Is this OCD or germaphobia? :( My long story...
Hello everyone, i'm pretty new over here...just registered. :wink:
I just wanted to post my story, to tell you guys my fears and how i behave, because it is hard, and i had and still have problems being a social person.
To start i will say that i wasn't like this at all, when i was little everyone saw me like a sweet girl that hugs and kisses everyone she knows and loves. I grew up fine until i turned 19. I got a urinary tract infection that persisted after medication, it was like "take pills, get better, after a few days/a week get ill again", and the cycle continued like 5-6 times that year). I was soo afraid of getting sick again that i started to protect myself in my way. First of all i never sit on a toilet seat (even if it's my own, from my house). I saw that it works so i still do it. Of course if i need to sit down on it i put a lot of toilet paper, and i never touch it. I wash my hands roughly every time i go to the bath (got my own personal towels). This is how it started everything. The fear pushed me to do more stuff. After a while i started to be obsessed with hand washing, i wash my hands before eating, cooking, touching my face, my hair, mouth (almost everything, i can't touch or dress if i'm not washed on my hands), and afterwards. In the same time i started to have problems with dishes, forks, spoons. If i need to use one i wash it twice with a lot of detergent to be sure nothing is there. I can't touch the dish, food and forks if my hands are not clean/freshly washed with soap. Things were ok but it got bigger. I can't eat food cooked by someone else. And can't eat in public places, i'm afraid they will touch my fork,what i eat and everything. In a few words, i created my own bubble at home, where i feel safe. When i go to bed i put on my own fresh bed clothes and not touched by anyone. I take a shower everyday before going to bed and if i touched my hair, or someone else did, i also wash it. I keep track in my head what i did that day, and in order to not get paranoid or some kind of panic attack i do my routines to feel safe. If something interferes with it i get paranoid, anxious, scared and also cry...there were a lot of nights i feel asleep crying, because people mock me, at first my parents, but now they got used to it (thank God that happened), and now a few persons from school. I am afraid of touching door handles (i personally use a tissue to open and close the doors/lights and outside i always carry with me my hand sanitizer, even liquid soap). It is understandable that i hate kissing someone, shaking hands, hugging, talking too close to someone (to my surprise it happened a few times, a friend accidentally spit on my hands/face while talking). There are so many things i avoid doing, but i am forced to do...i act as naturally i can and when i get home i wash myself very good and at night the good old bath...
I didn't seek help because i know that doctors will do their best in trying to assure me any way possible that it's wrong and eventually prescribe me some sedatives, tranquilizers and that's it. Also they have some nasty techniques to make you cope with your fears (like constantly touching your safe zones, or you). In my opinion this will only make me more determined to wash roughly when i get home. Another method is convincing your parents to forbid piece by piece your routines...The pain i will get from that would be enormous, can't even thing about it. I have a boyfriend, we grew up together and he knows my problems, while i developed them he was by my side and understands me completely.
My number one question is how will i cope with a child, with the mess he or she will do...? Will i be able to live like that? Am i the only one like this? :frown:
***Please share your story with me if you handle this kind of things...
First of all, welcome to TTL, glad to have you here :)
You are most certainly obsessive about hygiene, that much is not in question. It's an anxiety driven obsession, again I'd be pretty sure of that. Whether or not it's obsessive compulsive depends on how much compulsion there is. Your obsessive cleanliness is based on your past experience and on your intense anxieties. I am not necessarily seeing compulsion in the sense that I would understand it. Compulsion, in my mind, would be more about being driven to do things regardless of whether or not you actually understood why you are doing them. I would also kind of expect it to incorporate things that don't particularly fit past experiences. I'd expect a general set of behaviours that have manifested from somewhere but that don't provide such a clear link as yours do. That being said, I'm no expert and I'm just theorising here.
Either way, to answer your question, you don't have to fear living with a child and being as you are because that negates the possibility that you'll find a way to conquer your obsessiveness. That is still very possible. In other words, don't write yourself off before you have seen what can be achieved. It's terrifying to give up on things that you see as keeping you going. To let go of all of your safety mechanisms is like someone taking the floor from under you when you're on an aircraft. You can only see one possible outcome. You are not in a position to be able to visualise success in this battle as yet. That is not to say that success isn't achievable.
Everything is about steps. One step at a time. Remember that.
Glad to be here and thank you very much for the reply super147. Your words are wonderful and full of good advice. All of my obsessions have a strong past and actual experience, maybe that is why it is so tough for me. I am trying to conquer it but it is quite hard, the only thing that i think about is that in a few years i am going to work with a lot of people. I am trying to prepare myself for it...as you said, step by step, but i doubt i will always give up my safe zone and the washing when i feel the urge to do it. The little activities like this calm me and i reach my "happy place". I don't want this to be taken away from me...maybe i am selfish...
But again Thank you! i will remember your advice! You are a good person. :smile:
wear gloves then you don't need to wash your hands all the time i wear gloves pretty much all the time (i even sleep with them on) (i don't wear pj's or thin clothes i always wear a hoodie so my arms are covered nicely & i only take my gloves off to get changed get washed brush my teeth wash dishes eat certain foods such as burgers or wraps & scratch my face/head & carefully put them back on again (slide your hands in they can't touch the outside area of the glove when you put them on or you'll have to put them down & wash your hands ) also tissues feel dirty a dryer is so much better or they can dry on their own (only takes a minute)
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