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Phil10

False ocd thoughts urge to throw clothes away

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2 hours ago, Phil10 said:

only replacing gives me that relief I admit I could keep replacing each time this happens but it may be expensive 

Replacing gives you temporary relief, but you keep having to replace things over and over and yes it will continue to be expensive.  You need to recognize that this type of behavior is not normal or healthy.

What PB and I are trying to tell you is there IS another way. You can get over the need to feel like things need to be replaced.

Right now you are stuck in the following:

1. You think an item is "contaminated"
2. You become uncomfortable
3. You replace said item
4. You stop being uncomfortable

Except you only stop being uncomfortable about the item you've replaced.  But there is nothing to stop the new item from seeming contaminated too or another item and the cycle continuing forever.

With the right help, and some hard work, you can break that cycle.  You can get to a point where you don't give in to the urge to throw things out.  Throwing these perfectly fine things away is not the only way to get relief, there are other choices.

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8 hours ago, dksea said:

Replacing gives you temporary relief, but you keep having to replace things over and over and yes it will continue to be expensive.  You need to recognize that this type of behavior is not normal or healthy.

What PB and I are trying to tell you is there IS another way. You can get over the need to feel like things need to be replaced.

Right now you are stuck in the following:

1. You think an item is "contaminated"
2. You become uncomfortable
3. You replace said item
4. You stop being uncomfortable

Except you only stop being uncomfortable about the item you've replaced.  But there is nothing to stop the new item from seeming contaminated too or another item and the cycle continuing forever.

With the right help, and some hard work, you can break that cycle.  You can get to a point where you don't give in to the urge to throw things out.  Throwing these perfectly fine things away is not the only way to get relief, there are other choices.

How do I Iive with the uncomfortable thoughts? Yes sometimes they go away but what about if it’s ones that last month and years? I’ve not tried cleaning items yet the reason is it probably won’t help but I want to try cleaning because it would be easier than replacing. 

Perhaps I would find other peoples houses contaminated too my theripst said she knows someone who’s toilet pipes burst and flooded but never moved house. 

But yes I have these nagging thoughts about stuff but as you know my ocd has become worse in past six months so the urge to replace stuff has become greater and the items have become more expensive like doors and phones. 

Last night I had an urge to change my trousers and change my shower towel as I believed it was dirty for weeks I had changed the towel but I never changed the towel and all day I felt anxious and had the nagging thoughts so I fear this isn’t winning when this happens? This also happens with the stuff I want to replace 

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Update 

The rucksack I replaced it with a new one due to the ocd but I never replaced the expensive stuff.

The jeans I had thoughts I pooped I decided to wear those jeans 

So nothing replaced that was expensive yet. Not ideal replacing one thing but so far not replaced expensive stuff 

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34 minutes ago, Phil10 said:

I never replaced the expensive stuff.

The jeans I had thoughts I pooped I decided to wear those jeans 

So nothing replaced that was expensive yet. Not ideal replacing one thing but so far not replaced expensive stuff 

This is definitely a step in the right direction Phil :) You have to keep challenging the messages OCD is sending you. 

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38 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

This is definitely a step in the right direction Phil :) You have to keep challenging the messages OCD is sending you. 

Thanks yes I feel that some days it may beat me but some days I don’t take a new towel or change my jeans due to the thoughts so yes it can win but I will prove it won’t always win. I also have a fear of flying issue and I’m hooing to book a short flight over to Dublin this May encourage me to book a longer trip and reach my long term goal of New York. 

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15 hours ago, Phil10 said:

How do I Iive with the uncomfortable thoughts? Yes sometimes they go away but what about if it’s ones that last month and years?

The anxiety isn't going to just go away on its own, it'll take work, doing the steps required in CBT (with possibly some help from medication, put o you and your doctor).  Yes its understandable that after dealing with this for many many years you think it might never go away.  All those years the compulsions, particularly throwing things away when they seem 'contaminated' is only reinforcing the anxiety, training your brain to take it seriously, its no wonder they don't stop, you've trained your brain to think they matter, to think they are SUPER important.  To get past this you have to undo that training.  Just like undoing any bad habit it will take time and it will take work.  But we know it can be done.  Do the work and you will get to the point where you probably won't think about contamination most of the time and when you do you won't care.  If you're goal is to never ever ever have a thought that is unwanted again then you'll be disssapointed, thats virtually impossible.  But a thought is just a thought.  You can get to the point where having that kind of thought is as impactful as having the thought that the sky is blue.  Thanks to the help of CBT and medication i've reached the point where I can actively think about many of my OCD anxiety provoking thoughts and images with little to no reaction.  Not because i'm some super guru master, but because I had help and put in the work.  You can do that too.

