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Napalm

Split Topic: Public Transport is Dirty

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AF Moderator Note:  Posts split from thread - Am struggling on public transport

 

The thing is public transport is filthy, so I suppose that makes it difficult for someone with OCD to be entirely comfortable.

When I see people touching the handle bars on public transport and then using their fingers to eat food (which is a common sight in inner-city London), I can't help but feel a sense of disgust. 

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43 minutes ago, Napalm said:

The thing is public transport is filthy, so I suppose that makes it difficult for someone with OCD to be entirely comfortable.

When I see people touching the handle bars on public transport and then using their fingers to eat food (which is a common sight in inner-city London), I can't help but feel a sense of disgust. 

Personally I don't longer think that you need to do such things to overcome OCD. It doesn't have to be your routine.

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On 18/07/2019 at 23:15, Napalm said:

The thing is public transport is filthy, so I suppose that makes it difficult for someone with OCD to be entirely comfortable.

I am not sure this is overly helpful for Sophhh, and actually a somewhat stereotypical view of OCD. 

 

On 19/07/2019 at 00:00, OCDhavenobrain said:

Personally I don't longer think that you need to do such things to overcome OCD. It doesn't have to be your routine.

What do you mean by this.  What doesn't have to be a routine and be done to overcome OCD?

 

On 18/07/2019 at 23:15, Napalm said:

When I see people touching the handle bars on public transport and then using their fingers to eat food (which is a common sight in inner-city London), I can't help but feel a sense of disgust. 

You wouldn't have liked seeing me put my hands in toilet water then eat crisps then! :D  Honestly, touching the tube or bus handles and eating is absolutely fine.... people have been doing it for a hundred years. 

 

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43 minutes ago, Ashley said:

I am not sure this is overly helpful for Sophhh, and actually a somewhat stereotypical view of OCD. 

 

What do you mean by this.  What doesn't have to be a routine and be done to overcome OCD?

 

You wouldn't have liked seeing me put my hands in toilet water then eat crisps then! :D  Honestly, touching the tube or bus handles and eating is absolutely fine.... people have been doing it for a hundred years. 

 

Not washing your hands before eating something. I will probably always be cautious because viruses is simple nothing I want overexpose myself to. 

I don't think you need to do as a majority of people do. Going your own way is possible

Edited by OCDhavenobrain

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14 minutes ago, OCDhavenobrain said:

Not washing your hands before eating something. I will probably always be cautious because viruses is simple nothing I want overexpose myself to. 

I don't think you need to do as a majority of people do. Going your own way is possible

My goodness.

Please think about what you are saying. This is not helpful on an OCD forum.

I don't believe I have ever washed my hands before eating.... and the majority of people I know (without OCD) wouldn't just pop off to wash their hands before sitting down to share a bag of chips or something.   If our OCD is focussed on a fear of viruses, all the more reason that in time at the right stage of therapy we should deliberately rub our hands over potentially dirty environments and eat.  

 

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7 minutes ago, Ashley said:

My goodness.

Please think about what you are saying. This is not helpful on an OCD forum.

I don't believe I have ever washed my hands before eating.... and the majority of people I know (without OCD) wouldn't just pop off to wash their hands before sitting down to share a bag of chips or something.   If our OCD is focussed on a fear of viruses, all the more reason that in time at the right stage of therapy we should deliberately rub our hands over potentially dirty environments and eat.  

 

And? Relying on what a majority is doing is just going another extreme. Sorry but I think you have just gone another extreme. Doing what the majority is doing is your new perfect which you seems to follow. 

However I will not argue anylonger. I just take a long break from here because I don't think it is beneficial to any sufferer. 

Bye. 

People are just getting stuck in models and then they get offended. Rigid thinking

Edited by OCDhavenobrain

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20 minutes ago, OCDhavenobrain said:

Relying on what a majority is doing is just going another extreme. Sorry but I think you have just gone another extreme. Doing what the majority is doing is your new perfect which you seems to follow.

For OCD recovery we do HAVE to go from one extreme (OCD) to the exact opposite (Anti-OCD). 

Hence why overcoming my fear of toilet meant putting my hand into toilet water wiggling it about and then eating crisps from a packet straight after with those wet toilet hands.   That's not what the majority of people in the world would do, but it's about going to extremes to overcome that aspect of OCD.

 

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Just now, OCDhavenobrain said:

Ok fine for you. Most important after all is that we find some theory we can get emotional involved in.

Do you think I just put my hand in toilet water?  No, I spent weeks and weeks understanding my thoughts and beliefs to get me to that point.  I also managed to work out what my real fear was (not the germs), and all that helped do the behavioural aspect.

P.S. Cut the sarcasm.

