I don’t know what to do : The past year, I... - My OCD Community

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I don’t know what to do

ATLAfan786 profile image

The past year, I’ve barely left my house because of COVID. Now I’m worried that if/when things go back to normal, I’ll be too scared to leave my house, let alone go to college, and function in the outside world. Also I have contamination OCD. Does anyone relate or have tips?

7 Replies

I think the best thing you could do for yourself is find a therapist trained in OCD to help you do Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) therapy, which is generally regarded as the most effective OCD therapy. You might also benefit from medication (an SSRI that could help reduce obsessions). Contamination OCD can be debilitating but it is also fairly straightforward to treat. In essence, you can teach your brain that its obsessive messages are irrelevant, and in time they will not have power over you.

If a personal therapist is out of the question right now, you can still find plenty of ERP self-help material online and in books. Just don't put off addressing the problem. For most of us, untreated OCD may come and go in severity over the years, but it remains a problem until we learn to control it. Good luck!

Oldbury1 profile image
Oldbury1 in reply to MothFir

I have severe contimation OCD which I struggle with touching practically almost anything due to the dear of my hands " feeling" dirty even though I can see they are not. If I've eaten a packet of crisp for example I eat them so fast so I can wash my hands to take off the grease oil left on my fingertips. Simple day to day things like that end up a chore to go and wash my hands few times with soap otherwise I don't want to touch my phone or my clothes or face because than I'll have to wipe my phone or my face thinking I've put grease marks on there. I am doing CBT which is of some benefit it feels nice to talk and off load your thoughts. I tried ERP with the therapy but when faced alone I struggle and end reverting back to my OCD ways of not touching certain things and rewash my hands until they feel 'just' right. I am in fluoxtine 60mg medication for a month now so I'm hopeful this will help with some of my OCD going forward. It has caused great impact on my husband and my 2 young children. I am fearful that my 8 yr old daughter has started a few OCD repetitive thoughts. If anyone can advice on this or recommend any good OCD books or online material to look into to help me that would be much appreciated.

MothFir profile image
MothFir in reply to Oldbury1

"Stop Obsessing!" by Reid Wilson and Edna Foa is a good self help book. Some of the material is online here: anxieties.com/94/ocd

"Stopping the Noise in Your Head" by Reid Wilson has helped me relabel my intrusive thoughts as symptoms of anxiety (and not real contamination).

"Freedom from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder" by Jonathan Grayson is also good. He helps you realize the costs of not treating your OCD, and offers ways for sufferers to accept uncertainty about their OCD topics just as they readily accept uncertainty in non-OCD aspects of life. Some of his ERP protocols might seem pretty extreme (i.e., stopping all handwashing during therapy), but you can ignore or adapt those parts to fit the program you're doing with your therapist.

Have you and your therapist discussed the problems you're having with ERP when you're alone? Maybe you need to have "easier" exposures when you are by yourself. It seems to me it would be better to consistently resist weaker compulsions than to have hit-or-miss success with stronger ones.

Also give the fluoxetine a little longer. I think it took me 4 to 6 weeks to notice a difference.

Oldbury1 profile image
Oldbury1 in reply to MothFir

Many Thanks for your kind reply back. I will look into the recommended books and online material. It's just sometimes there's so much information available it helps to narrow it down. Thank you with regards to the ERP I will mention that to the therapist makes sense now how you've explained it. I thought either I'm not trying or ERP hasn't benefited me. I've been on fluoxtine for 4 weeks so I suppose it is early days as it can take 12 weeks. My Last medication paroxtine was at a high dose I tried for few months but didn't feel or notice much benefit. Many thanks again for your time in replying. Kind Regards

Hi

I am also one of the obsessive people. Of course, I am under treatment now and it can be said that my problem is coming to an end. Like you, life was very difficult for me in the early days of the corona virus outbreak. I washed my hands regularly, changing my clothes after each outing. Sometimes I was even afraid to breathe easily.

But not being anxious or afraid of getting corona, I refrained from taking extreme health precautions and telling myself that I was not living by doing these extreme things and that death was much better than that. That's why I preferred to get corona into these conditions and ignored many things, as if everything is normal and there is no corona and my only problem is obsession that I have to overcome, not corona.

My only action against Corona was to wear a mask and gloves.

Because my biggest problem with obsessive compulsive disorder was washing my hands too much, wearing gloves prevented me from washing my hands too much, so under the pretext of Corona, I wore cloth gloves to wash my hands with obsessive thoughts. He encouraged me to avoid my hands, and when I doubted the cleanliness of my hands, I just took off my gloves and wore other gloves without washing my hands.

Over time, this reduced the number of times I washed my hands. In fact, I used the corona to my advantage.

We Iranians have a proverb that:

The eye to which you are sensitive will get dusty. That is, the more sensitive you are, the more you will notice.

Because you are an obsessive person, Corona is difficult for you and you can not easily cope with it.

My suggestion to you is to first get rid of the fear of getting corona and just get rid of your main problem, which is obsession.

Because fear lowers your immune system and increases your chances of getting corona heart disease.

If you are strong, you can overcome all difficulties.

Also , I have written my experiences in the field of obsession in the form of an article. You can read if you wish. I hope it helps you.

This is the URL of the article :

5fdd1c56c507a.site123.me/bl...

I'm kind of worried when things go back to normal I wont be comfortable without a mask still or at a place with lots of people. I have contamination ocd too.

I agree with MothFir, you need to utilize ERP, either with a therapist or on your own. If you afford an ERP specific therapist, are multiple videos on YouTube that can teach you what to do. There is even an app (NOCD) that offers specially trained therapists if you are able. On YouTube, I like the IOCDF, Paige Pradko and NOCD channels, but there are multiple others. I’ve done a lot of research for my son and ERP is truly the best option out there for real healing. As per the “rona”, please do some research as there is a 99%+ survival rate for those without serious comorbidities (advanced age, heart disease, diabetes, asthma). 😊

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