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I was all set to get the credit card out and replace the phone and iPad today however I realised I would lose almost half the value on my two week old phone so that’s not a great idea also my staff card for work is in my pocket daily and I touched that after touching the phone so by replacing could be never ending with everything I touched. I feel the item is spoiled and tainted and I’m finding this hard to deal with my head says maybe just replace a few items at whatever cost but problem is I may still worry like if I touched anything else after the phone so it would be a never ending cycle ..

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42 minutes ago, PolarBear said:

Exactly. The proper way forward is to replace nothing and get on with your life.

Well yes but my mind says if I just replace a few things the anxiety will drop? I was ok a few days ago but today spent all day worrying again? 

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I want to sell my phone I spent a grand on however if I sell it I stand to lose £400 pounds so I feel it’s not a good idea I replace? I wish I was able to clean my items to feel some relief but I don’t?

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So anyway I replaced the rucksack. That’s what she touched 

I believe my phone has germs or is tainted as I used headphones from the rucksack. Can anybody reassure me it’s safe and no germs? My head says touching the headphones spread the germs now I don’t think she touched them just opened the bag? My ocd wants me to buy everyone new here 

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No reassurance. You just have to think, what does the rest of the world do? Why aren't we running out replacing things constantly?

Your mind is lying to you. Quit playing the silly game it wants you to play.

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I’ve had thoughts like if I don’t replace my phone my wedding day will be ruined and I have these thoughts going round my head and the guilt if u sell the phone I stand to lose hundreds of pounds how can I deal with these feelings? I can say for a fact I know my ocd is so bad I probably would worry at the wedding only replacing gives me the relief?

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You do it by doing it. I know we tell you to stop replacing things, but by far I think your biggest compulsion is ruminating. It is keeping you trapped.

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29 minutes ago, PolarBear said:

You do it by doing it. I know we tell you to stop replacing things, but by far I think your biggest compulsion is ruminating. It is keeping you trapped.

Yes that’s true how can I stop the ruminating this seems a difficult cycle to break? 

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It is difficult. I did a video on YouTube titled How to Stop Ruminating. Check it out. Everything you need to know is there.

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I am still struggling with the fact she touched her dirty washing and then touched my rucksack I believe the camera which was in the bag is contaminated so every time I touch the camera and touch other stuff I believe the germs are spreading. It’s  very difficult as replacing these items would have been easier but to replace a phone iPad and camera is 2 grand. Now I only believe the phone is contaminated by touching the camera which was in the bag she touched. It doesn’t feel perfect I can’t get the contaminated thoughts out my head.

Is there any advice? Believe it or not these thoughts may trouble me for months and years. I believe she only unzipped the bag rather than touched anything but that doesn’t reassure me. The letter box I worried a letter came from the bin that still worries me and I won’t allow say a phone case to come via the door. I won’t have use my good strimmer on a certain area of grass I use a second strimmer as the bins went over the grass. 

Will I ever be able to accept the rubbish issue? Or the toilet germs? Or dirty washing?

Another example is my partner was emptying the bin and some rubbish fell on the kitchen floor so I refuse to hoover that area now. 

Writing the thoughts down doesn’t help. It’s unfortunate that my partner touched the rusksack because the worry means I want to replace stuff at a high cost of thousands the door is £700 to so replace absolutely all the stuff the figure would maybe be around £3-4 grand. 

So far I’ve not been able to replace these items as not many people have that cash available I was going to sell the stuff and take a financial hit but I never. 

People may say it’s great you have not replaced the items but problem is I feel the items are tainted or dirty so I suffer anxiety when touching them this is very difficult ..

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Another issue I have is I won’t go to hotels where I blocked a toilet even if it was years ago that is how wide ranging and controlling my ocd is 

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To make it worse because I wasn’t able to replace my phone, iPad, camera and tv cable and everything I touched I got a new iPod and I touched the phone and cable then iPod so worry that’s contaminated. Basically everything is contaminated due to my partner touching that ruck sack many weeks ago now 

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8 hours ago, Phil10 said:

I am still struggling with the fact she touched her dirty washing and then touched my rucksack I believe the camera which was in the bag is contaminated so every time I touch the camera and touch other stuff I believe the germs are spreading. It’s  very difficult as replacing these items would have been easier but to replace a phone iPad and camera is 2 grand. Now I only believe the phone is contaminated by touching the camera which was in the bag she touched. It doesn’t feel perfect I can’t get the contaminated thoughts out my head.


