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BigDave

OCD is going to ruin Christmas for me.

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I am currently at my wits end with this OCD ****. I feel like I could write a book at the number of different issues that I’m having at the moment with OCD. I literally feel like bursting into tears but I can’t actually cry. I guess that’s the depression side of things. 
To be honest, I don’t know where to begin. I just spent three hours wiping things down before accidentally touching my lap and ruining everything that I did. I can’t bring myself to start wiping everything again tonight so I’m just going to leave it but it makes me miserable. 
What’s worst is that in terribly paranoid about stuff. My tablet started misbehaving typing jumbled letters and I was convinced it was a virus and that I was going to get hacked and no one was going to support me because they’d say it was your fault for getting the virus. I’m crippled to the point now I don’t ever want to use online stuff because there might be a password involved or something and I’m afraid I’m going to f up so I’m constantly checking and looking for reassurance. My contamination issues are out of control. I’m constantly finding things that disgust me and I cannot properly gauge distances anymore. So I’m thinking. Did that wipe touch my TV? Or did my arm touch that dirty laundry or wee on the floor. My bin is full to the brim with wipes. I don’t want to keep bothering my therapist looking for reassurance either. It’s not his life to manage me. I know I need to resist the compulsions but I can’t judge what is fine and what is not. Standing in urine for example would mean I should wash my feet. But I can’t tell when I have or haven’t. I can’t make that judgement anymore. And I’d have to go downstairs on the dirty floors to get new slippers so then I’d have to wash my feet again. It’s just a whole mess. My privates and my bottom are just no go areas. I don’t know how I could ever make love to a woman because I can’t even go for a wee without freaking out. If my hand touches my groin, I have to wash my hands immediately, whether or not I have a clothing barrier. And everything I handle is it goes remotely near I feel like it touches. I feel a sensation of some kind. I’m like, did I? Again I can’t tell. I’m miserable. Absolutely miserable. 

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Look, Dave. It's all OCD. Everything you just mentioned was completely unnecessary. Everything. 

This has nothing to do with not being able to judge so just being safe. All of it is OCD. 

You have to come to terms with that. You have been overtaken by your disorder. You are being ruled by compulsions.

I know not doing compulsions makes you miserable but, come on, are you happy doing them? Short term pain for long term gain.

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On 21/12/2020 at 23:40, PolarBear said:

I know not doing compulsions makes you miserable but, come on, are you happy doing them? Short term pain for long term gain.

This! *applause*

I have the same OCD ********, @BigDave. Some days are better than others. The best days are when I don't listen to my stupid OCD. I actually almost made a post this morning about basically the same stuff -- I wont go into it but it was worrying about touching stuff and being safe/the safety of others. My dad said something to me once that resonated: "No one needs to tell you not to stick your hand in the fire." Basically he was saying, you know what is safe and what isn't and the rest, the whole "OCD grey area" is just background bullsh!t. 

Best wishes! :) 

Edited by Ashley
Bypassing swear filter

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The last few days have been very hard and I’ll be honest, not that successful. It hasn’t helped that I’ve had a bad stomach and so everything seems all that bit more contaminated. Plus it’s a weird Christmas. No one is really in the Christmas spirit, a pandemic will do that to you. It’s a shame but I’m just generally a walking compulsion machine right now and I’m bloody miserable. 

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I feel for you Dave, I've been there and agree with everything PolarBear said. 

When you're so overwhelmed it's not possible to see the wood for the trees, but what you can do is keep talking and take care of yourself.  That means, don't be hard on yourself, you are trying your best mate and sometimes that might just "be".

When it comes to crying, or not being able to cry, is there anything that could trigger you?  I get what you're saying about not being able to cry, as again I've been there, but I'm asking this because I think it's an important part of releasing the tension for all of us and it could help you a little in the short term even if it's for a few hours.  For me watching 'It's a Wonderful Life' makes the flood gates open every time without fail. 

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Well Christmas been a real bind this year. I have really struggled over the past 48 hours. There are particular rooms in the house where I just struggle to walk through without feeling the need to change my clothing. And the fact is that if I go anywhere near my lap, all hell breaks loose in my mind and I have to wipe everything that has come in contact with it. I know it's OCD but I am really having a hard time letting go of the compulsions. I can't help but feel severely grossed out by the idea of urine, faeces or semen on any of my beloved items no matter how hard I try. I don't know how to just say to myself, no, it doesn't matter. As for walking past dirty laundry or the waste bins, particularly the one that food is in, same goes. I would love to just relinquish my compulsions, I really would but I have no idea how I can do that. 

