metaphysical contamination ocd reddit
If they get the disease, they will resent me for ruining their life and I will live in terrible shame knowing it was all my fault. While there are various forms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), this article will focus on one category known as contamination OCD, and the similarities and distinct differences between its two subcategories – contact contamination OCD and mental contamination OCD. HIV is the boogeyman of health anxiety. It says there is no line at which you could accept a tragedy befalling you. Some of these people have spent years trying not to wash their hands, often as a prescribed part of their treatment. In the 1960s and 70s there was a spike in irrational fears of asbestos, just as the dangers of the material had come to popular attention. All rights reserved. hospitals), Avoidance of intimacy and sexual behavior for fear of catching or spreading blood-borne diseases, Excessive avoidance of sharp objects, Band-Aids, or anything that could be perceived as causing or having come in contact with exposed blood, Excessive washing to ensure there is no blood on the skin or clothes, Excessive cleaning of items feared to have come in contact with blood (i.e. What’s worse, compulsions simultaneously provide temporary relief from unwanted thoughts and feelings. For some OCD patients, not washing their hands is part of their treatment. The irrational content of those thoughts is limited only by the spectrum of human imagination. In the next installment, I will go over another area of contamination OCD that many find difficult to talk about, yet many OCD sufferers struggle with – fear of contact with semen. While there are various forms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), this article will focus on one category known as contamination OCD, and the similarities and distinct differences between its two subcategories – contact contamination OCD and mental contamination OCD.. What is contact contamination OCD? Over time, through a process called habituation, this practice of resisting compulsions becomes more automatic and the brain is forced to release its association between the thoughts and the responses that make them seem so important. TAC is identified when individuals experience an irrational and negative thought, with the belief that having the thought alone, will lead to a specific negative action, or the actual reality of that thought (eg: their thought is real or will soon become real simply because they are having the thought). In the 1920s, doctors in the US reported a surge in what they called syphilis-phobia, which coincided with a campaign to highlight the dangers of the disease. In addition to emotional reasoning, black-and-white thinking and magnifying can play an important role as well. If I am not certain, then I may have gotten some blood on me and it may give me a terrible disease. Roselle wasn’t experiencing typical OCD contamination fears, but rather mental contamination. Importantly, these fears are highly disproportionate to realistic probabilities and expectations. Coronavirus is only the latest. The US psychiatrist Judith Rapoport wrote in her book, The Boy Who Couldn’t Stop Washing, that by 1989 a third of her OCD patients focused on HIV and Aids. Among the more common manifestations of blood-focused OCD is an obsession with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This disgust may be an evolutionary necessity. Traditionally, germs have been the focus of attention when it comes to contamination obsessions, with the emphasis on health anxiety and fears of getting ill or causing others to get ill. What is most interesting about the obsessive fear of HIV is that for all the handwashing and avoiding, HIV is not an environmental contaminant. It is what it is. If you have any comments or queries feel free to contact us at blog@anxietyhouse.com.au, Mental contamination in obsessive-compulsive disorder, http://psychcentral.com/lib/ocd-symptoms-of-contamination-fears/00010583/2, http://iocdf.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Contamination-Fact-Sheet.pdf, http://www.ocdla.com/blog/ocd-thought-action-fusion-1790, © Copyright 2017 Anxiety House Brisbane | Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cancellation Policy. It exposes a patient to what they are afraid of, to spike their anxiety, but stops them performing the compulsive acts they would usually employ to make themselves feel better. David Adam is the author of The Man Who Couldn’t Stop: The Truth About OCD. Enter OCD stage right. The problem, however, is that compulsions fail to guarantee success. As anyone with the condition will know, of course, OCD is challenging all the time. Individuals who develop contact contamination OCD, typically experience an overwhelming feeling of distress, discomfort or a sensation of uncleanliness, when they come into physical contact with substances, objects, people or animals, that are viewed as ‘contaminants’ (usually containing germs, dirt, disease, bodily waste, secretions, or toxic chemicals). Outside of the body, it is gross (for many people anyway). People fear blood because they associate it with being sick, contagious, unlovable, incapable of being around others, ashamed and rejected from society. bottom of shoes), Avoidance of people associated (accurately or inaccurately) with blood contact or blood-related illnesses (i.e. The idea that all blood is dangerous because some blood can carry a virus makes resisting compulsions that much harder. For Jacob Rees-Mogg, it’s the national anthem. It is good public health advice, of course. In some cases, it is just a way to find comfort, to ease the mental burden of irrational obsessions that a loved one might die, or that something dreadful will happen to them. What about sex? Both subsets of contamination OCD can be effectively treated with commitment to ongoing cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) sessions with the guidance and support of a specialising therapist. What about a simple walk in the park where you might brush up against a sharp plant… or step on a discarded band-aid? If the OCD demands certainty and certainty is unavailable, then why would I certainly avoid sharing a needle but not certainly avoid hugging a person who looks like they might have once shared a needle? The content of the thoughts and the nature of the anxiety are usually different, too. “It is a challenging time for people who have OCD.”. Indeed, one question raised by the rush for soap is just what all those people without any in the house did before. While that is a common and important area of attention for those interested in understanding OCD, the obsession with bodily fluids may warrant more attention. And these contamination fears are heavily influenced by culture, society and shared health scares. It’s not a thing. Since it is not possible to know anything at all times, it is unreasonable to set a rigid guideline that involves a requirement to know such a thing. One of Veale’s patients with coronavirus OCD, for example, has started to fixate on whether they can catch the disease from Chinese food. But OCD does tend to cluster around a limited number of themes. Fretting about the virus and washing hands a lot don’t qualify on their own. Often portrayed as a behavioural quirk, OCD is in fact a syndrome defined by recurring irrational thoughts. Boris Johnson does it while singing Happy Birthday twice. Disgust is a feeling, and like all feelings, it cannot be relied upon for factual information about danger.

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