MDJunction - People Helping People
Ask a Question
05/16/2012 03:52 AM

Extreme Contamination Worries.. Please Help..

Posts: 11

I have these contaminations OCD for almost 8 years. It only worsens into extreme worries about germs.. But it is TOO MUCH.. I do my compulsion as usual like washing hands often. Not until my hands bleed.. But instead, I avoid as much touching any common objects, even like doorknobs, handrail on bus or even money (which I cannot avoid). It is more like, when my hands especially the palm that feel not clean. I have to quickly wash my hands until it feel non-greasy and clearly clean. Even the touch of my face, which is unfortunately oily, triggers my instant need to wash my hands as it feel so greasy. Because I believe that greasy and smelly hand, is a great medium to pass on germs to your body. Moreover, my body and hands are easily sweating. That adds to my worries about contamination because my hands will often get smelly everytime I sweat. The most difficult thing is when I'm away from home, in public places, like mall or bus. Even walking on the street. I always bring tissue inside my pocket. I believe that tissue would absorb the sweat and possibly much of the germs on my hands, as dry and non-greasy hands are less likely to pick up germs. So everytime, I cannot find a place to wash my hands, when I touch any common object, I have to rub the tissue inside my pocket, so as anyone would not have seen that. But the PROBLEM, is I start to think the tissue in my pocket will be contaminated if I do that. And I have to dispose a tissue after I do that. But what if someone is watching me in public places doing something like that everytime I touch any common objects ? So instead, I just hold my compulsions in public places, but I become like a disabled person, as I avoid touching any common objects as much as possible. And when I have to touch that, eq. money, I have to act like nothing happen in public places, but instead my mind is raging to do the compulsion, to wash hands. when going out even with my families, I feel a great deal of distress just by thinking the solution to avoid contamination. Am I lost in my OCD or could I still be saved..? I'm almost going crazy in the past three months, I seclude myself in the room not wanting to do anything except avoiding and thinking how to avoid getting contaminated in the best way.. I could not find the solution except to do my compulsion, eq. to wash my hands as often as I touch any common shared objects, even to my own belongings. Please anyone can relate to my OCD and share some advices and solutions.. I greatly Thank You All who shares.. Smile

05/16/2012 04:06 AM
damselndistressPosts: 16951
Group Leader

Yes I do and guess what I am a nurse and this will interest you.

Every time you touch a patient you must wash your hands.

I know that dirty feeling very well you can feel it and guess what you can feel it on other people's hands too.

My kids hands are always bad and I sometimes take them to the sink and wash them after school or after playing out but only once or twice per day I do that.

But in my job my hands would get so sore my knuckles would bleed.

I have a permenant scar on the one knuckle from it having to heal so many times.

So yes germs are real they are on everything you touch.

There are important rules like don't touch something and then put your fingers in your mouth without washing first or touch food.

All hand to mouth activity was prohibited in patient care areas.

Have you tried carrying hand sanitizer instead of the tissue.

Yes I'm sure after you wipe on it it does feel dirty.

All your concerns are real it's just we have to keep it in perspective.

Learn to live with it as normal part of our life without the obsession.

It is called infection control and most likely if more people were conscious of it and isolated when they were sick and not spread their germs things would be better but there are things like incubation time.

We can be sick and contagious and not even know it in the first part of an illness.

Also we have immune systems and they are designed to fight disease and germs.

Our immune system I've heard gets built up actually by being exposed to germs so most likely even if you do accidentally introduce a germ into your body, your body knows what to do with that.

So yes germs are everywhere impossible to avoid and hygiene is a good thing.

The sweating can be caused by the anxiety itself.

And when I get really anxious my sweat can smell really bad.

That really bad ammonia smell used to scare me but it doesn't any more.

I know it will go away and calming down will help that to happen.

I try to get calm drink some water.

Wash my underarms good cause I think odors can get trapped in the skin and put on deodorant.

Usually by one to two days I no longer notice it and I feel happy about that.Wink

I hope I helped.

Try not to fear germs too much.

