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daja

I’m not normal. Contamination fears.

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I have a few fears I can talk about but this one I encounter daily has been particularly bad for a few years now.

i don’t smoke or drink alcohol but I do like cafe culture and going for the odd meal at a restaurant. But I fear the tables in cafes, restaurants, and even at home are contaminated with powerful cleaning chemicals.

So I won’t put my phone down on the table keeping it in my pocket and will be careful when I pick up or put down a cup of coffee. I don’t even read newspapers these days as I fear the ink but that’s a whole different issue.

So I know the solution is exposure but I don’t think I can do it at the moment.

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Hi daja, so sorry to hear you are struggling at the moment :(

2 hours ago, daja said:

So I know the solution is exposure 

Yes the answer is exposure, however just as importantly, if not more so is the cognitive side too. Doing the exposure and not understanding why you are doing it or tackling your thought process regarding it can often leads to failure. They both need to be worked together hand in hand for it to be successful. 

2 hours ago, daja said:

but I don’t think I can do it at the moment.

We have to be really careful when saying this, because it can lead to negative thinking and we will always put off trying. It’s quite easy to say it’s not the right time right now, but to honest if we think this way there will never be a right time :(

At the moment you avoid putting your phone on the table, possibly because your thoughts scream at you I’m irresponsible, I’m going to die, it’s all my fault etc. Straight away you place belief in this so it’s only natural you avoid doing it. You need to start to make small change s to your behaviour and to your thoughts regarding this. Starting with the least anxiety provoking thing first until it no longer affects you and working through things slowly one by one :)

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3 hours ago, daja said:

I have a few fears I can talk about but this one I encounter daily has been particularly bad for a few years now.

i don’t smoke or drink alcohol but I do like cafe culture and going for the odd meal at a restaurant. But I fear the tables in cafes, restaurants, and even at home are contaminated with powerful cleaning chemicals.

So I won’t put my phone down on the table keeping it in my pocket and will be careful when I pick up or put down a cup of coffee. I don’t even read newspapers these days as I fear the ink but that’s a whole different issue.

So I know the solution is exposure but I don’t think I can do it at the moment.

Hi daja, 

Why powerful cleaning chemicals?  

All my adult life I have spent loads of time in all sorts of cafés, since they were convenient points to make for to check my notes messages etc before and after client meetings. 

I have skin allergies and, for example, have to use bland soapy washing powder. 

But I have never caught anything off the tables in the cafés. And there seems to be a universal spray fluid they use to clean them which does not have the look of the powerful chemicals used for cleaning sinks and drains. 

I have put my allergic skin, hats gloves working papers phone laptop on the tables without blinking, and certainly without cross-contamination fears. 

You aren't abnormal - you are just being told a load of rubbish by OCD because you have that mental illness. 

Keep going to cafés - enjoy. Remember what I said and kick this silliness from OCD into touch ? 

You have to work through this exposure, remembering what I said, riding the anxiety till it starts to tail off, then goes away. 

Classic OCD, standard ERP. 

To borrow lost's catchphrase "you can do this, daja" :cheer:

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Hi daja,

When you deliberately face situations you fear, the fear starts to go down after a while as your brain registers that nothing terrible is happening.

Face your fear:coffee: and DON'T GIVE UP :boxing: You can do it daja!

big hug

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Thanks all three of you. 

I’m getting a bit better about touching till receipts that I didn’t like touching because the ink.

I see my Mum polishing our cooker with polish which she then dries up plates with.

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