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Friend has big problem seeing trash... what is it and how can I help?



New member
Sep 11, 2009
Hi all,

I have a friend who is a very friendly and nice person, in most respects totally normal, but as long as I've known her she has a few strange quirks that have me a bit worried.

I don't really know where to start, so I'll just list some things Ive noticed.
-Whenever we walk outside, there are sections where she always walks on the road rather than the sidewalk. When I ask her why she does this, she says it's because there is trash, spit, or dogcrap on the sidewalk at that point. Sometimes there is, sometimes there isn't.
- She always walks around outside with a roll of toilet paper. If she does happen to see some trash, spit, or something else dirty or unsanitary out in public, she rips off some tissue, spits into it, and puts it in a plastic bag. If we go somewhere on a 10 minute walk each way, she can accumulate quite a bit of used tissue!
- I asked her why she does this, she is aware that it is not normal but she can't seem to help it.
- Most of the time, she cannot eat anything until she brushes her teeth vigorously. I have seen her brush her teeth 2 or 3 times in a row for 5 minutes each time sometimes.
- Whenever we go out to eat somewhere, she never trusts the glass or the silverware. She will just drink straight out of the can and if you pour her a drink into a glass, she won't drink it, or else will freak out as you are trying to pour it. She always rubs the silverware with a tissue though I would think that if the silverware were really dirty, this would not really clean it...

There are some other strange things, but I think you get the idea. It can be a bit embarrassing with other friends around, and I'm concerned she doesn't go out as much as she would like or as much as would be healthy because of it.
I've tried to get her to see a doctor or psychologist, but she refuses. She thinks people will take her away to an insane asylum, or else she thinks they will tell her she is crazy. I've had depression and anxiety in the past and have tried to offer help but she just doesn't seem to receptive, to be totally honest I don't have much practical advice anyway since I don't know what is going on with her.

Any ideas? What is it? How can I help? Is this OCD or something? Or am I in the wrong forum?



Dec 29, 2009
Sounds like OCD I would suggest you try getting her to look at a few sites like this first and try to explain to her that she could get better with help I bet shes going through a pretty tough time at the minute its nice of you to seek help for her, but she should really be doing this for her self, have you tried explaining that she will not be took away ?
good luck hope ur friend gets better =]



Former member
I would think definately ocd.I cleaned my teeth five times yesterday.



Well-known member
Oct 20, 2009

Yes I also think it is OCD, and it would be helpful for her to seek some help.

What would like to point out is, is her behavyour harmful ....?, odd yes.

Just my point ......... ! .... boB