View Full Version : I need input and help

09-04-2014, 09:08 PM
I have the classic excessive hand washing ocd
I have been trying to put a stop to it and managed to change a few things for the better... by that I mean less time and shorter time of washing
that makes me feel insecure like I don't believe it is actually clean and trust me I KNOW it is clean..I KNOW you only need to wash your hands the 20 seconds etc like they teach you in some many videos... I KNOW that our hands don't require much rubbing to actually get cleaned... and yet I have these thoughts rush into my mind of doubts.... that they aren't cleaned...and at the same time I feel like I do know how it is done and I just just trust it

I will go see a therapist soon (I cant cause of money right now)

but meanwhile I need you guys to help me

give me input, ideas, thoughts, comments...whatever you can so I put a stop to it....

I realize I should just force myself to wash normally and move on and I managed to do much better but now the doubts come and it makes me wash a lot like before again...

like I am afraid that the wash I have been doing isn't cleaning (even though I know it makes no sense, I will explain why below) and because i feel like maybe it isn't cleaning I feel like I cant touch clean things like say...hanging recently washed sheet to dry...like the dirtiness of my hands will transfer to the cleans sheets somehow even though I just washed it...I feel that way cause I have been washing less times and shorter times at the same time compared with before because it got to a point that it was ridiculous...I would wash my hands for 2 hours straight...

explaining what I said before.... about making no sense to have these doubts..
here it my explanation

I KNOW that you only need to wash your hands for 20 to 30 seconds rubbing all side and only ONCE...done. I KNOW that what I feel is irrational and ridiculous...and so it was too much and my husband helped me get to less washes...faster washes...

but like I said before now I have doubts about if it is really is cleaning and the part that makes so damn sense is that I KNOW it should be.

so in one hand I know how I am supposed to wash...good...
I know I am washing better than that cause I do more rubbing and wash one more time.. which means that I know I should be satisfied with it's cleaning and just move on...
but again....doubts...

so please you guys...
I wanna put a stop to it
and I realize you guys think and will say I need a therapist and I agree...I just need a help for now and I will go see one as soon as possible (money)...

so until then I want to make my life better so please help me!

thank you...

09-05-2014, 02:31 PM
I think the key to cutting down on the hand washing would be trying to remember when it all started. Was there a particular incident that triggered it?

09-22-2014, 08:54 AM
you are trying to deal with the problem. i give you credit. i know a very likely hoarder.

i wish i could get someone i know to at least do something.

God bless you and i hope people here can help you.


09-24-2014, 10:36 PM
First we need to understand that anxiety (fear) is the root of OCD. There are things that cause us extreme anxiety, in your case, contamination. Your fear of contamination has gotten to a point of obsession. Your obsession makes you feel extremely uncomfortable therefore to release all that anxiety and stress you perform a ritual or compulsion, in your case washing hands. But compulsions have a paradoxical effect, in the way that when performed it provokes and urge to keep doing ritualizing and to seek for reassurance. In other words it feeds more fear into the obsession and thus it makes a vicious cycle.
It is important to cut down the compulsion, by doing this we can break the anxious circle and start healing.
Ok now for the technique.
What you were trying to do previously was to cut off the compulsion, but this caused you a lot of trouble because you were been very aggressive.
The first thing to do is:
Do not fight against the obsession (contamination). Accept it, accept that you can get dirty, accept that you cannot be clean a 100% of the time. But most important accept that nothing bad is gonna happen you if you don't wash your hands that often.
When the urge of washing your hands comes in, take a moment and realize that you had started to obsess and that to relief that anxiety you are about to ritualize.
Now when the urge of washing your hands pop up you are going to wash your hands but first you are going to postpone that urge for about 1min. Wait that minute and start washing. Also when you wash your hands wash them slowly, very slow. Take the time you feel it is appropriated.
When you are finish try not to think about it, but if the urge to wash your hands pop up, accept it and you will wash your hands again, but this time postpone the compulsion for 5 minutes, again wash them slowly and relax. Also this time you will wash for a less amount of time than the time before.
So the next time you feel the urge to wash your hands do it but now you are going to postpone it for 10 minutes, this may be pretty tough because of the anxiety but remember that you control your compulsions not the other way around.
Keep doing this, by progressively increasing the time between urge and the act of washing your hands. Also progressively reduce the time you spend washing your hands.
Cutting down the compulsion progressively is easier and more effective than stoping it all in one try.
This way you will regain your strength and control over compulsion and your security over contamination. It may be tough but keep doing it, you will find less need to wash your hands by each time you successfully postpone the compulsion.

Hope this may help you, take care.