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Topic: OCD?

14 posts, 0 answered
  1. blue_skies
    blue_skies avatar
    6 posts
    24 September 2021

    Hi, I was wondering if anyone could help me point me in the right direction to get help about my irrational behaviours.

    The one that affects my life the most at this moment is the number of times I need to vacuum clean a day. To me, it doesn't feel like a big task (as I just use the stick vacuum) to sweep up any crumbs or pet hairs I can see on the floors. But the problem is that it drives my partner crazy. He says it's excessive the amount of times I vacuum (I probably use the stick vacuum about 4-5 times to pick up things from the floor).

    I know it probably is unreasonable but if I don't do it, I can't relax and feel comfortable. I feel like I'm not even a 'clean freak' because there are other filthy places of the house I won't bother cleaning, it's more the visible things on the floor that I can't stand.

    I also noticed more recently I can't stand the way the carpet pile goes in different directions and I need it smoothed out. I'll step over uneven patches to make them smooth again (I know this is irrational but I can't stop doing it).

    During my high school years I had also experienced excessive hand washing that was very detrimental to the skin on my hands - they were always cracked and sore from overwashing. I couldn't get rid of the 'dusty' feeling on my hands and it could only be relieved from washing them with soap. I have no idea how or when I left that behaviour behind but I don't do that anymore.

    This was more for some background information but I'm more concerned about how I can actually stop the urge to vacuum so often. I KNOW it doesn't need to be done more than once a day, but how do I leave it alone? I feel hopeless because these behaviours are beginning to impact others. Does anyone know whether it sounds like OCD? Because recent articles I've read keep saying that 'OCD isn't about cleanliness etc' so I'm confused as to whether it is.

    Thank you to anyone who has bothered to read this extremely long post.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. missep123
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    missep123 avatar
    771 posts
    24 September 2021 in reply to blue_skies

    Hi blue_skies,

    I'm really sorry to hear that you have been going through that. During high school I went through a phase where if I ate something I had to eat until the number 4, for example if I had a lolly snake I would have to eat 3 more to make sure I ate exactly 4. It was exhausting.

    The first thing that helped me was to recognise what kind of automatic thoughts I was having that was making me do these behaviours. We often have automatic thoughts which we don't pay any attention to.

    Please keep us updated, we are definitely here for you. I can completely understand these behaviours can be exhausting and frustrating- I have definitely been there!

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Emilyll
    Emilyll avatar
    8 posts
    24 September 2021 in reply to blue_skies

    Hi there,

    I was the same in high school (and to this day) approx 7 years, I’d be washing my hands so often that my skin would be so sore, cracked and sometimes bleed around my knuckles - tip: use unscented hand cream (QV, cetaphil, etc…) hydrated my hands so much and won’t sting!

    It does get hard sometimes when your partner doesn’t completely understand what you are going through or see it through your eyes. My partner and I are going to do couples counselling so we can discuss how my habits affect him and our relationship. All about communication.

    Sometimes OCD can involve cleanliness but yes, it’s not always the case- if anything, there are hoarders who have OCD - best to see a counsellor so they can guide you through what you are going through.

    Reach out to me if you want to 🧡

  4. Petal22
    Community Champion
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    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Petal22 avatar
    1151 posts
    24 September 2021 in reply to blue_skies

    Hi blue skies,

    Wellcome to our forums!

    Im sorry you are feeling this way…..

    I had severe anxiety OCD…… Ive now recovered from this condition thanks to the help of health professionals…..

    My OCD was over a number of things….. I could just have intrusive thoughts and then I would question these thoughts…… my anxiety was very severe

    Id have a lot of what if questions

    I’d check things over and over again…. eg checking if the door was locked, the oven off

    Id have intrusive thoughts of if I don’t do something in particular someone will get sick

    It was a really exhausting horrible condition to go through……..

    If it is OCD the good news is it’s very treatable I’ve been recovered for the past 4 years going Strong…..

    My recovery started from seeing my gp we did a mental health plan together I was also put on a antidepressant to help me to manage my anxiety… I saw a clinical psychologist and a psychiatrist who diagnosed me…. this then led me to a clinic that specialised in OCD…….. this is we’re I learned to master my OCD…… the therapy I did was meta cognitive therapy this therapy changed my life…..