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1 hour ago, PolarBear said:

Dave, have you looked at therapy... recently?

Yeah I am doing therapy. But it’s very hard doing it with the COVID pandemic so it’s all online. Plus, I am going through a really bad point at the moment so I’m not sure what I should do. My next session is in a couple of weeks. 

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Hi Dave,

I wonder if you're exploring the cognitive side enough in your therapy sessions. Standard OCD therapy typically takes the stance of saying 'You have to stop being bothered by thoughts of dirt/urine (whatever the person's pet hate is) contaminating your possessions, accept that it's OCD and your response is an over-reaction.'

If that works for you then great, but I'll be honest and say that approach has only ever made my feelings around the contamination more entrenched. Who wouldn't be upset by the thought of something precious to them being damaged or destroyed? 

In cognitive therapy we learn there's more than one way of looking at every problem. So instead of trying 'not to care' (impossible IMO) I approached it by changing my attitude and beliefs around the contaminant. In your case that means adjusting your belief that bodily waste is 'unpleasant and dangerous in the extreme' to getting your head around it being 'not nice, but a normal part of life and not an excessive threat if some accidentally passes under your radar.'

In other words, reduce the perceived risk rather than trying to reduce how much things feeling contaminated bothers you.

It's still not easy - you have to change your attitude towoards something you've feared and avoided for a long time - but perhaps chipping away at the degree of disgust you feel will prove more effective for you than trying to change your core value of protecting things you care about.

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6 hours ago, snowbear said:

Hi Dave,

I wonder if you're exploring the cognitive side enough in your therapy sessions. Standard OCD therapy typically takes the stance of saying 'You have to stop being bothered by thoughts of dirt/urine (whatever the person's pet hate is) contaminating your possessions, accept that it's OCD and your response is an over-reaction.'

If that works for you then great, but I'll be honest and say that approach has only ever made my feelings around the contamination more entrenched. Who wouldn't be upset by the thought of something precious to them being damaged or destroyed? 

In cognitive therapy we learn there's more than one way of looking at every problem. So instead of trying 'not to care' (impossible IMO) I approached it by changing my attitude and beliefs around the contaminant. In your case that means adjusting your belief that bodily waste is 'unpleasant and dangerous in the extreme' to getting your head around it being 'not nice, but a normal part of life and not an excessive threat if some accidentally passes under your radar.'

In other words, reduce the perceived risk rather than trying to reduce how much things feeling contaminated bothers you.

It's still not easy - you have to change your attitude towoards something you've feared and avoided for a long time - but perhaps chipping away at the degree of disgust you feel will prove more effective for you than trying to change your core value of protecting things you care about.

I agree with you all including what @PolarBear and @OB1 said. It is really ridiculous also that I can't even step foot in my own bedroom without having a deep clean. I mean, realistically, for most people, if you were going to find semen, the bedroom is probably the place you're most likely to find it but the thought of disgust of that being in my room is so strong. As for walking past dustbins and stepping in urine, the same thing applies. I guess I know deep down too that all of this stuff is not going to kill me. I mean, not even deep down. I know that isn't going to harm me. I'm not particularly worried about that. But the thought of other people coming into contact with it or the stuff that is precious to me coming in contact with it makes me very uncomfortable. Like Polar Bear said, I guess I have to ride out those feelings of discomfort.

 

I know what you mean too @snowbear too and I think that the attitude my therapist takes is that you need to step back and say, no, these things are not as bad as you think they are and your responses to it, the compulsions are a strong overreaction. I know what you mean also about cognitive therapy and I've gone through the whole theory A vs theory B philosophy thing - for example, with some of my checking stuff, I can understand that my compulsions are a result of me being a very concerned person for safety and security and that it means that I am more than likely to be very careful with that sort of stuff, not careless like I worry about. In terms of changing my opinions of bodily waste as being dangerous, yeah, I get you. Its hard and it's not just bodily waste, it's stuff like food waste, other people's dirty laundry, other people's bodily fluids, animal excrement, I could go on. One thing that has really crippled me recently is my inability to go into a bathroom or not without being convinced that I am stepping on urine or that my clothing has touched the toilet in someway. I agree with you that saying, oh I don't care is really hard to do because all I can think of is that I am tracking that stuff back into places that are precious to me. It's just really hard and I mean the contamination side of things are far from the only things that are getting me at the moment. But you know, I am trying so hard. 

