OCD getting worse: Hi all, I'm new here. I suffer... - OCD-UK

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OCD getting worse

160933 profile image
160933

Hi all, I'm new here. I suffer terrible with OCD, can't stop hand washing, see infections everywhere, thrown clothes away which could have touched something infected even though I know it's impossible. I sit down and try to think sensibly and give my self a talking to as I know my feelings aren't normal but it just comes back stronger. I even washed my hands in domestos last week... I must stress it's what I call dirty infections.. for some reason even though covid is so serious and infected so many people my fear isn't linked to it, even though I know it's a killer, am I going insane? Also my main fear isn't for myself it's for my family, who I must say have been amazing. I was on paroxatine 4 years ago which helped and I came off them fully a couple of months ago. My gp has now put me on fluoxetine20mg two weeks ago, he said he will increase to 40mg in another two weeks. I don't feel the benefits yet infact it's worse the anxiety dreadful but my gp said this could happen and to bear with it as it will take hold... is anyone else going through the same I feel so alone.. sorry for rambling.... also someone is ringing me about cbt on Monday ...

9 Replies

Welcome! You are not alone.

160933 profile image
160933 in reply to LuvSun

Thank you x

You sound just like me. I developed contamination OCD after my son was born a couple years ago.My fears were that bacteria would infect him and the worst would happen.

I would wash my hands so much they were cracked and bleeding. I have even used bleach spray to clean my hands. There were many things and areas in my home that I either had to wash my hands after touching, or couldn't touch at all (such as the vacuum cleaner). I too have thrown away perfectly good items and clothing, I have wasted so much, and this is all a complete opposite to how I used to be before the birth. I used to never give a crap about germs, frequent hand washing (such as before eating, or after touching/playing with pets) would happily get muddy/grubby, and hated waste. (I used to cut open moisturiser bottles just to scrape out the last little dregs at the bottom, so I didn't waste any). So as you can see, a complete 180 and it has knocked me completely sideways. I am getting better, day by day. There are things I still fear/can't touch/wash my hands after, but the list is getting shorter, as I have been doing CBT and exposure therapy. This is really the only way to fight it. I too am on fluoxetine 20mg, which I feel has helped me. It can take up to 8 weeks to have any affect on OCD though, so stick with it, and if you need to increase it later, then do so.

Also do CBT/exposures. It is very hard, takes a lot of time and work, but it pays off. I have managed to go from not touching the vacuum cleaner, since my son was born, making sure he never went near it and making my husband wash his hands after touching/using it, from this to allowing my son to touch it last week. This all took time and a number of small steps, like: start by husband stopping washing his hands after touching it. Sit with the fear/anxiety and let it settle ( which it does eventually). And slowly lead up to allowing my son to touch it.

It is very hard work, exhausting, time consuming, and yes, your OCDemon won't allow you to see any logic. But you have to fight it. I also find distraction helps.

When you are in a situation where you feel the need to wash your hands and you know logically you don't need to. eg, you get the urge to wash your hands after opening a parcel, logic says that you do not need to wash your hands after opening a parcel but your OCDemon is saying "wash", instead put on your fave music, dance, sing. Or read a book. Play a game. Go for a walk. Anything to distract you and get your mind off it.

160933 profile image
160933 in reply to mmmmww

Hi, thank you so much for your reply, you made me feel that I'm not alone. I'm pleased you getting better day by day and well done with letting your son touch the vacuum cleaner, hope you keep getting stronger. Yes they say it can take a few weeks for fluorine to work, I so wish it would hurry up . A while back when this happened I was put on peacetime which worked quickly, but they don't like to prescribe that now so it's a waiting game. It's so horrible feeling like this as you well know. Thanks for the advice on fighting it.

It does take a few weeks, like 4 - 6 weeks, before you feel the benefit of medication. Before then, it can make you feel really funny. If it's really making you feel much worse, then have a word with your doctor or psychiatrist again.

It might not feel like it, but most germs are actually good for you! They strengthen your immune system, help your gut to digest your food, and keep auto-immune diseases at bay.

They can improve your mental health as well. It has been found that gardening and getting soil on your hands exposes you to micro-organisms that have a good effect on your mind. And on the whole your immune system is pretty good at dealing with the nasty ones.

CBT isn't an easy therapy to do, but do give it your best shot. It makes you feel uncomfortable, as you will have to wait a while before washing and touch things you don't like touching, but it really does help.

One tip I've learned is to think of the panic or discomfort as like a wave gathering strength or clouds overhead. In due course the waves breaks and crashes on the shore, and the clouds move along and disperse. So too will the panic and discomfort.

I'm afraid that OCD isn't rational or consistent, which explains why you have not felt particularly affected by Coronavirus. In addition OCD likes to attack us where something matters a great deal to us, such as people we love and want to protect. So it's not surprising that your anxiety is focussed on your family.

Give the CBT a go and let us know how you get on.

160933 profile image
160933 in reply to Sallyskins

Thank you for replying and your advice it's appreciated. Yes I know some germs are good for you, I just wish this OCD would remember that. That's a nice way to picture things with the clouds overhead, then dispersing. It's a horrible illness, just takes over your life in the most horrific way possible. Thank you

Sallyskins profile image
Sallyskins in reply to 160933

I'm afraid OCD doesn't really do rational thought! But it can be got over. Being someone who washes her hands about 50 times a day I know that you can be afraid of touching anything else while they feel 'dirty'. It can help to just tell yourself that you'll not do the OCD ritual now, but you'll allows yourself to think about it or do it later in the day. The chances are you'll forget all about it.

160933 profile image
160933 in reply to Sallyskins

Hi, thanks for keeping in touch, I honestly am fed up of myself... I'm feeling so guilty that I'm putting this on my husband and (grown up kids)... my doctor is ringing me today and I think he may increase my fluoxetine from 20 to 40mg... what you say make sense and I am trying. Thanks again it's nice knowing I'm not alone. X

Hi I know yout post was a month ago but I'm very much like you and in now on 40mg fluoxetine and I feel awful ocd is out of control and anxiety just wondered if it worked out for you and how you are now im so desperate to feel better i feel like im losing this fight .

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