    I highly recommend you see your gp and do a mental health plan together and then ask for a referral to a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist who can diagnose..

    I’ve written two threads

    From someone who had OCD and recovered

    Effective treatment for OCD Metacognitive therapy

    Please have a read

    Im here to chat, please ask me any thing

  5. Isabella_
    Community Champion
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    Isabella_ avatar
    76 posts
    25 September 2021 in reply to blue_skies

    Hi blue_skies

    Thank you for being open and honest with us. We'll always be here to listen. There's no such thing as a post that's too long on here.

    I have a family member with OCD who also experienced excessive hand washing, to the point where his skin had become affected. I don't have personal experience with it, however, I think if you're repetitively doing tasks out of a have to, even if you know it's irrational, then I think it's worth contacting a GP to discuss it.

    From what you've written, it sounds like compulsive behaviour. I think a good way to know if a behaviour is abnormal is when you know it's irrational, but you don't have the control to not do it, and if you have a lot of discomfort if you don't.

    I think it would be worthwhile to see a professional to get an understanding about what you may be experiencing, and potentially stop the situation from worsening.

    I hope you're taking care. Keep us updated.

  6. geoff
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    15102 posts
    25 September 2021 in reply to blue_skies

    Hello Blue_skies, OCD is about obsessions and compulsions, it's also about people wanting to wash their hands over and over, to keep them from having germs, to keep them clean.

    The urge to keep vacuuming is an obsession to keep the floors clean and from what you have told us, you may have OCD, and I can say this as I've had it for 60 odd years, but still needs to be diagnosed by a doctor.

    Also to step over uneven patches is another obsession/compulsion from OCD, and as a young kid, I couldn't step on the cracks on the footpath.

    Please keep posting as this definitely worries you.

    Geoff.

  7. blue_skies
    blue_skies avatar
    6 posts
    27 September 2021 in reply to missep123
    Thank you so much for replying and sharing your experiences with me, it been really helpful.
    1 person found this helpful
  8. blue_skies
    blue_skies avatar
    6 posts
    27 September 2021 in reply to Emilyll
    Thank you so much, I really appreciate the response.
  9. blue_skies
    blue_skies avatar
    6 posts
    27 September 2021 in reply to Petal22
    Hi there, thank you so much in sharing some resources with me. I just didn't know what the first step to take was - I think it all seems to start with a conversation with the GP. I just didn't want to think it was too trivial - sometimes saying it out loud makes everything seem even more ridiculous some times. It's been very encouraging to see everyone's experiences.
    2 people found this helpful
  10. blue_skies
    blue_skies avatar
    6 posts
    27 September 2021 in reply to Isabella_
    Thank you so much, I feel like it has really validated my concerns and given me motivation to start the journey with a health professional.
    1 person found this helpful
  11. blue_skies
    blue_skies avatar
    6 posts
    27 September 2021 in reply to geoff
    Thank you for shedding some light - I will keep posting.
  12. Petal22
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Petal22 avatar
    1151 posts
    27 September 2021 in reply to blue_skies

    That’s ok blue skies 😊 Yes please make an appointment with your gp and discuss how you are feeling ….nothing is too trivial….

    Always here to chat to you

  13. missep123
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    missep123 avatar
    771 posts
    7 October 2021 in reply to blue_skies

    Hi blue_skies!

    I am so glad to see that there were so many responses to your thread!

    Your situation is definitely not trivial! I really hope you find the support that will help!

  14. Andre_P
    Andre_P avatar
    89 posts
    17 October 2021 in reply to blue_skies

    Hello there I’m Andre. If resisting the urge to do something creates worry thoughts then the point of distress and sometimes even panic then yes it’s definitely ocd. I know one thing do your best to kerb your rituals. I wish I knew I had ocd in my early years. I never really thought twice about checking things 2-3 times etc. that turned into 10 times and etc etc. worst kind of obsessions are intrusive thoughts alone. These mental obsessions and rituals are hard work. The key to fighting it is to stop fighting it haha. It’s such a paradoxical world we live in, it’s crazy.

    good luck :)

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