Posted 10/30/2012 3:16 PM (GMT -6)
Thank you so so much PinkSkyCloud and LHA112 for responding to my post, I really needed to hear from other people like me! I feel so alone in my head, everybody's like, "it's fine, you're crazy, just stop, it's clean, you're not going to get sick from touching that!" But nobody understands that my head is screaming at me, "WASH YOUR HANDS, WASH YOUR HANDS, WASH YOUR HANDS, WASH YOUR HANDS, WASH YOUR HANDS!" It won't stop until I do, how do I just ignore that, I can't even hear anything else?
My most severe symptom is a fear of contamination. I've tried to count how many times I wash my hands in a day and I always loose count, but I know it's at least 30, and on bad days, over 60, and I often do it two or three times before turning the sink off and I usually get up in the middle of the night to wash my hands at least two or three times. I never touch anything I consider clean, especially laundry, without first washing my hands, even if I just did a couple minutes ago because I could have touched and contaminated my hands by anything in the meantime. I even wash my hands when I get out of the shower, standing there soaking wet because I am afraid to touch my clean towel after touching the shower door or after putting lotion on my face because the lotion even makes my hands feel dirty. I have to rewash any bedding and towels that touch anything, even if it just skims a wall or my shirt, I fold everything in the air to avoid touching it to anything. I will wash any laundry I consider especially dirty twice, in scalding water, and I spent hours inside my washer and drying scrubbing every inch and crevice inside because I had no way of knowing what had been put in there before I moved in. I also freak out about dishes in the same way. I scrubbed out every cabinet with lysol for hours before putting a single dish in and keep my clean towels and bedding in plastic tubs with lids that I scrubbed out with dish soap and water until it was sanitary enough (my husband kept telling me to stop, that they were clean, but I just needed to rescrub every spot over and over again.) I did the same thing with my bathroom cabinets and I wash every bottle, lotion, and bobby pin with soap or lysol before it goes into a clean drawer or cabinet, and I never set it down on the counter. But even after cleaning them, wood it porous so I had to use plastic containers and liners, wood could certainly never be clean enough to trust with my towels. I moved 6 months ago and my OCD really went crazy because it was an opportunity to have a perfectly clean environment before any of my stuff went in, but then my stuff could be not clean enough for the new clean spaces, it's a never ending cycle.
I can't even enjoy when friends come over because I am obsessing over every single thing they touch and what they're contaminating while there; I know I probably watch people like I psychotic hawk. I am constantly plagued by endlessly reviewing conversations I've had, agonizing over every detail trying to find a new, deeper meaning. I also need things, like the volume on the TV, to always be either an even number or in increments of 5. I know immediately when something has been shifted or moved on a shelf, I have everything placed at an exact perfect angles and distances, centered, ect. I don't even know where my perfectionism begins and my OCD ends.
I need to check that I have things in my purse after I leave, even when I know I put it in there just two minutes ago, until I see it there in my purse, in the car, I can't stop freaking out. I recheck locks sometimes too. And I can feel new things bothering me everyday, it's like I have to spend all this energy telling myself not to give into a new obsession, "don't notice that! It's going to bother you if you let it, just pretend it's not there!"
I have this weird concept that my OCD is protecting me, that it make me safer, better than other people; but really, it's just torturing me.
What are/were your guys' symptoms?