Ever since I was about 10 years old I guess you could say I have been worried/pre-occupied at some level about disease. It started with Cancer when my neighbour's relative died of it, Terry Fox lost a leg to it and then died of it, and various TV movies where played about it. My Dad would always ask rhetorically "Are you a Hypocondriac or something?". I can't remember what I did to get him to say that every so often, but obviously I acted oddly somehow even then.
Today I am still worried about disease whether this is an OCD or a phobia of some kind I don't know. Maybe I'm just over-reacting to all of this and I simply just have way too much time on my hands. But i'll give you some examples of my behavior these days.
A couple of years ago the flesh eating disease became common knowledge when Lucean Bucard sp?(Former Quebec Premier) lost a leg to it. Reading about it I found out that the disease enters through breaks in the skin. I asked myself "Could I get it?". During my College years I came down with a lot of stress which manifests itself in hand excema. This rash causes the skin to eventually break. I assumed that every public door knob, faucet, joystick (I really liked playing arcade games then), and table could have the germs which could infect my hand wounds. From this I began to wash my hands everytime I came home, and everytime I ate. I still do this today. I'm especially aware of this during my excema attacks. I still fear of catching somekind of nasty blood infection.
Occasionally my friends and I go out to strip bars. I always feel guilty going to these places. I used to go out of curiousity and now I mainly do it to keep up social relations. To me its practically a sin to go there now. I have become super sensitive of these places. When ever I'm in one of these bars I limit what I touch (tables, doors, dancers etc). I'm careful to sit somewhere tidier. After a couple of beers I calm down and behave more normally. When I get home though I go through this regiment. Before I step into the house I wipe my shoes on the lawn (more than once). When I get inside I make as few steps as possible before I take my shoes off. When they are off I watch so I dont step with my socks where I just stepped with my shoes. All articles of clothing I have worn that night go into the hamper to be washed later, seperatly from the regular load. After doing this I wash my hands, shower sometimes, skip brushing my teeth, and go to bed. The next morning I shower thoroughly, wash my glasses thoroughly, and avoid stepping where I stepped with my shoes yesterday for a couple of hours or days. I sort of tip toe by the area.
I also refuse to wear the shoes I wore to the bar for at least a couple of days.
When I first started going to strip bars things were not this bad. When I got home I really didn't think about it (except my clothes where still considered dirty the next day). After seeing a couple of spent condoms in the bathrooms of the clubs and picking my jacket off the main floor(it would fall off the chair I was sitting in) a couple of times (making the connection to what could be tracked throughout the establishment from the bathroom floor) I started to get paranoid I guess. I am always worried now of coming into contact with STD related germs at these places, and worse, becoming infected.
What do think?
Would you consider these examples forms of Phobia or OCD and should I consider counsiling for this?
See an OCD specialist to figure this one out. I'm wondering how you justify having friendships with people that go to Strip bars when deep down you feel it is sinful. Could you find new hobbies that allow you to meet people that have similar morals as you? I guess I'm wondering if this is OCD and/or some feelings of shame. Going to Strip Bars may actually be a form of therapy because you have to overcome your OCD germ-fears to go. On the other hand, I just don't know if there is something else going on in your brain, like a guilty-conscience to be blunt. I would seek some professional advice.
What you (cvcc97) described sounds very much like OCD...not only the elaborate routine that you described upon getting home, but the fact that you are finding things infected by association....what I mean by that is that you feel as if you are being infected by what you feel is sinful/dirty.... I have OCD (with contamination, and many other things) and I will deem things to be dirty for some of the same reasons,although mine goes so far that I cannot even touch a picture or article in a magazine that might reference something I deem dirty (disease/feet etc.) without washing my hands (usually 5 times)... Outside of most of my personal posessions there is almost nothing that I can touch with my hands without washing or sanatizing.....What you described sounds a lot like OCD, but if I were you I would consult a professional, or a least research the internet, or a book like "The Boy Who Couldn't Stop Washing", because OCD usually displays it self in a variety of symptoms that one who has it could never even imagine.....for years, even after I had finally learned that my washing and patterns were a result of OCD, at the time, I had no idea that other things such as guilt, checking, hypocondria, homemade superstitions, hoarding, etc. ...all these things that I had bee doing were all coming from the same source...so I wonder if you exibit along with the contmination, some other signs as well....because if it is ocd, there are both thereputic and medicinal options that will help with the disorder..