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Thread: Contamination OCD. Fear of dog poo, floor germs, spreading

  1. #1

    Contamination OCD. Fear of dog poo, floor germs, spreading

    Hi guys,

    Iím new here looking for support on how to combat my OCD contamination fears.

    Long story short, OCD crept into my life at 8 years old, numbers and touching things. It then took hold by way of Emetophobia. I had been to my Nannies for dinner, got back home, threw up and from there never went to hers again. I stopped eating the things I had eaten for tea, it snowballed of me having my own knifes and forks, own plate. I would think I could smell ďbugsĒ and see them, and I wouldnít flush the toilet for fears bugs would spray out. You get the jist.

    Moving into adult hood, my fear turned to aids. I would cut myself and worry someone else had, I would sit on pub park benches and catch a sharp bit of wood, next thing Iím at the doctors telling them I have it. I would fret for weeks after sleeping with someone with protection, almost a punishment for me enjoying myself. I had times I was on nights out and was adimant that someone had pricked me with a needle. I still do not like dark clubs for this reason and have lived this scenario since.

    Then we get to my now and present, most oppressive fear of dog poo. My example is that someone I worked with stepped in some outside our work offices, they then didnít realise until they had walked into the building, all the way to the desks we sit at. I was horrified that every day I had to take the same steps, whilst picking up the dog poo and dog poo germs on my work shoes. This was around 2 years ago now. The offices are hoovered but in my mind thatís not clean enough snd the spread has already been done.

    Since the pandemic, and this incident, I now work from home and the shoes have walked around in my home. I am now petrified of the floor, I canít sit on the floor, or if anything is dropped on the floor it has to be washed or binned, followed by hand washing each time. I have house shoes I must wear all the time.

    These shoes are on a shoe rack, which haunts me everyday. My young nephews decided to have a sock fight around this shoe rack, and I am now petrified the socks touched the shoes and then was whacked against the walls during their playfighting. I cannot not touch the walls and squeeze through my hallway, scared of the germs.

    Iím waiting for some CBT therapy, as itís all got too much. But I donít know a way out? Iíve had years of therapies, councilling, meds (SSRI and SNRIs) which gave me years of night sweats, and after 24 years they are now trying me on pregab. I have to fight and beg for loraz or diazepam to help me cope. Iíve also had hypnotherapy, the lot.

    I donít know how to combat this fear, they say with exposure to just sit with it but my anxiety never comes down, abd I end up a crying mess. What do I do to help myself? I feel like Iím living the same hell day in day out. Itís so hard living alone.

    Iíve been miserable for months, tried 2 months off all meds but unfortunately the natural remedies didnít quite do it for me hence the cry out and push for something new - pregab. Does anyone have any tips on that?

    My life is extremely restricted and seems to be getting worse when I should be enjoying the bedt years of my life in my thirties, and seeing the back of this hidious chronic condition.

    Thank you so much, any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    , , United Kingdom.
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    Re: Contamination OCD. Fear of dog poo, floor germs, spreading

    You mention this

    ďSince the pandemic, and this incident, I now work from home and the shoes have walked around in my home. I am now petrified of the floor, I canít sit on the floor, or if anything is dropped on the floor it has to be washed or binned, followed by hand washing each time. I have house shoes I must wear all the time.Ē

    If it helps I can relate to this. I have an area of the floor where someone put a bag on it after they touched the wheelie bins. I too wonít sit In the area and I worry the stuff in that area needs quarantined. But yes itís difficult as people without ocd donít understand. The good news is I havenít replaced my floor yet but it feels very anxious. It bothers me as as time goes on. And perhaps if someone else without ocd sits on the floor and they donít mind maybe that will help too ease your fears.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    233

    Re: Contamination OCD. Fear of dog poo, floor germs, spreading

    Hello Mollymoo16,

    I have been suffering from severe contamination OCD, it is most of the time related to germs, but also to HIV. I have been many times in the situations similar to what you described : any kind of superficial injury would lead me to fear going outside, in case that I touch something public with that hand and get infected. I have had many, many HIV tests, and it was only after I read the book titled The man who could not stop, have I stopped obsessing about it. Do not get me wrong : the fear still exists, but largely I am able to contain it and control it, and not let it basically run my life. There is one sentence in that , in my opinion amazing book, that still helps me: if something happens to me which can trigger my infection fear, I stop and say to myself: How many people that I know in my life would pay attention to this event? And almost 100 % time the answer is : none. I then just move on. It hugely helped me, to the point that I can say that it changed my life for better.

    I am still fighting severe germephobia, and simply trying to live with it. Sometimes I manage it better, sometimes I am not able to manage it, but I am trying all the time. I am especially scared from food borne illnesses, and I am extremely careful with my food, and where and what i eat outside.

    In my house we do not wear outside shoes, but that , although hugely helpful to me now, had nothing to do with my OCD; it is the practice common in my old country, and husband, who is an American, simply accepted it because he thinks it is a very healthy habit not to bring a whole street to our bathroom or into our bed. And my husband is neither germephobe neither he suffers from any kind of mental disorder - he just thought it is a good practice. My son, naturally , respects that ( although he is moving out soon). It is my house, so I always kindly ask people to take their shoes off if they are visiting us. I do not see anything wrong with that.

    I hope this helps a little,and I warmly recommend the book I mentioned. I read numerous books on OCD, and that is literally the only one that helped.

    Best wishes to you



    I hope this helps little bit

  4. #4

    Re: Contamination OCD. Fear of dog poo, floor germs, spreading

    Thank you so much. Iím sorry I didnít see you message sooner ❤️

  5. #5

    Re: Contamination OCD. Fear of dog poo, floor germs, spreading

    Thank you so much. Iím sorry I didnít see you message sooner ❤️ I will look up the book for sure x

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    233

    Re: Contamination OCD. Fear of dog poo, floor germs, spreading

    No problem Molly.

    I am currently having really hard time, since my mother in law was visiting this past weekend and did not follow my no shoes in the house policy the way I would want it. It gave me a lot of anxiety, I felt horrible. In addition, I am having another scare regarding my health, and I am going to see my doctor tomorrow.

    It is really hard. Sometimes I ask myself: what is a life like mine about? What is the purpose of living miserably all the time?

    I hope you are doing all you can to feel better.

    Lana

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