What it is and how it affects my life on a daily basis?
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is a mental health condition where you have recurring thoughts and repetitive behaviours that you cannot control.
The main symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder are unpleasant thoughts and repetitive behaviours, which you cannot control.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is usually treated with talking therapies. Medicines may help if your symptoms are severe.
The many different types of OCD are:
- Mental Contamination
- Intrusive Thoughts
It’s normal, on occasion, to go back and double-check that the iron is unplugged or worry that you might be contaminated by germs, or even have an occasional unpleasant, violent thought. But if you suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours become so consuming they interfere with your daily life. OCD is an anxiety disorder characterized by uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts and ritualized, repetitive behaviours you feel compelled to perform. If you have OCD, you probably recognize that your obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviours are irrational but even so, you feel unable to resist them and break free.
Like a needle getting stuck on an old record, OCD causes the brain to get stuck on a particular thought or urge. For example, you may check the stove 20 times to make sure it’s really turned off because you’re terrified of burning down your house, or wash your hands until they’re scrubbed raw for fear of germs. While you don’t derive any sense of pleasure from performing these repetitive behaviours, they may offer some passing relief for the anxiety generated by the obsessive thoughts.
OCD takes over my life
My OCD takes over my life with constant checking things. It’s always been making sure doors are secure and locked but checking them repeatedly. Even at times though I know there locked this then lead to the germs and bugs and the constant worry of contamination touching door handles railings surfaces I started cleaning practically everywhere where germs could be and it’s become so severe especially at the moment now we have a new deadly virus 🦠 accruing the world.
Cleaning helps me to cope
It’s a continuous routine every day to go over things I know are already clean but the control is unstoppable with the urge to clean them over and over again. I do get some sort of sense of an achievement reassurance and security with my anxiety from doing so if there’s a moment in a day when I’m not cleaning something I feel very unsettled and more uptight and worried about things and I’m sure anyone who is suffering like me will absolutely understand this and know how hard it is to break this constant cycle every day. It can become very tiring and of you count and have a certain amount of times you like to do things repeatedly which I have to do is very exhausting in itself.
I’ve tried to reduce the number of times I check things and clean things. This include door handles, light switches, remote controls, taps and sinks. Basically everywhere in the bathroom and kitchen where I wash or prepare food. Living with this condition is a tough ride every day but again I for one do not feel comfortable or completely satisfied until I have cleaned.
The vicious cycle of OCD are:
- Temporary relief
- Compulsive behaviour
- Obsessive thoughts
- And most all anxiety this is the big circle of it.
Most people with OCD fall into one of the following categories:
- Washers are afraid of contamination. They usually have a cleaning or hand-washing compulsions.
- Checkers repeatedly check things (oven turned off, door locked, etc.) that they associate with harm or danger.
- Doubters and sinners are afraid that if everything isn’t perfect or done just right something terrible will happen, or they will be punished.
- Counters and arrangers are obsessed with order and symmetry. They may have superstitions about certain numbers, colours, or arrangements.
- Hoarders fear that something bad will happen if they throw anything away. They compulsively hoard things that they don’t need or use. They may also suffer from other disorders, such as depression, PTSD, compulsive buying, kleptomania, ADHD, skin picking, or tic disorders.
Common obsessive thoughts in OCD include:
- Fear of being contaminated by germs or dirt or contaminating others
- Fear of losing control and harming yourself or others
- Intrusive sexually explicit or violent thoughts and images
- Excessive focus on religious or moral ideas
- Fear of losing or not having things you might need
- Order and symmetry: the idea that everything must line up “just right”
- Superstitions; excessive attention to something considered lucky or unlucky.
Common compulsive behaviours in OCD include:
- Excessive double-checking of things, such as locks, appliances, and switches
- Repeatedly checking in on loved ones to make sure they’re safe
- Counting, tapping, repeating certain words, or doing other senseless things to reduce anxiety
- Spending a lot of time washing or cleaning
- Ordering or arranging things “just so”
- Praying excessively or engaging in rituals triggered by religious fear
- Accumulating “junk” such as old newspapers or empty food containers.
