Should I tell my boss about my OCD? - My OCD Community

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Should I tell my boss about my OCD?

DannyB2020 profile image

Last week my boss asked me to disinfect the toilets after work so I picked up the bottle but the lid was loose and the bleach went on my black trousers leaving large red patches on them & this made me very upset.

I don't know if I should talk to my boss about my clothes OCD and fear of my clothes getting damaged or face my fear by continuing to clean the toilets?

I've tried removing/ reducing the bleach marks using clear alcohol but it hasn't really helped and my trousers are ruined.

What do people think? Any thoughts or advice welcome.

11 Replies

If you're looking for a reason to tell your boss about your OCD, this would be a good opportunity. Otherwise, I don't see any need to.

It sounds like whoever used the bleach before you was careless and put the lid on improperly. Most people, OCD or no, would be upset to have ruined a pair of pants because of this.

I think you should continue to face your fear by cleaning the toilets, but ask for an apron (or bring your own pair of old pants) to keep your good clothes from being ruined. Asking to be exempt from toilet-cleaning would likely enable your OCD, but taking normal precautions to protect your clothes is reasonable, in my opinion.

DannyB2020 profile image
DannyB2020 in reply to MothFir

Thanks MothFir. I felt so bad on Friday when it happened and on Saturday. I was worried I was being irrational to get so upset over this, but I do think even ordinary people would be. I will ask my boss for an apron and bring some spare gloves to work with me today. Thanks for the help.

I would be cautious about talking to your boss. Is it reassurance? You unloading the anxiety onto the boss? You have to try to avoid that. How will it affect your job? Are you in treatment? You should discuss with your therapist before your talk to your boss-- I wanted to do the same thing-- and my therapist said no way! Good luck!

I agree with what you said. I have told a couple of people at work about my depression but the reaction was negative. I separate my personal life from my work life now.

Mamatired profile image
Mamatired in reply to Marshall64

I am in the same boat. I don’t feel comfortable sharing this information with others right now and I think that’s okay for now. I admire that you have taken the steps to challenge your fears.

Hi shawnmarie, I decided not to tell my boss, I asked if they have apron and gloves to wear, but I didn't tell them about my OCD and didn't ask to stop having to do the cleaning as I think that would be giving into the phobia. I've also kept the trousers with bleach for doing dirty jobs rather than just chucking them in the bin as I would have done in the past. I get help from an OCD group online who I share my experiences with, give me tips to help calm myself if I feel anxious and they set me ERP homework that has helped me move forwards. Thanks

Great job on facing your fears!!

Mothfir said it best, with regards to your OCD, but as for your trousers, you may be able to redye them. If they are made from natural fibers such as cotton, then it would be pretty easy to pop them in a bowl/bucket of black dye. If they are man made fibers, such as polyester, they could still be dyed, but the dying method is a bit longer and you need to buy special dye.You could also maybe consider going over the marks with a black fabric pen or paint.

These methods may not turn out perfect, but since they are already blotchy, I don't see that you will have much to loose by trying.

If you attempt dye first and that doesn't work, the pens/paints could still work, as they sit on the surface of the fabric rather than soaking in, like dye does, so it is basically putting a coating/layer on top to cover it. Like repainting a wall.

Hope that helps to fix your trousers.

MothFir profile image
MothFir in reply to mmmmww

This reminds me of a story about a friend of mine. Years ago he was in a military college and wanted to go to a dance that strictly required a black tie. He only had a white tie, but he also had a black Sharpie he ended up going to the dance.

I hope you have as much luck with your pants, DannyB2020!

I completely understand i had a similar experience were i had to clean a toilet after work and i freaked out and i refused i know someone has to do it but i just could not.. but i agree with other post if you can continue to do your job and just be extra careful to avoid your ocd from kicking in that’s probably best but if it starts to really effect you then id discuss it with your boss( if your comfortable with your boss and you think they would understand ive come across a lot of people who just dont understand ocd then they think your just dramatic) you dont want it to trigger you and ruin your day if it effects you that much if you can help it :) Hope you feel better hang in there!

Thank you! I haven't spoken to my boss, but she is asking someone else to do it next week, and until then I am doing the toilets wearing the trousers I ruined, gloves and an apron.

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