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44healtime

Finding problems, can't stop, becomes an obsession

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I have suffered from anxiety, O.C.D, intrusive thoughts, for a long time now with periods where it gets much better and periods where it gets so bad I feel its never going to go away. 

I'm writing now, sitting at work, having now had this specific worry since Sunday evening. I have a cat, I've had her for 10-11 years, I have had so much pleasure out of having her and have always loved cats. But I worry a lot about general dirtyness and usually my anxiety is about keeping myself clean, washing my hands excessively and showering twice a day - which I know is not too excessive but it is the extreme need to do it which I have always found the problem. Anyway, just recently I have been staying in house, subletting a room in a shared space with 3 others and I have my cat in the house too. Its a mixture or certain people's attitudes towards my cat and other comments about cats being unhygenic that I have began in the last 5 days or so to 'take in' and to question whether my cat is dirty and the anxiety this already creates is bad as it becomes something I think is going to become 'a worry' 'a thing' or something I need to get rid of. SO - since Sunday night i have been thinking that perhaps my cat is dirty, that other people in the house shut their doors at night so therefore 'I am unusual or something', 'I am wrong' I should not have the cat in my room, 'I need to get rid of her' etc etc 

Its made me anxious, having her on my bed, having her there. But I have not had this before, not like this. I usually take pleasure in her being there, when she curls up next to me. But now, I seem to be creating this whole issue around it, because of what other people have said. I am desperately tired. I am sure some people would say don't let her in my room, this is mad though, if anyone knows OCD it is not the answer; to act on the feeling?? 

 

I literally feel like I can not go on like this, having not slept properly with this awful tension in my body, in my whole being, its hell. I am reaching out, hoping that connecting with others will help. Thank you

Edited by 44healtime
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Sorry to hear about this--that sounds so hard--to be questioning the cleanliness of your beloved pet. I really hope you are able to let this go and continue enjoying your cat. 

Try to keep in mind all the years your cat's been hanging out with you in your room/on your bed and nothing bad has happened. In fact i bet a lot of good has happened as pets are wonderful for our mental health!

Just keep cuddling your cat, allow the anxious thoughts to be (don't do any compulsions/avoidance around the thoughts--no extra cleaning/washing, no keeping your cat out of your room, no asking people about cats and their cleanliness), and eventually the thoughts/anxious feeling will go away. 

Now go cuddle your cat :) 

( i suffer contamination OCD too and have been through similar scenarios--it's really tough when it starts attacking those things we love best--don't let it win this round!)

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Hi 44. You list some of your compulsions and your obsession theme is clear. I wonder what you have done to treat your disorder. Have you looked into CBT?

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