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Washing your hands every time you eat because of a fear of viruses is a compulsion. Considering your zero tolerance approach to others' compulsions I'm surprised you'd be happy with this as an approach. 

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6 hours ago, Ashley said:

I am not sure this is overly helpful for Sophhh, and actually a somewhat stereotypical view of OCD.

But it's true. Public transport isn't very clean. So the logic of not feeling comfortable on public transport because of a fear of catching something unpleasant makes sense.

Of course, you're unlikely to die from standing next to someone repeatedly sneezing on the bus so I would agree that is an extreme form of thinking.

But we are encouraged to wash our hands regularly especially before preparing food or eating a meal to reduce the probability of getting ill and it is sound advice. Ever since I started washing my hands regularly before preparing or handling food, I've noticed I rarely become ill. There is a logic to it -- if there wasn't the NHS wouldn't be advising people to wash their hands often to reduce the chances of becoming ill.

You are discouraging regular handwashing and by doing so you are encouraging the spread of illnesses. That to me is not only unhelpful, it's also irresponsible.

Edited by Napalm

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4 minutes ago, Napalm said:

But it's true. Public transport isn't very clean. So the logic of not feeling comfortable on public transport because of a fear of catching something unpleasant makes sense.

Of course, you're unlikely to die from standing next to someone repeatedly sneezing on the bus so I would agree that is an extreme form of thinking.

But we are encouraged to wash our hands regularly especially before preparing food or eating a meal to reduce the probability of getting ill and it is sound advice. Ever since I started washing my hands regularly before preparing or handling food, I've noticed I rarely become ill. There is a logic to it -- if there wasn't the NHS wouldn't be advising people to wash their hands often to reduce the chances of becoming ill.

You are discouraging regular handwashing and by doing so you are encouraging the spread of illnesses. That to me is not only unhelpful, it's also irresponsible.

 

So what if it is not very clean, how is it helpful to state that?  Simply stating that public transport is dirty to someone with that fear is close to collusion with the OCD which is not the point of this forum. 

We are meant to help and encourage each other to not collude with OCD beliefs, but to start thinking beyond those beliefs.

 

4 minutes ago, Napalm said:

You are discouraging regular handwashing and by doing so you are encouraging the spread of illnesses. That to me is not only unhelpful, it's also irresponsible.

With context chap, with context.

If a person's OCD is a fear of germs or contamination, let's say from touching money... then absolutely I would encourage them (initially within the confines of therapy) to touch and eventually hold money... then to do so daily outside the confines of therapy.

 

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I have to agree with Ashley here, avoidance is never the answer. Contamination OCD can eventually stop us doing numerous things because of the fear of something so we eventually avoid these places and things to eliminate possiblity. The problem here is it leads from one thing to another, touching money, doors, papers, shopping etc the list is endless I know because I've been there. It's not just about putting someone in a room full of contaminants but to help change their behaviour and their way of thinking so they don't avoid doing these things. It doesn't matter where we are or where we go there will always be contamination issues its how we deal with them that can become the problem. We have to learn when washing hands is necessary.

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For an ocd sufferer the threat of ocd is far greater than the threat of germs will ever be. Life is full of risk, the majority of people will touch bus rails then eat and they're fine. We need to find a way to be comfortable with that risk to move forward. 

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I use the underground every single day and don’t wash my hands every time I eat and yet I’m still alive and, in fact, rarely get sick at all. With OCD, our mindset is extreme on one end so we have to go to extremes with the exposure to bring ourselves to the middle.

4 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

For an ocd sufferer the threat of ocd is far greater than the threat of germs will ever be. 

This is so well put GBG.

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2 hours ago, Ashley said:

 

So what if it is not very clean, how is it helpful to state that?  Simply stating that public transport is dirty to someone with that fear is close to collusion with the OCD which is not the point of this forum. 

We are meant to help and encourage each other to not collude with OCD beliefs, but to start thinking beyond those beliefs.

 

With context chap, with context.

If a person's OCD is a fear of germs or contamination, let's say from touching money... then absolutely I would encourage them (initially within the confines of therapy) to touch and eventually hold money... then to do so daily outside the confines of therapy.

 

That public transport is dirty and a source for catching something unpleasant is a fact though. The OCD isn't entirely lying to the sufferer in this context.  That's what makes contamination-based OCD different to other forms of OCD. It has a valid point: dirty "contaminated" hands increase your risk of catching something that will make you unwell. Again as I said earlier there is a logic to it all that makes sense.

I also do not think resorting to extreme actions such as putting your hand in toilet water and then eating a bag of crisps without washing your hands is helpful or necessary.