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Ok I am going to try harder but I need you to work through something with me. Faeces. Ok. I can work through urine. I don’t like it but I can work through it (I think). But how do I just ignore the risk of spreading poo around. So I’ll give you an example, tonight I’m lying in bed and I guess I clenched and I was sure I touched my bum. I didn’t do anything for a while but I eventually washed my hands because the thought of poo was too much. I just don’t know how normal people can cope with it. I feel like I smell it all the time. If my hand goes near my bottom, I’m in full blown panic mode to the point where I am now worried I don’t know how to clean myself. 

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We don't cope with it. To cope would suggest there was a problem in the first place.

You are not battling poop. You are battling the thought of poop.

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18 hours ago, PolarBear said:

We don't cope with it. To cope would suggest there was a problem in the first place.

You are not battling poop. You are battling the thought of poop.

Hi Dave,

Polar bear put it in a nutshell. Most of us don't associate touching our bottom with a 'risk' or thoughts of poop being there. Practise thinking of your bottom in the same way you think of any other body area, not as somewhere you need to avoid touching or somewhere with risk attached to touching it.

And since you needed a hug and nobody else has obliged... :hug: Keep trying. If you can overcome your fear/disgust of thoughts of urine then you can do it for thoughts of poop too. One step at a time and as long as you don't give up trying you'll get there.

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On 27/12/2020 at 15:17, BigDave said:

Ok I am going to try harder but I need you to work through something with me. Faeces. Ok. I can work through urine. I don’t like it but I can work through it (I think). But how do I just ignore the risk of spreading poo around. So I’ll give you an example, tonight I’m lying in bed and I guess I clenched and I was sure I touched my bum. I didn’t do anything for a while but I eventually washed my hands because the thought of poo was too much. I just don’t know how normal people can cope with it. I feel like I smell it all the time. If my hand goes near my bottom, I’m in full blown panic mode to the point where I am now worried I don’t know how to clean myself. 

Sorry I didn't respond earlier! I've been up for about an hour and a half now but was in bed for like 19 hours lol preparing for a night shift. I am truly blessed to be able to sleep that long!

I see you've already had some wonderful advice :) I'm going to add because I've also been at a point where I was really obsessed with feces; I was scared that particles from myself, so yeah totally same as you like if I touched my bum or anything that there could be a minor chance of having feces on it, I was scared that I could happen to have some sort of disease that was passed through feces and would end up killing people. I completely understand where you're coming from, right down to the "how can other people accept this?"

The way I got over it is by trying to look through the lens of everyone else... the people who aren't freaked out about this. It actually helped when I dated a guy who was, quite frankly, a bit a of a gross person hahaha well, to someone like me anyway. Seeing the things that he got away with and not washing his hands and not getting sick, and never making me sick, it really helped put it in perspective. Even earlier than that, I got puppies and having their messy little poops helped me get over my fear as well. It isn't easy, but how come all these other people can not worry about it and be just fine? So I started doing just that -- it isn't easy, but it definitely gets easier! I had to tell myself that no, I'm not going to kill someone because my leg brushed up against the toilet. Do I know for sure with absolute certainty that I haven't? Well, no. But that is at the hub of recovering from OCD. Accepting that we cannot have absolute certainty, but you can live your life comfortably and let yourself let this stuff go -- no one else is worrying about it, and they aren't evil people! I'm at a point now where I barely worry about it. It's essentially not a concern to me anymore.

Best wishes :) and sorry for the lack of hugs before. Snowbear had your back but I feel bad still so here's three more haha:hug::hug::hug:

Edited by hazydaze

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Thanks everyone for the love. I have just come to my room with supposedly unclean hands and dirty hair (I went to the toilet and supposed I had nog washed my arm properly, took my shirt off, touching my hair, drying my hands on the towel and then rubbing my arm against the towel on the way out). I then touched my bed so lord knows what horrid stuff I’ve transferred into my room. But I’m just trying to get through this. 

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FFS, another night where I think I may have stepped on urine. Thing is I’m not even sure because my foot felt welt but I could only see a tiny splash on the floor. I’ve not trod it into my room like a real idiot :(

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