Contamination OCD: All the Things You Should Know About it in 2020

Contamination OCD

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Contamination OCD

Are you always be concerned about the cleanliness? Are you ever worried that your hands are not washed properly and might be infected? Do you have a fear of touching the public things? Do you feel afraid of using public toilets? Do you always find yourself washing your hands because you think they are dirty? You may or may not be suffering from a mental disorder called Contamination OCD. In this session, I will be talking about the symptoms, treatment and all the things about contamination OCD.

What is OCD: 

OCD is simply an abbreviation of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. It is a mental illness in which a good or evil thought or a reminder comes to our mind repetitively and creates stress, anxiety and an excessive amount of moral emotions like, guilt, shame fear and other things.

There are many examples of it like you think repetitively if you have closed door or not if you have changed your ATM pin, what if your dad picks up your girlfriend’s call. Deep inside, you know that this can’t happen, but you can’t stop yourself being afraid or guilt of these things. It is called obsession.

Then you take action to console yourself, you check the door, you take your phone, you ask your wife about the gas. It is called compulsion. It gives you small satisfaction but the moral emotion or anxiety returns after some time. Combining both terms, we get the name of the illness, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD.

Contamination OCD:  

Contamination OCD is a subtype of OCD in which the person has a fear of being contaminated from the germs or getting ill. The person, suffering from contamination OCD, gets a thought repetitively that his/her hands are not washed properly, they might be infected, and he might have touched something that may infect him from a severe illness. In addition to that, they also have thoughts like they have infected already that being in contact with their loved ones, can make them infected as well.

Although he knows that this is not true, he can’t help himself about not having these thoughts, after some time, these thoughts start taking control over him, and he has to ensure himself by doing some compulsion like washing hands and taking medicines. In its first stage, this OCD might go unnoticed because we all like to take precautions of a virus, but after some time, this may cause anxiety, depression and other mental disorder. So, this may be serious afterwards.

 Common Obsessions of Contamination OCD:

Every common man loves cleanliness. We all love the things that are neat and clean but loving them excessively is not good. In the first stages, the person has a fear that anything that is around him may not be clean and germ-free; it may contain a virus and touching it may infect him. This is a shared obsession. On public places, these thoughts become monstrous. The person thinks that thousands of people connect and use these general things like public toilets, public watercoolers, etc. Anyone of them may be infected from virus, and by touching them, they may be infected too.

The person may have thoughts like by meeting people, aids, and other viruses might infect them. He thinks that by this, he might be in contact with harmful things like virus, bacteria, and bodily fluids. The person may also have a fear that he is infected with some virus, and if he comes in contact with their loved ones, he will infect them. His loved one will die of this illness.

The other shared obsession is the fear that my hands are dirty; this floor is dirty and contains germs, kitchen in dirty. These thoughts not only come to their minds but also makes them anxious and depressed. Even they know that this is not true, but they have to do the compulsion.

When this type of people visit their relatives, and they see something unusual, scattered or dirty, they get shocked by this obsession, and it becomes hard to live there. Even when they are in the kitchen and something fells down, it makes them imperious, and they can’t even eat.

Common Compulsion of Contamination OCD:

The first compulsion of this OCD is avoiding. The person avoids using public toilets, public water because they think this may infect them. In higher stages, it becomes difficult for him even attending social events like a party and even classes. They avoid attending social events and prefer to stay home. They break relationships because of this self-imposed quarantine.

The fear of being infected becomes enormous for them; they start using sanitizer and gloves for every small work. People also begin eating by spoon so that their skin remains unaffected. Wearing mask all the time and not touching anything even at home become common for them.

Excessive handwashing is the most common compulsion. After a small time-span, the person gets a thought that his hands are not clean. He tries to get rid of this thought by washing the hands, but the idea comes again, and he repeats this process. People may be seen washing hands five hundred times a day.

For the people who have an obsession that they have infected and they might infect others, excessive health-testing is a compulsion. They take the HIV test and are proved harmful, but this doesn’t help them because their mind thinks that they are ill.

Common Misconceptions about Contamination OCD:

There exist many misconceptions about contamination OCD. Handwashing before eating is a habit; it is not the symptom of OCD. But excessive handwashing without any reason may be.

People who are extra organized are not necessarily suffering from contamination OCD. People love being organized and being organized also increases their productivity. But if anything that is not collected creates anxiety and depression, then it may be a symptom.

Treatment of Contamination OCD: 

Treatment of contamination OCD is also possible as the other subsets of OCD. It is done by a technique called Exposure Response Prevention Therapy or ERP. In this therapy, the patients are said to do the things that cause OCD or obsession. Then their mind will automatically say them to do the compulsion, but they have to control overdoing this. They have to conquer their mind of being stressed by these thoughts. That takes a couple of months to recover.

The other theory is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT in which the patients are taught to identify the causes of negative thinking and replace them with positive habits by their assertive behaviour.

Meditation is also a powerful technique to recover. We are merely teaching our mind what to think and what not.

Hypnotherapy: It is the best option to win the battle with OCD in the present scenario. In this option, you are provided online counselling by our experts. If you want to have an online session with our experts, you can contact us.

We give counselling for anxiety, Phobia, Panic attacks, OCD, Depression, etc….

You can take counselling sessions on parenting and relationships also.

For any query, you can contact us on:

9468307000, 7494869711, 8053770007

Thank You for Reading.

Written By Shyam Sunder(The Rest Frame)

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