OCD can get worse when you feel powerless and alone
It’s important to build a strong support system. The more connected you are to other people, the less vulnerable you’ll feel. And just talking to an understanding person about your worries and urges can make them seem less threatening. I live by myself and it’s very difficult because you feel very alone. Sometimes it does help me knowing I have someone at the end of the phone even if it’s while I’m cleaning. This somehow makes the OCD more bearable to cope with.
Stay connected to family and friends
Obsessions and compulsions can consume your life to the point of social isolation. In turn, social isolation will aggravate your OCD symptoms. It’s important to invest in relating to family and friends. Talking face-to-face about your worries and urges can make them feel less real and less threatening if you are limited on a family like myself. Don’t worry too much about how many people you interact with just as long as you have one person. I call it my safe and secure person who gives you reassurance.
Reassurance and peace of mind
My OCD needs a lot of reassurance that things will be ok. It’s important I think that we all have that one person who can be stable in our lives. Someone to keep us strong but most of all understand what we’re going through with OCD. I myself always find it very heartbreaking and upsetting that no one understands me and the way I am. This another reason I want to do this because although my family and friends may not fully understand I know others will as I feel alone I know you will be too and I want you to know that your not. The way you react to your loved one’s OCD symptoms can have a big impact on their outlook and recovery.
Negative comments or criticism can make OCD worse, while a calm, supportive environment can help improve the outcome of what you do daily regarding cleaning etc. with the OCD I know for one if I feel a bit settled and safe that I have people who care for me this plays a big part on my mental health and my OCD levels.
Me, myself and OCD
My OCD condition stems from when I was very young I lived a very unsettled life I had to move around a lot (care system) I spent most of my life living with strangers instead of my own family. Before going into care at the age of 8 full time I had been through things that no child should ever have to. I feel strongly that my past and abuse does have a massive impact on my OCD cleaning levels bad times and experiences can trigger OCD cause major anxiety and lead to feeling very depressed and unsettled which is why it’s the vicious circle. I use cleaning to somehow make those feelings not go away but give them some sort of peace and it does come down to mental health.
OCD in young age of life
From a young age of moving around I always had the OCD. I had no control over my life and what was happening to me so keeping clean was the only thing I could do to make me feel just a little bit better but this OCD has stayed with me all my life and doesn’t get any easier. Each place I was moved to I would want to do my own washing clean my room make my own bed. I hated it if any of the foster carers tried to do it for me I was a child I couldn’t speak about how I properly felt to make them understand like I can tell people now.
For many years I grew up with this obsession to clean wash my hands for me it was the only way I could/can cope in situations that are frightening and that I have no control over a slight worry and a clean of something will give me some peace of mind and reassurance.
Growing up with OCD
In all my homes I even did other people’s washing. My foster careers who I lived with never needed to do housework. It was always me volunteering to hoover mop dust etc. and it continued. I left the care system at the age 15 and moved to a hostel. That place really played with my anxiety and OCD levels. I had to share the toilet facilities and showering and washing machines with 9 other people I absolutely hated it. Every morning I would take bleach or a strong disinfectant to the toilet. I did clean it each time before I used it same with the showers. Before I did my washing I would spray antibacterial as I was that worried about contamination of germs and viruses. I would clean the railings my own door and even peoples doors who also lived there we had room inspection.
The first time the staff came to my room I remember they were just praising me on how clean and tidy and immaculate I was. They never inspected my room again and I always had the residents asking if I had spare washing powder, comfort, etc. Everyone knew I had it stored in my room.
My life experience
There are many stories I would like to tell you all about my life. In some way, they will revolve around keeping germs away and keeping clean always. Please remember you are not alone and there are ways you can cope and survive living with all types of anxiety and OCD. I have survived it all my life even though it’s a very tough way of living. I hope you enjoy reading my posts and I do hope they reach the people who have a real understanding of living with OCD but also others to everyone needs to have some understanding even if it’s for a loved one or a friend you know who suffers stay safe everyone.
My next post will be loaded soon keep a lookout love from your unknown cleaning fairy. 🤗💖