinely trying to help you.

You can continue as you are now, throwing away perfectly good, perfectly usable, completely fine items and spending money on new ones that are no different.  It'll give you temporary relief, but as you know, it won't stop the anxiety, you'll just think something different has been contaminated, and the cycle will go on endlessly.

Or you can take on the challenge of OCD, and someday in the future, get to the point where you don't throw things away anymore.  It won't be easy, it will take time, and probably help from others such as a therapist.  But it also requires you choosing to take on the challenge, you choosing to want to get better. 

Ultimately the choice is up to you, its your life and none of us can live it for you.  I can't tell you how long it will take, but I can tell you that it is worth it.  That it can get better.  That these fears and anxieties you think will never go away can and do.  I hope you'll decide to make that choice, because you seem genuinely unhappy now and I'd hate to see things continue that way for you.  You deserve better in life, we all do.

 

That’s true I want to get to the point where cleaning is enough can you see that’s progress for me I could bleach, clean use anti bacterial wipes and all sorts and feel stuff is clean and yes that’s ocd over cleaning but atleast it’s quick,  cheap and doesn’t cost thousands of pounds? 

How can you reassure me the dirty washing is clean? Do others wash there hands after doing the laundry? 

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I'm afraid this is all just ruminating and reassurance seeking at this point.

You need to read back through this thread and take the advice on board to get better.

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20 hours ago, Phil10 said:

Do others wash there hands after doing the laundry

Sure, nothing wrong with giving your hands a normal wash after handling dirty laundry. But if I forget, or if I bump something with a dirty sock for example I don’t pay it any mind. 

 

20 hours ago, Phil10 said:

That’s true I want to get to the point where cleaning is enough can you see that’s progress for me I could bleach, clean use anti bacterial wipes and all sorts and feel stuff is clean and yes that’s ocd over cleaning but atleast it’s quick,  cheap and doesn’t cost thousands of pounds? 

It’s definitely reasonable and fair to set short term goals to aim for, and washing dirty stuff rather than throwing it out and buying new is an improvement. 

But excessive cleaning can be an issue too, so be careful of just replacing one compulsion with another. The end goal should be to overcome the need to respond to fears of “contamination”.  That said it can take time and you are right that making progress is important. 

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An issue I have is the contradictory ocd where say I can wear clothes twice and put my phone on my pocket and not worry however the issue above where my partner touched her dirty washing and it caused me worry seems to be a point where stuff becomes dirty that’s the issue. I guess it just becomes dirty washing not really dirty just a choice not to wear again? Can it be worn again? Well I guess so a few weeks back I took my clothes off I do this to go to the toilet sometimes at home I worried what if when I put them back on they become dirty clothes? And I was all for changing and what stopped me was I knew in the past I was happy to change clothes for a bit or take them off at home and put them on later.

My ocd is very contradictory I can pin point areas where I won’t touch something but a similar situation pops up I have no anxiety my ocd pin points certain issues to worry over? Why is this? Is it not one rule for all? For some reason my head doesn’t operate like that but perhaps that can be seen as a positive if say I wear clothes twice and don’t replace yet I want to replace another time I would be contradicting myself as whatever germ was there 2nd time was there the other time? Sometimes I worry I have not washed my hands enough when I touch my phone or my partner may touch it and she may have only washed them for 2 secs and I don’t worry or if I do the worry leaves my mind quickly.

So yes I’m just trying to get to grips with these worries they are selective worries any ideas why this is? 

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On 06/10/2018 at 11:58, Phil10 said:

The only way I have been able to challenge the thought is: 

 

*I touch my partners stuff that she put in her dirty washing case then touch my phone - no anxiety 

*I wear clothes in a suitcase that surface has contained dirty washing and clean. At home clean washing only goes on clean surfaces where as a holiday the clothes sit on a case which also has dirty washing at one point so when I put my phone in my pocket is that not the same type of germ I would be touching as hit the rucksack?

That said these thoughts continue the iPad and iPhone never got touched but I touched headphones in a bag where someone never washed there hands after putting there dirty laundry in a case?

You are making this far too complicated. You have established nonsensical rules that are meaningless. Clean clothes can go on any surface. Dirty clothes can go any surface. 

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1 hour ago, PolarBear said:

You are making this far too complicated. You have established nonsensical rules that are meaningless. Clean clothes can go on any surface. Dirty clothes can go any surface. 

Problem is when something happens an item becomes “tainted” and I avoid using it or replace it ..

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14 hours ago, PolarBear said:

No. Your mind tells you it's tainted. Big difference. Your mind is lying. It has been all along.

True the ocd tells the brain this but how can I stop believing it is tainted? How can I be more comfortable with dirty washing germs or toilet germs ect?

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How does anyone else get used to it? When we see dirty laundry, we don't see germs. You do because your mind lies to you. Stop listening to the lies.

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4 hours ago, PolarBear said:

How does anyone else get used to it? When we see dirty laundry, we don't see germs. You do because your mind lies to you. Stop listening to the lies.

Yes true but I just don’t like the idea of the dirty washing germs and I end up replacing. I’ve not replaced yet and I don’t fear the germs but I just don’t like the idea of this happening stuff doesn’t feel new anymore the door, the phone, camera all the tainted stuff only replacing gives me that relief I admit I could keep replacing each time this happens but it may be expensive 

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