Many people without OCD would find doing such a thing utterly repulsive. It could even be viewed as a form of psychological abuse.

Edited by Napalm

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I totally disagree that contamination ocd is any different to any other type. All types of ocd have a tiny risk of being true that's why we can't just dismiss them. But ocd makes us vastly amplify the risks out of all proportion and we have to do extreme things to get us back on an even keel. 

Most people are not particularly conscious of hygiene and they get by just fine. If anything I think people are too clean these days. 

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29 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

I totally disagree that contamination ocd is any different to any other type. All types of ocd have a tiny risk of being true that's why we can't just dismiss them. But ocd makes us vastly amplify the risks out of all proportion and we have to do extreme things to get us back on an even keel. 

Most people are not particularly conscious of hygiene and they get by just fine. If anything I think people are too clean these days. 

You don't have the NHS website and various other public health campaigns telling people to make sure they turn off all switches and lights before they leave house to reduce the risk of getting ill. There aren't campaigns explicitly making the connection between other forms of OCD actions and illness. That's why I think contamination-based OCD is different.

Yes, you're right most people are not particularly conscious of hygiene in Britain, but that is not a good thing in my view. I mean would you really want your food prepared by someone who has just wiped their bottom and opted not to wash their hands properly? The chances are you would survive eating a meal they prepared for you with their unwashed hands, but how comfortable would you be knowing that they had not washed their hands? Even a non-OCD sufferer would be disgusted upon knowing that the meal they've just had has been prepared by someone who didn't wash their hands after wiping their bottom.

I think it's too simplistic to just look at the contamination-based OCD on the basis of whether someone will be physically fine. There's also a sense of disgust the sufferer feels, which in many cases is understandable as my above example demonstrates.

Edited by Napalm

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You get police campaigns warning to check cars, window, doors. You get health campaigns telling you to check for lumps. And yes maybe I wouldn't want to eat a meal cooked by such a person you suggest but I would rather that than have my life ruined by ocd. Nor would I want to get burgled but I would rather that than have my life time by ocd. 

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11 minutes ago, Napalm said:

You don't have the NHS website and various other public health campaigns telling people to make sure they turn off all switches and lights before they leave house to reduce the risk of getting ill. There aren't campaigns explicitly making the connection between other forms of OCD actions and illness. That's why I think contamination-based OCD is different.

Yes, you're right most people are not particularly conscious of hygiene in Britain, but that is not a good thing in my view. I mean would you really want your food prepared by someone who has just wiped their bottom and opted not to wash their hands properly? The chances are you would survive eating a meal they prepared for you with their unwashed hands, but how comfortable would you be knowing that they had not washed their hands? Even a non-OCD sufferer would be disgusted upon knowing that the meal they've just had has been prepared by someone who didn't wash their hands after wiping their bottom.

I think it's too simplistic to just look at the contamination-based OCD on the basis of whether someone will be physically fine. There's also a sense of disgust the sufferer feels, which in many cases is understandable as my above example demonstrates.

This is all absolutely fair but, ultimately, with OCD, the fear of contamination and the disgust takes over your life. For example, if you're unable to eat out because you're afraid that the cook hasn't washed their hands or, like Sophhh describes, being afraid to be on public transport because of germs. In this case, isn't it better for your general well being to accept that things aren't perfectly clean but that you are physically okay and move on with your life? Everyone has standards and most people don't like germs and dirt, but if you want to be free from OCD, you have to accept that those standards cannot be met.

I personally suffer from harm related OCD and had to do exposures with knives in therapy, I was really convinced that my therapist was nuts at one point and didn't think I could handle his approach, it seemed too extreme to me. Yet I told my partner and my dad what I had to do and both immediately did the thing I had been asked to do and made a joke about it, to them it wasn't extreme at all. So what may seem extreme to us may not be extreme to people who don't have OCD. I decided to trust my therapist and did as he asked, although I spoke with him a lot about how difficult I was finding it. In the end, I am doing a lot better so I believe that his approach worked for me.

He was also telling me how he asks his patients with contamination fears to touch the toilet and lick their hands. He does this with them, just like he did the things that he asked me to do with the knives. I also thought he was mad when he told me this, but I see his point. Yes, most people would be disgusted by this. I don't suffer from contamination fears but I wouldn't like to do this either. Yet, if you want to get over the contamination fears I think you need to do something to completely throw your standards out of the window.

 

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1 hour ago, Napalm said:

That's what makes contamination-based OCD different to other forms of OCD. It has a valid point: dirty "contaminated" hands increase your risk of catching something that will make you unwell. 

I am sorry, but all forms of OCD have a point which could be argued for validity, such as the person petrified of being a paedophile getting feelings in the groin when near a child. Is that small risk of actuality that drives the OCD. The OCD doesn't focus on the 99% unlikely part, it focuses on the 1% possibility. 

