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BelAnna

What would a normal person do?

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Just that really- as I left my CMHT appointment yesterday I noticed vomit on the ground close by and that someone had stood in it, leaving foot prints. I was concerned that I had walked through one of the footprints. 

Unfortunately the CMHT is right next to the GP Practice and chemist so there's a good chance that the vomit was caused by viral gastroenteritis. Each Norovirus vomit contains millions of viral particles and it takes 10 viral particles to contract the infection. I sprayed my boots with dettol and left them outside the front door. My Dad (whom I live with) now needs to go to the chemist to collect a prescription and I'm so anxious that he might walk through it, leading to us contracting the infection. My anxiety level is about an 8 or 9 /10 at the moment and I don't really know how I'll manage once he's back and his shoes are by the front door. 

I'm guessing for someone without Emetophobia and Contamination OCD this would be a complete non-issue and apart from feeling a bit disgusted by the vomit they wouldn't think twice about it? 

 

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Hi BelAnna

So sorry to hear your anxiety levels are so high--it's an awful feeling isn't it? I have contamination ocd as well and so can really relate.

I think you probably have a good idea what a normal person would do as your guess there says it all.

Cleaning your own boots when you didn't even step in the vomit was an unnecessary compulsion. Worrying about where your dad might step and what to do when he comes back is also a compulsion. Try your best to acknowledge these worries as ocd and just move on with your day. Doing compulsions to get some temporary relief will only add to your worries and future compulsions.

I really hope you are able to get your anxiety levels down soon and that you can move on with your day...experiencing anxiety is no fun but the more we indulge our obsessions the worse things will get....I'm telling that to myself as well as I'm facing some contamination issues as well today!

 

 

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You are absolutely right. Using Dettol was way overboard. What were you going to do, lick the bottom of your shoe?

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Thanks Leif! I'm still feeling quite anxious about it. My Dad is now going to the chemist tomorrow instead but I still feel worried! 

Hi Polarbear,

I see your point- but it's more a case of worrying that if I don't clean the shoes and then I walk them onto the carpet and someone lifts something from the carpet (e.g. a letter or a pen that has fallen on the floor) then they might contaminate their hands (and then anything they go on to touch).

I have read that certain viruses (including Norovirus) can spread from object to object up to six times and as it only takes 10 out of millions of viral particles to be ingested to fall ill then it doesn't seem that unlikely (e.g. say my shoes were contaminated with thousands of viral particles, I then walk a proportion of those onto the carpet in my house, then some post falls down on the same bit of carpet, my Dad then goes to pick up the post, which itself has hundreds of viral particles on it and then touches his face and mouth- he might then contract the infection. 

I guess I need to just accept the uncertainty and prioritize getting better from the OCD/Emetophobia over my avoidance of illness but it's hard!

 

 

 

 

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Maybe I am stupid but I would be more afraid of the Dettol.

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2 minutes ago, daja said:

Maybe I am stupid but I would be more afraid of the Dettol.

Not stupid! I am worried about dettol too- I used it outside and away from anywhere that my dog might walk but I've noticed that it causes headaches and breathing problems if you use it in a confined space.

 

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I use 70% rubbing alcohol. Once used I wait for it to evaporate which it probably does in 5 minutes but I err on the side of caution and wait no less than 30 minutes.

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9 hours ago, BelAnna said:

I'm guessing for someone without Emetophobia and Contamination OCD this would be a complete non-issue and apart from feeling a bit disgusted by the vomit they wouldn't think twice about it? 

Yes. And that is your goal. To be able to see the rest of your post as the exaggerations and "unconnected" OCD contamination chain of connections. 

We not-this-theme folk see these things in a sensible light. My immediate reaction to seeing vomit in the street would not have an OCD catastrophic take - I would think someone was drunk and wolfed down a takeaway which didn't stay down. 

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29 minutes ago, taurean said:

I would think someone was drunk and wolfed down a takeaway which didn't stay down. 

Wolfed down LOL

i would think that too Roy and do. Especially if it was near the kebab van.

Edited by daja

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17 hours ago, BelAnna said:

I'm guessing for someone without Emetophobia and Contamination OCD this would be a complete non-issue and apart from feeling a bit disgusted by the vomit they wouldn't think twice about it? 

As someone whose initial OCD anxiety was based on emetophobia, which i struggled with for years, I can tell you that feeling a little disgusting, walking around it, and getting on with your life is exactly how you should deal with it.
 

17 hours ago, BelAnna said:

I sprayed my boots with dettol and left them outside the front door.

Definite overkill.  Unless I actually stepped in it, I wouldn't do anything with my shoes.  If I did, i'd probably rinse them off and then not worry about it.  
 

9 hours ago, BelAnna said:

I have read that certain viruses...

No no no no no, don't research this!  Thats bad!  Thats a compulsion!  Don't do it!
 

9 hours ago, BelAnna said:

then it doesn't seem that unlikely (e.g. say my shoes were contaminated with thousands of viral particles, I then walk a proportion of those onto the carpet in my house, then some post falls down on the same bit of carpet, my Dad then goes to pick up the post, which itself has hundreds of viral particles on it and then touches his face and mouth- he might then contract the infection.

If it were that easy to get sick we'd all be dead by now.  Seriously.  You're scenario is not only highly unlikely, but the actual consequences if/when you DO get sick, while unpleasant are also readily survivable.  People get sick, it happens, and then people get better.  Absent a compromised immune system these every day illnesses are just part of life.  

Here are the times you need to be as scrupulous about cleaning your shoes as you were in this case:
- You are going to be entering a clean room.  No not just a room that has been cleaned, but a room that is required to be SUPER clean for industrial/medical purposes.  in which case you'd probably have to change in to special clothes anyway and you wouldn't be wearing your shoes from outside based the changing room.
- You are going to be performing surgery.  Again, pretty extreme scenario where you wash up before hand and avoid touching your shoes (and most other things) for any reason.

So unless you are a surgeon or a microchip engineer or something, you can allow yourself not to be so scrupulous when it comes to your shoes. The minuscule amount of risk you MIGHT be avoiding isn't worth it.  Heck your high anxiety level from worrying about getting sick is probably doing more to raise your risk of actually getting sick than all the steps you take to avoid contamination anyway, which to be fair isn't hard because, as I said, the amount of risk is minuscule.

 

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