• Share. Be Supported. Recover.

    We are a friendly, safe community supporting each other's mental health. We are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

New to Forum and looking for help with Pure O Contamination....life is tough

L

LivingMylife

New member
Joined
Sep 30, 2021
Messages
2
Location
Tacoma
Hello,

I am new to this forum. I was diagnosed with OCD in 2002, but knew I had issues since I was a kid. I just thought it was a normal way of life and everyone experienced what I was experiencing. I had some trauma when I was very young that caused significant problems my whole life. I have been to psychologist, psychiatrist, LMHC. You name it, I have done it. I have tried nearly ever medication on the market to include zyprexa, seroquel, prozac, anafrinil, zoloft , risperdal, and the list goes on. I had lots of side effects from nearly all the meds. I currently take Ativan, but try to keep it on a limited basis like when I go to bed or every other night. I am fairly successful and fortunate in life: married, nice home, organized, great job, good friends, hobbies, etc. no one would ever suspect I have a war going on in my mind, and I have learned to hide things very well over the years.

I forced myself to do CBT on my own after I got frustrated with counseling and stopped going. I had all kinds of strange behaviors, such as writing out paragraphs for work, and then erasing them because I had a "bad" thought and I had to "Neutralize" the thought so it wouldn't happen. I have driven around the block 9000 times to make sure I didn't hit anyone in the crosswalk. I have put together and taken apart household items to “neutralize” the bad thought I had while tightening the screw, or connecting pieces of wood. I always "verify" information, “check it out” to make sure it's "legitimate" and not "fake." I have to "match" things up that don't make sense to me and repeat things over and over. It seems as though I have not only OCD, but Pure O based on the new information I am finding. I repeatedly say phrases or do rituals in my mind to "clear" the thought. Of course it doesn't work and my anxiety gets crippling at times.

Last weekend, I was BBQing with my family and had some of my baseball cards/sports memorabilia on my kitchen table so I could show everyone since it was so exciting. The cards stayed on the table and I continued to cook in the kitchen. We never ate at the table because we ate in the family room to watch a movie. However, when I was cooking, I was going near the kitchen table to walk outside to the BBQ. I had this brine with me to baste a pork shoulder on the grill. All of the sudden, I thought, “what if this brine just spilled on my baseball cards? What if a little bit dripped out when I wasn’t looking at the pot, but looking at the slider door. What if the empty bottle of oil that tipped over on the kitchen counter sent oil across the room to my cards?” Suddenly, I was overcome with fear and anxiety and realized my items were no longer exciting, but needed to be thrown in the trash. I want/wanted to discard my entire collection of baseball cards in the trash so the “oil or brine” didn’t contaminate my other items upstairs on the entertainment stand. I was so torn because there are cards of significant value. They are still sitting on my kitchen table until I can “figure out” what to do.

I always have a similar fear when I walk through my garage and pass the gas cans or oil products. I suddenly think that my bag of items suddenly got oil or gas on them. Same story, I want to throw the entire bag in the trash.

Whenever I order something on the internet, I have to “verify” it's the correct website so I don’t get “fake” items or something “someone” is trying to send me to contaminate and ruin all of my possessions. I will literally type, and erase the website 50 times before I can finally place an order. Then once I am done, I start having fear that I didn’t verify the site correctly and “something” drastic is going to happen or I will get an item that “contaminates” my whole house.

I could go on-and-on about things that produce enormous amounts of anxiety and fear. The fear I touched someone inappropriately, fear I said “something” offensive to someone, fear I wrote something in a letter that was incorrect, and the list goes on.

The thing about all of this is none of it makes any sense, yet no matter how many times my wife, family, etc try to reason with me, I think to myself, “They don’t understand because what I explained “could” happen.”

I am just looking for anyone experiencing the same thing, especially when it comes to “contaminating” my prized possessions and wanting to throw them out or hide them in a closet
 
B

BlueWater

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 29, 2021
Messages
883
Location
Earth
Oh the doubts that come with OCD and the certainty we feel we need that nothing bad happened or will happen! Have you tried ERP therapy? Look up contamination OCD exposures you can do for yourself to reduce your fear. A simple one I've done in the kitchen is not obsess over the kitchen counters being wiped over and over. I'll lay a spoon on the counter and use it over and over sometimes. I haven't died yet from that. I occasionally pick up a chip that just fell on the floor and will eat it. I haven't died from that yet either. You're demanding perfection of yourself but no such thing exists. Have any of your worst fears been realized? Can you try not erasing the website 50 times? How about 25 times? I stopped checking our credit card account daily. There was no need. Our CC company has been faithful with alerting us to anything suspicious and our bill has been consistent. Why was I torturing myself? Have you ever received an item that has contaminated your whole house? What kind of item would contaminate a whole house? I have a contamination thing with how I wash clothes. Either my clothes' colors will be ruined or I'm grossed out by underwear being washed with other clothes. I have done some exposures with this. Recently, I semi-accidentally washed a black article with other colors. I saw the black shorts laying there in the washer and noticed something bad might happen but I ran with it. It ruined three shirts but the perk is I get to go shopping and buy new shirts. I've accidentally washed underwear with other clothes. Nothing bad happened but my preference is to wash underwear separately.

I'm not on a daily OCD med yet for my thoughts but I do take a mood stabilizer in the morning and a benzo at bedtime. My mood stabilizer makes me care a little less about things that used to bother me. My benzo shuts off my OCD so I can sleep.
 
B

BlueWater

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 29, 2021
Messages
883
Location
Earth
ERP and meds can help you. The good thing is you have specific examples of what's getting to you. My OCD trends more towards relationship worries that aren't always specific and at times seem almost delusional as well as health anxiety. For my health anxiety, I'm trying new meds but one at a time. For my relationship anxiety, I'm trying assertiveness.
 
Anime-Alchemy

Anime-Alchemy

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 21, 2013
Messages
8,066
Location
England
I have OCD and some of it is about contamination. Don't throw out or put into the trash, your baseball cards. It's the OCD doing this to you.
 
Top