You have a thought: "I think my rucksack is contaminated"
You have a feeling: Anxiety
The thought and the feeling are real.  You had a thought, that thought is real.  You had an emotion, that emotion, that feeling is real.

But that doesn't mean the rucksack is contaminated.  it doesn't  mean everything in the bag is contaminated.  Its just a thought and thinking something does not make  that thing real.

For example, just now, I had a thought that I am a 5 story tall fire breathing dragon.  That thought literally went through my head, I know because I just typed it.  In order to type that sentence I had to have that thought.  But it probably doesn't surprise you that, I am not, in fact a 5 story tall fire breathing dragon.  You can think just about anything.  You could think you are the King of England.  You could think you are the best soccer/football player in the world.  You could think you can fly.  Just because you think something doesn't mean its true.  If you want to get better you need to accept that very fundamental truth.

Here's another example.  I just imaged right now walking across my office to a random coworkers desk, picking up his laptop and throwing it out the window.  I imagined it in great detail.  Glass shattering, people reacting.  Next I imagined walking to the desk of a pretty girl in the office, turning her chair around and kissing her.  I imagined both situations.  The thoughts were real, I even had some emotional (and in the second case) physical responses to those thoughts.  Yet here I sit at my desk, typing away.  I did not throw the laptop, I did not kiss the girl.  Why?  Because a thought is just a thought.  You can (and do) have thoughts ALL the time that aren't predicting or indicating anything about reality.  I could imagine an infinite amount of scenarios all while sitting at my desk and it doesn't mean a single one will come true. 

Yes, its unfortunate that OCD causes certain unwanted thoughts to stick around in our heads when we'd rather they don't.  And its unfortunate that we feel anxiety because of those thoughts.  But that doesn't mean the thing we fear is real or even if it is "what if I have a heart attack!, what if the plane my parents are on crashes, etc." doesn't mean our response to that thought is reasonable.

In your situation, your response to to the thoughts you are having is not-reasonable.  Yes you have a thought that your bag might be contaminated.  Yes you want to throw the bag away because of that.  But you don't have to throw anything away.  You SHOULDNT throw it away.  The contamination you fear is not real.  You have bought in to a lie and allowed that lie to take over your life.

You have two choices:
You can continue to believe the lie and live your life according to that lie.  That means you will keep throwing things away that are perfectly fine.  You will spend money replacing things that you didn't have to throw away in the first place.  You'll waste your time and money until the day you die.  And you'll likely never stop feeling like things are getting contaminated and you'll likely never stop feeling anxiety.

OR
You can refuse to believe the lie.  You can challenge that lie.  You can stop living your life as if that lie is true.  Yes, it will be hard, especially at first.  You will feel anxiety.  You will have unwanted thoughts about things being contaminated.  And your response to those thoughts needs to be "so what, I don't care".  You need to accept that at least for now you will feel like things in your life are "contaminated", you will likely keep having thoughts about things being "contaminated" for awhile.  You need to decide, you need to CHOSE to live with those thoughts and stop trying to fight them head on with compulsions. If you do that, if you stop feeding the compulsions the anxiety will fade, the thought will lose power.  Again, it won't happen overnight, it will take time, because you have bought in to the lie for a long time, very deeply, so its become a bad habit for you.  Your brain needs to unlearn the responses to your fear.

 

4 hours ago, Phil10 said:

Basically everything is contaminated due to my partner touching that ruck sack many weeks ago now 

Again, no.  You have the THOUGHT that everything is contaminated, but the reality is they are NOT contaminated and you don't have to do ANYTHING about that.  
It is your choice if you want to keep feeding the disease, giving in to the lie, or if you want to break free of that lie and live a better life where you don't spend hours worrying about whether or not two random objects have touched.

Because  no matter how many times you replace things, its not going to get better.
And no matter how many times you post the same worries on here about "contamination" the advice is always going to be the same.  The solution to your problem is always going to be the same.  Because the "contamination" is a lie your OCD has told you and you believe it.  

So what are you going to do?  Which path are you going to choose?  I hope you choose the path of recovery, its the right choice.

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I had a disaster tonight I was going to the pub and my pile of dirty laundry in the bathroom landed on my shoes so I now want to dispose of the shoes? 

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The issue now is I worry everywhere I have stood with the shoes supermarket ect is all contaminated by these germs from dirty washing 

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I binned my house key other day as I left it in my trouser pocket which was on a dirty washing pile this is how bad my ocd is I had to come in back door as I binned my front door key..

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Right now I feel every where is contaminated I avoid some hotels where I blocked toilets now train stations pubs and supermarkets are contaminated with my shoes seems there is no help for my ocd

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