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Cookiedough

Toilet issues

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 I’ve been struggling with ocd for months now and it is safe to say that it has taken over my life. One of my biggest issues is using the toilet. Each toilet trip literally takes 1 hour (going to the toilet + wiping + washing my hands). The areas that take the longest are the wiping and hand washing (since I do both excessively). If I don’t wipe enough I fear that I won’t be clean back there- thus the risk of smelling bad or staining my underwear, which I do not want to have to deal with). I’ve tried to challenge my thoughts by not wiping as much, however my ocd will convince me that I haven’t wiped enough- even if the toilet paper comes back clean. In addition, I use way too much toilet roll. The most I’ve used in a single toilet session is 2 whole rolls. I’m embarrassed at how wasteful this was, but this was the reality. After slight improvement, I now use about 1 roll (which I’m aware is still way too much). The other day, I tried to use 3-6 squares per wipe, yet that resulted in the toilet paper tearing mid- wipe. Thus, triggering my ocd and making me wash my hands for more time than I would’ve liked. 

I spend about 30 minutes washing my hands after taking a dump (washing them twice over). It use to be 3 times and I’ve reduced it to twice, but it’s still too long. I don’t enjoy washing my hands for so long, but I feel like I have too. If I don’t wash them enough I think: “What if there is poop on my hands, that I didn’t see, and it’s not completely washed away?” or “What if my hands smell?” I’m scared that I will go on to touch other objects, people and myself with contaminated hands. Even if I did accidentally touch faeces, is washing them once enough?

Another weird habit I have is I tie my shirt in a knot on my chest (like a crop top) before I go toilet. I do this to avoid germs/faeces from going on my clothes as I sit on the toilet. I know this isn’t normal, however I don’t know what to do with my clothes when I use the bathroom. The other day, I tried tucking it under my chin, only for it to come undone before I was finished. I would try holding it with my other hand, but I use both hands to go toilet. 

I hate going to the toilet. A habit so mundane and normal is such a workout for me. There have been times where I’ve resisted the urge to go, causing me to pee myself because I knew I wouldn’t be back for another hour. I’m so tired of living this way. 

Help?

 

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Here's something to think about that will make you feel better (in the long term) and dramatically improve your life:

There is poo everywhere. 

As I learned from a book I read once, there is one thing we all have in common. Even microscopic critters.  Everybody poops. So it's just all over the place. Anything in public that you touch has probably been touched by someone who didn't wash their hands after making the hot sloppies. 

Most people don't give a **** (pun always intended).  Not unless they actually see/smell something.  So if you actually see a hershey highway on your underwear, I don't see any harm in changing (not a huge deal if you don't though).  But if it's just your brain saying, "What if...", then you need to give yourself permission to ignore it.  Flush it out of your mind and go about your day.

Edited by Nobody Special

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I'm by no means an expert on this but I just wanted to say that I perform very similar behaviours and have very similar thoughts to you. (I'm actually a little surprised at just how similar as I've never heard anyone talk about this before!) I also totally agree with the comment above, however scary those thoughts may be (!).

 Not trying to make this about me but I've had these thoughts for years (which, I'm sorry, I know might not be the best thing to hear but things may very well be different for you) and I have seen some really positive improvements over time.

This may not be the best or right way to do things so please do whatever feels best for you but I've found that challenging yourself to sit with the feelings of discomfort and giving that discomfort a name (for me - 'this is just my brain misfiring' or something to that effect) has been the most helpful thing I've done.

For example, I too have a 'thing' about washing my hands excessively and I started by cutting down on this to a level where I felt I could still function but that was an improvement for me personally. I would then sit with the discomfort this brought on, reassuring myself that I am not a disgusting beast person who was endangering everyone around me because I didn't do whatever it was my brain wanted me to do, whilst just going about my day as best as I could. Over time I can honestly say that the discomfort lessened and that became the norm. I hope to keep working in this way to eventually get things down to a level that I would consider to be a good place for me. 

