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What is wrong with me? Is this a form of germaphobia? I just really want some explanation or something


I’m confused
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Ever since my dad passed away I have been becoming increasingly more aware of things you could say. I’ve always had problems with hotels and would always bring a sleeping bag to sleep on the bed and wear flip flops in the shower and never touch even my feet with socks on to the floor. But I just thought some level of that was normal. My thought process was you don’t know what has happened in there. 

But it’s been getting worse and that thought process has consumed my life. I started to get full body showers everyday because I always felt like my hair was greasy which is silly but because of it it became addicting. I never truly felt clean without getting one after school or soccer. But this was just the beginning. I used to be leanint but now everytime I leave the house I have to come home and get a shower immediately. Even if I go out into my backyard for a few minutes it feels like I’ve been exposed to dirty air and bugs so I feel like I need a shower right away. 

For now I’m able to go to school and go do things (although rather unenjoyable) but it’s always a thought in the back of mind. And it’s always such a hasel getting a shower everyday that I try to limit going out as much as possible. 

Im always very crazy about things like my bed and my shower(which I am so lucky to have to myself) and my certain spot on the couch. If anyone other than me touches it or sits there I feel like it’s dirty and I’m scared to sit there until I’m able to clean it. I get extremely anxious when I’m not able to be there to see if someone’s sitting there or touching it. My family doesn’t really know though??? It’s  hard to even explain because even I’m not 100% sure about whats wrong with me. I just tell them to not touch my stuff because they are dirty and you know how that turns out. They always threaten to lay in my bed or sit on the couch, touch my stuff touch my towels. And it drives me insane to the point where I break down and basically have an anxiety attack over it. 

One time a teammate of my sisters had come over to go on a trip. They had went in the pool, which also is another one of my fears. I knew my sister had to get a shower for the trip but I thought she got it before. I was sitting in a room below my bathroom when I had heard water. I know that when you flush the toilet you could hear it sometimes in the room but it wasn’t just a flush it sounded like constant running water. I had ran upstairs anxious but confused. All I could think of was why was the shower on, my shower. My sister and brother both stopped me and said that they had let the teammate use my shower, I lost it. They know how I am “weird” about my stuff but this is about as bad as letting her lay in my bed. I started freaking out almost crying I felt so sick and anxious and I just screamed at them asking why when there was a guest bathroom with a shower downstairs that no one uses. Why my shower? Why my things? Why am I always getting tortured. But they’d don’t understand. They pet the dog, which makes me sick thinking that he walks around outside and than on the same floor I walk on, and than don’t wash there hands. And then they touch other things and than everything is dirty. Everything They touch is dirty because someone other than me has touched it.

they don’t thrououghly wash there’s hands like me. Sometimes they don’t shower after soccer practice which is just vile. My sister lays in her bed in her school clothes. It makes me so sick I could throw up. I constantly clean my shower and bathroom. My chair at the dinner table. My electronics. I don’t even feel comfortable sitting in certain parts of my house. My hands constantly are dry and hurt like hell because I’m constantly washing my hands in fear.

There’s so much more I could talk about though I just hope someone reads this whole thing and can tell me what’s wrong with me or could even relate. I’ve never met someone like me or like a germaphobe like how I’ve read online. I just am so deseperate to feel like I’m not the only one. This sucks so much I hate feeling like this over things everyone else would feel nothing to. 

 

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This is obsessive compulsive behavior. It is a brain glitch of sorts, not your fault but also not healthy.

You could start by reading the book What to do When Your Brain Gets Stuck.

And you should find a therapist who specializes in treating OCD.

Best wishes to you.

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I'm sorry you're suffering. This is consistent, sort of "textbook," level consistent, with OCD. (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). Specifically, if you'd like to google, your type sounds like contamination OCD. It's a common type, so you aren't alone in this struggle.

Treatments include specialized cognitive behavioral therapy called ERP (exposure response prevention) and, if needed, medication. You would need a therapist who is actually trained in OCD specifically. The OCD foundation has lists of providers trained by location. https://iocdf.org/ocd-finding-help/find-help/ There is a book--Maize above mentioned it (What to Do if Your Brain Gets STuck). It's geared toward younger than you probably, but the techniques absolutely apply to you and it is easy to understand. 

Treatments also include medication-SSRI's like Zoloft or Celexa or Prozac--the options would depend on  your age. Doses for OCD tend to be higher than those for other conditions, such as depression or generalized anxiety. Sometimes a therapist works together with a psychiatrist who can prescribe medication if needed. 

I hope you can get some help. You might get some information together and talk to your mom, grandparent, adult who can help you about getting care to help you learn to manage this. It is possible. 

Edited by sbgrace
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That's OCD. You need to talk to someone who specializes in OCD. The feelings you have are real, but not not based in reality, if that makes sense. Hugs. I don't have OCD but do have a visceral reaction to certain illogical things, so I get how intense it can be. Mine is pretty much limited to mold/mildew, which means I cannot touch the sides of a shower stall, and if my 2 yr old does while we are in the shower together I freak out and have to immediately get out of the shower. It makes my bones hurt to even think about touching the sides of the shower. But...I know that it is totally illogical, and there is no mildew, and there is zero reason to freak out about it. I just do. When it is one singular thing, like that, it's manageable and a quirk. But it sounds like iwht you it is multiple things, and getting worse, so at this point it is impacting your life and you need to get treatment. Hugs. 

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New - or newly worsened - mental or neurological symptoms should always be taken seriously. This certainly sounds like OCD to me, but you want to go to a shrink and get evaluated. It sounds like you're a minor? Please, speak to your parents if you are and ask them to take you to see a doctor about this as soon as possible. You do not have to live like this.

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It sounds like you have obsessive compulsive disorder, “OCD”.  Having that term you should be able to do more research.

There are really, really helpful medicines, vitamins and similar, things . and therapies like Cognitive Behavior Therapy — where you work gradually to face the things that are distressing—  can help with that too. 

talk with your mom if you can do that  

if at all possible  ask her to make an appointment for you with a doctor who can help you

if she’s dealing with too much herself right now , maybe because of your dad dying, talk with a school nurse or school psychologist or school counselor 

Where I live you can get therapy help  as a teen on your own, but this differs place to place, and you may need help getting to appointments even if you don’t need a parent to sign forms.

Also if your mom knows what’s going on she may be able to understand and help you better.

 

 

You got good suggestions on OCD books from people above.

 

PS

possibly, if you could handle reading it, a book like the one I hope to link below would be useful to understand that a healthy relationship  with microbes, animals, wildlife, can be a good thing.

 Never Home Alone: From Microbes to Millipedes, Camel Crickets, and Honeybees, the Natural History of Where We Live https://www.amazon.com/dp/1541645766/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_FBPhDbTZEZAYP

Edited by Pen
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What you are experiencing is very typical for someone with OCD. I have had severe OCD most of my life. You are definitely not alone! This is a medical condition. You are not crazy. We have a difference in our brain that makes it harder for us to filter out and dismiss bothersome thoughts. Things that are not truly dangerous still feel that way to us. The good news is that we can learn to think another way and feel better. 

I used to think I could never overcome my OCD and sometimes I wasn't even sure I wanted to. Medication has been life-changing for me. Cognitive-behavior therapy can also help. Please ask your parents to make you an appointment with your doctor.

Maize recommended the book What to do When Your Brain Gets Stuck as a good place to start, and I second that recommendation. Please get your hands on a copy. It will help you understand why your brain works the way it does and some tools and tricks that will help.

Best wishes to you.

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