Just do normal hygiene and you should be okay. Smile

05/16/2012 08:23 AM
Posts: 2819
Senior Member
I'm an Advocate

Hi IndoOCD

I have the checking issues. I once read that the OCD behaviors are an avoidence tactic. I avoided going out in the community by taking time to check. I broke the habitual routine with meds.

I feel for you because the world is a contaminated place. We do need to be careful, however it's like telling an alcoholic she must have 1 drink everyday and no more. god bless. You are lifted in prayerSmile

05/16/2012 08:07 PM
Posts: 261

I don't have OCD (apart from a few small symptoms) myself, but to answer your question: No, it's never too late to try and overcome your obsessions/compulsions. IF it's affecting your life to the point where you can't function at times (and that is what it sounds like), you should probably see a therapist of some sort (if you aren't already).

05/17/2012 03:56 AM
Posts: 11

Thanks a lot to you all, especially damselndistress. You really open up the cage in my mind with your advices..

05/17/2012 05:27 AM
damselndistressPosts: 16951
Group Leader

You are welcome there are certain times when washing your hands is necessary.

One is obviously after using the bathroom,

Before food preparation.

After going out always.

If you touch anything while you are out avoid putting your fingers in your mouth.

I like it that so many places have automatic doors now this really helps out with infection control.

If you go to a store and use a cart and they have the disinfectant wipes for the handle use it!

I usually carry hand sanitizer in my car after coming out of a store and before I touch my steering wheel I use it.

This is all carry over from what I have been instructed in the work place.

Nurse quit wearing caps because they carried germs from one patient to another.

They also are not to have long nails because germs can get trapped under there.

They found shoes since all germs fall to the floor.

Shoes were how germs were gettig transfered from one room to the next.

I always left my shoes at work and wore another pair home.

I always shed my uniform and put it directly in the wash as soon as I returned home,

Infection control is a good thing just learn to use it in the right context and allow it to work for you and not against you.

Post edited by: damselndistress, at: 05/17/2012 05:28 AM

Post edited by: damselndistress, at: 05/17/2012 05:28 AMKissing

Post edited by: damselndistress, at: 05/17/2012 05:29 AM

05/18/2012 06:30 PM

I sure can understand.

I keep steping in doggie pooh every day.

We need more cats to chase.

03/26/2013 09:47 AM
Posts: 1
New Member

You can beat OCD if you take things 1 step at a time.

Firstly, you have to understand that most people find it so hard to beat OCD because they are in contact with items that ARE actually dirty by default - toilet flush buttons, toilet seats, the floor of a public building/transport, etc.

So, a practical approach may be to draw up a list of items and group them into, say, "Very dirty", "Somewhat dirty" and "not dirty". You fill each category with all the items that you come into contact with at home and outside.

Now the real task is to classify more items into the "Not dirty" group as time passes by (e.g. tell yourself that an oily face/sweaty palm is just oily, not dirty and that everyone has oil on their faces). This is obviously easier said than done but believe me, once you get started, you're only going to get better. It's a bit like doing push-ups/pull-ups when you're a kid. It's tough but once you break the "0" barrier, nothing will stop you physically & mentally.

Moral of the story:

1. Get started on the list

2. Understand & identify things that are going to be dirty no matter what

3. Carry a hand sanitizer/anti-bacterial wet wipes so that you'll remain clean in places/situations where going to the restroom to wash your hands is a hassle and remember, unlike your tissue which will get dirty, the wet wipes will remain clean cos it's anti-bacterial.

4. Take 1 step at a time on your road to recovery

Best of luck!

Post edited by: HawtShot, at: 03/26/2013 09:50 AM

Post edited by: HawtShot, at: 03/26/2013 09:55 AM


Share this discussion with your friends:

Disclaimer: The information provided in MDJunction is not a replacement for medical diagnosis, treatment, or professional medical advice.
In case of EMERGENCY call 911 or 1.800.273.TALK (8255) to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Read more.
Contact Us | About Us
Copyright (c) 2006-2014 All Rights Reserved