Again, I'd like to reiterate to take this with a grain of salt but I hope this is helpful in some way (even if it's just knowing that you're most definitely not alone in this!).

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You've already come a ways, cutting down how much paper you use and how much you wash your hands. That's awesome!

So keep going. Push yourself out of your comfort zone, repest until you are comfortable and then push yourself again. Reductions over time are the best way to get to something approaching normal.

It's funny though that you don't want poopy underwear because you don't want to deal with that. Dealing with it would take five seconds, versus an hour currently.

Edited by PolarBear

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It’s reassuring that I’m not the only one who suffers with this type of OCD. I too spend ages cleaning myself with toilet wipes, baby wipes even using bathroom cleaner & bleach on me after using the toilet, I have to shower too & not wear clothes plus always wear gloves. I have managed to cut my hand washing down & like CharlieMoon said, it does over time become the norm. I’m yet to feel less disgusting & dirty though. 
my OCD isnt about germs but more about constantly feeling dirty. I wear gloves all day and have to antibacterial wipe everything i have touched each morning so its clean for the day. The only way i managed to reduce the cleaning items is rationalising in my head that i wear gloves anyway so i wont be touching dirty stuff. 
But my head is so messed up & hate that it takes so much of my life. Its horrible that we have to suffer like this. 
if you ever want to private message me for support i’m always here for support.  

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Even with all you do, you have yet to feel less disgusying or dirty.

Isn't that interesting? A rational person would wonder why you do all those compulsions if they don't work.

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Hello all, 

Thank you very much for your replies. I am actively trying to reduce my toilet time, but my results keep fluctuating. Sometimes I’ll go to the toilet and take 35 minutes altogether (which is good for me). However, the next time I go I’ll take 1 hour again. It’s so hard to be consistent and so disappointing when I end up taking forever in there. I look at the clock before I enter the bathroom, then after I’m done I step out to look at the clock again. Then I calculate how long I was. 

The sections that take longest are wiping and hand washing. I’ve recently started using wipes in my toilet regimen (specifically when it’s a number 2) as I feel they clean better than just using toilet roll alone. Sometimes I don’t take long wiping, yet other times it’s the opposite. You know those poops where they are nearly impossible to wipe totally clean? Those have been happening lately, thus stealing more of my time wiping. 

A question: if you were to accidentally get poop on your hands, whilst wiping, how would you deal with it? Would you only feel the need to wash your hands once? Twice? I ask this because sometimes when I wipe, the exposing part of my hand touches my bum. Even though when I look at it my skin is clear- that part of my hand still feels contaminated. Therefore, inducing me to wash my hands more than I would like. I aim to only wash them once, but when this happens I wash them twice. Twice may not sound like forever, but the time each wash takes is too long. My hand washing takes about 30 minutes on its own.

How long do you guys take to wash your hands after using the toilet? (If you don’t mind me asking). Detail would be appreciated as I am trying to use this as inspiration to not take so long.

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Program yourself to do it before your daily shower. Clean yourself in shower. Easy, quick & clean.

You know something that is already inside you can’t do much to you if it gets on outside of you & then inside again.

 

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Hi Cookiedough,  I have a very similar problem to you.  At the moment I feel the need to shower after using the toilet for number 2s.  Number 1 doesn’t bother me at all, I could probably walk around with urine on my hands and be fine with it, weird.  I can’t imagine being comfortable with having a number 2 and then relaxing on my sofa or whatever without showering, but that is the goal. So in that regard you are doing very well, please don’t fall in the trap of washing more like I did.  

As for how much to wash your hands if you touched something unpleasant.  As someone with a total fear/disgust of feces I would say wash till you can’t see anything on your skin (although your brain will likely play tricks on you about this) then maybe soap and rinse a couple more times 1 min max.

Do you ever, in between toilet visits, feel the need to check that you are still clean? This is my number one problem right now and is driving me crazy!

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