Do I have OCD?

I have an obsession with being clean. I have to be organised in my mind, my work and my body has to be clean. But my clothes don't have to be clean. I can't touch anything dirty, I will have to use my clothes or a piece of cloth. I have to keep washing my hands until I think they're clean. Sometimes they end up bleeding. What do I do? Do I have an OCD?

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  • Hello candy. From what you are describing, and from what I know from my own situation -My son has fear of contamination and washes his hands constantly. He also uses paper/bags to touch handles, taps - It sounds like you have urges to wash your hands, and those urges -compulsions- are driven by ocd.. The thoughts in your mind -ruminating- of having to be clean, is also ocd..

    The more you do the compulsion, the more power ocd has, and the more you will feel the urges and give into them, it becomes a constant cycle... But by not giving in to the compulsion, the feeling to do it will lesson...It is difficult to battle against the compulsions, but it can be done, and you must do it in order to break the cycle and lesson the hold ocd has over you.

    When you have the thoughts, straight away do something like going out for a walk, ring a friend, decorate, bake, anything!.. other than ruminate..It is difficult not to give in to the compulsion, but the thoughts of it will fade after a short while once you begin to put your attention onto something else..The same with the urge to wash. Do not give in to the compulsion to wash your hands. It will be a battle at first and it will feel awful, because ocd has tricked you into falsely believing if you wash your hands that will make it ok. It may be ok for just one second, and then you feel the compulsion to do it again and again.. and no matter how much or how long you wash, it will never be enough. Because it isn't a rational reason, it is ocd and the ocd becomes stronger and has a greater hold over you the more you do it.

    Once you start to resist the urges,the compulsions become less and ocd is weaker..There is great support from ocd websites and Anxiety UK..also look on YouTube for Katie d'Ath...You have done really well to recognise this🙂.. so now keep going to get help with it. You can also go to speak to your GP who will also be able to offer you support. Best wishes xx

  • Thank you so much for your advice and support. It means a lot. I will definitely try your advice. xxx

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