 

1 hour ago, Napalm said:

That public transport is dirty and a source for catching something unpleasant is a fact though.

 

Public transport is not something to be scared about, or considered any more dirty than walking into a McDonalds or any restaurant and grasping the door handle. We don't walk into a restaurant and start washing our hands do we, and we simply do not need to. 

If I go back to your original post, you were quick to project the fact public transport is dirty in your opinion, but I am struggling to understand the point you were trying to make to help Sophh if I am honest. But maybe I am missing a key point in your messages, so apologies if that is the case.

 

1 hour ago, Napalm said:

I also do not think resorting to extreme actions such as putting your hand in toilet water and then eating a bag of crisps without washing your hands is helpful or necessary.

Many people without OCD would find doing such a thing utterly repulsive. It could even be viewed as a form of psychological abuse.

Living with OCD is far more extreme, a point I believe gingerbreadgirl made earlier. 

Of course most people would find eating after putting their hands into toilet water repulsive, but do you really think I did that for fun?  Do you not think there was a point to the exercise?   As for psychological abuse, utter nonesese.  I once had a therapist who said more or less the same as you have. I sacked her, I never went back to see her beyond that appontment. By finding someone to help me achieve that exercixse I can now do something that had created nearly two decades of anxiety.

 

33 minutes ago, Napalm said:

Yes, you're right most people are not particularly conscious of hygiene in Britain, but that is not a good thing in my view. I mean would you really want your food prepared by someone who has just wiped their bottom and opted not to wash their hands properly? The chances are you would survive eating a meal they prepared for you with their unwashed hands, but how comfortable would you be knowing that they had not washed their hands? Even a non-OCD sufferer would be disgusted upon knowing that the meal they've just had has been prepared by someone who didn't wash their hands after wiping their bottom.

You keep talking about non-OCD sufferers, when it comes to OCD recovery we have to go to extremes...  hand in toilet, lick sole of shoe, hold a knife to throat of loved one, go out with gas on, go out with door Unlocked…  People without OCD would not feel comfortable doing any of those, but sometimes to overcome years of OCD we have to take that step to the extreme. 

Obviously such exercises are pointless to the person who holds such strict views about what is acceptable and not, but if a patient puts their faith in the approach and is open to giving what the therapist proposes then a little extreme work now could lead to decades of OCD free life. 

 

NOTE:

I am aware we have dragged this thread away from Sophhh's original so I will strip it out later after I finish my dinner. 

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10 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

You get police campaigns warning to check cars, window, doors. You get health campaigns telling you to check for lumps. And yes maybe I wouldn't want to eat a meal cooked by such a person you suggest but I would rather that than have my life ruined by ocd. Nor would I want to get burgled but I would rather that than have my life time by ocd. 

But police campaigns don't explicitly say: "Lock your doors and windows, or you'll be raped or murdered". There isn't that explict connection between risk of personal harm and lack of action as there is with handwashing campaigns. Even with lumps, yes there is the stuff about cancer, but the message isn't as clear cut as:

"Washing your hands properly removes dirt, viruses and bacteria to stop them spreading to other people and objects, which can spread illnesses such as food poisoning, flu or diarrhoea.

"Hands are easily contaminated with faecal bacteria [poo] when going to the toilet and this can be easily spread on to other things you touch, including food," says Professor Jeremy Hawker, a consultant epidemiologist at Public Health England." 

The above is from the NHS website. It is unambigious and it comes from an authoritive source. It makes it clear that washing your hands removes something: the contaminant. Advice, for example, about checking for lumps is not as explicit. You don't get lump-checking advice that directly says: "Check for lumps to remove cancer".

There's also that sense of disgust I was talking about. A person without OCD is unlikely to feel a sense of disgust if they come across an unlocked car door or house window, but they would likely feel disgusted if someone with poo on their hands made a sandwich for them. So the feelings of revulsion and discomfort often conjured up by contamination-based OCD aren't entirely unjustified in that regard. That's why I think contamination-based OCD is different to other OCDs.

Just my thoughts anyway. It's fine if you and others disagree.

 

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I will agree to disagree napalm. 

One thing I will note is that we ocd sufferers are always convinced our theme is more serious than other themes. 

Edited by gingerbreadgirl

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4 minutes ago, gingerbreadgirl said:

I will agree to disagree napalm. 

One thing I will note is that we ocd sufferers are always convinced our theme is more serious than other themes. 

No worries, I respect your point of view.

Anyway, it seems the Admin is going to strip out the problematic parts of this thread so I see no point in continuing to contribute.

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