- Author : NatureLover
- support : 6
- Topic : Our stories
I have OCD, and it's hard to manage. My OCD takes the form of germophobia. I also have a little - very little - 'checking' and 'counting', but it's not significant. I know someone who has the 'checking' thing so badly that she would go to the bathroom (toilet) and then get stuck in there for hours, checking and checking, before she could leave. OCD can be an incredible burden and take over your whole life.
My germophobia is usually moderate, but sometimes spikes upward to severe. That means that I can go out and do stuff, meet people and do a small volunteer job - but only using lots of hand sanitiser and sanitising wipes, and only because I'm very fortunate to be able to live alone. If I couldn't live alone, I would be in great distress. For instance, if someone in my household used public transport and then came home and sat on the couch, then I wouldn't be able to sit on that couch again.
I manage by doing things like having a shower after I go out, not before (well, sometimes before as well); washing all my clothes after I get home; spraying inside my car with Glen-20; and dividing my house into clean zones and dirty zones. It's exhausting keeping track of what items I've touched, trying to figure out that item's whole history of what it might have touched and therefore how 'dirty' (germy) it might be; and doing all the cleaning and sanitising of every item that comes into my home, including myself. I have about 4 levels of 'dirtiness' in my head, and am always trying to classify everything I touch into those levels.
It can get overwhelming to cope with. I was actually hoping to find many more people with OCD germophobia here on the forums! I was surprised how few there were, when I joined. It would be great to talk to more germophobes.
I do see a psychiatrist and psychologist and take meds for the OCD, which helps; but I have 5 other MIs (mental illnesses) too, plus childhood trauma, and they have been taking precedence in my therapy so far.
An event is coming up next week about OCD, run by SANE and with a guest from ARCVic , which is the Anxiety Recovery Centre. They specialise in OCD, Hoarding Disorder, Depression, Anxiety, Trichotillomania (pulling hair out), PTSD, Panic Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Phobias and Social Anxiety Disorder.
The SANE OCD event will be a text-based event, on a single thread, where you can answer by making posts on the thread. I'm looking forward to it... Here's the link if you want to read more: OCD Discussion Event . We can ask questions, get support for our OCD, find out more and interact with others with OCD. The guest from ARCVic has lived experience too.
I'm really hoping to meet others with OCD there!