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Harm OCD - Covid

C

charlie66

New member
Joined
Jul 20, 2021
Messages
2
Location
Brighton
Hi,

Apologies for the long post. I'm new to the forum, I'm coming here because I've been struggling with the same intrusion for two weeks now, and that's a long time for me for one instruction to stick that long (I have been an OCD sufferer for over 20 years, mainly harm OCD)

My 5y old son was sent home from his reception class a couple of weeks ago as teachers said he had a temperature. I took him to get a PCR test straight away, he absolutely hated it, kept fighting me, etc.. so I did what I could but felt like it was not done properly. I told my wife in the evening and we decided to go back the next morning to do it together. Which we did, I helped pinning him down, while my wife was doing the swabbing. The day after I had an intrusion that we still hadn't done it properly, as I thought my wife had not swabbed both nostrils for 10 seconds. I asked her and she said she had done only one nostril as that's what the test center staff advised her to do for young children when she had gone previously. Since the leaflet that comes with the test says that both nostrils should be swabbed for children, I didn't know what to believe and the feeling it had not done been properly grew stronger. I decided to go for a third test as I was craving reassurance. I took my son to a drive through the next day, where the staff asked me his age and told me to do one nostril for 10 seconds. That gave me instant reassurance regarding the test done with my wife. I still did the test as I was there and felt that would give me extra reassurance, however I did not insist as soon as my son started resisting (and have also a lot of gilt for putting him through three tests...)

The intrusions / fears went away after that third test and I thought they were gone for good however they came back the day after (why did we not do 10 seconds per nostril as per leaflet instead of going per staff guidance? why can I not find anywhere online that for young children one nostril is enough? etc...). I have been sitting with the anxiety and guilt for about a week, and it did fade away at times, however it is now stronger than ever, and I'm not sure what to do as it's been a while and I'm still craving reassurance, and haven't been able to resume my life in a "normal" way (I forgot to say that all three tests came back negative and so my son went back to school as the symptom from the day he was unwell disappeared with one dose of calpol)

I have told my CBT therapist a week ago which helped for a couple of hours, and have written her an email this morning, however she is on leave this week.

I have a huge feeling of guilt that I have not done the test properly, rendering the negative result(s) meaningless, and have sent a potentially infectious child back to school, potentially causing a terrible chain reaction. I find it difficult to know where the line is between "normal" anxiety and OCD. It's usually fairly obvious when it's full-on OCD, but in the case of Covid, since it is something real (on the news all the time, etc...) I can't seem to draw the line.

Any help will be appreciated.
Thank you for reading.
 
D

dansell123

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 25, 2021
Messages
103
Location
Westport
This may be a stupid post, you'll have to forgive me because I don't have children so I cannot completely sympathize, but...what is clear is that you really love your son. You love him so much that the minuscule chance all three tests fail and he gets sick causes you pain and distress.

That being said, your love (but specifically the way it is expressed), is probably causing distress to your wife and son. Perhaps the best way to express your love is not through your anxiety about the testing, but rather to be there, mentally and emotionally strong, for your family.
 
C

charlie66

New member
Joined
Jul 20, 2021
Messages
2
Location
Brighton
This may be a stupid post, you'll have to forgive me because I don't have children so I cannot completely sympathize, but...what is clear is that you really love your son. You love him so much that the minuscule chance all three tests fail and he gets sick causes you pain and distress.

That being said, your love (but specifically the way it is expressed), is probably causing distress to your wife and son. Perhaps the best way to express your love is not through your anxiety about the testing, but rather to be there, mentally and emotionally strong, for your family.
Thanks for the reply.
I'm not sure i was clear but in this case the fear and distress is more about infecting other children / families.
Weirdly enough (considering your point is valid in the sense that i have countless fears and anxieties about my children) i do not fear covid for me or my family, but cannot bear the thought i could be responsible for spreading it to others.
 
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