Reducing time in the shower?: I have contamination... - OCD-UK

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Reducing time in the shower?


I have contamination OCD that I am trying to work through but it has not been easy. One of the most challenging tasks each day for me is showering. Prior to the onset of all of this, I could take a normal 5-10 minute shower no matter what I did during the day. Now, I spend about an hour or showering even if I just stayed home and watched Netflix all day. It is even worse if I have gone to work or have been out in public or in my car. I hate it and want to spend less time showering. I know a common suggestion to help with this is to set a timer and when it goes off, get out regardless but I know that would make my anxiety worse trying to racing the clock like that. Any thoughts would be appreciated!

5 Replies

the main thing is understanding that it is OCD I had this for a long time but thought they were genuine worries this defo OCD so you have to break the cycle if you can tell yourself this is OCD and do the timing thing at first you will be more anxious but this is how you can get out of it what about trying one in th morning so you can say to yourself I can have another later and have 2 or 3 but keep to the time limit

Instead of limiting how long you stay in the shower, perhaps limit what you do in there. How about washing each bit of you just the once and then going onto the next bit?

The suggestion from tuppenceabag I think is a good one, of giving yourself the option of another one later on in the day if you feel you need one.

I am trying to work on cutting back the number of times I do each action. For example, I'll try to lather and rinse my hair 6 times instead of 7 or 8 like I usually do. I just need to focus on being okay with uncertainty which has been one of my biggest hurdles with recovering.

I've found that it helps to keep chipping away at your OCD rituals in the way you describe. I've managed to reduce quite a few that way, and actually got rid of some!

That's great to hear! I'm still at the point where I recognize these are OCD rituals that are excessive but I just cant break them. But I'm working on it. Glad to hear you've found success!

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