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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Message Board

Plagued by "what if" worries

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Old 09-19-2004, 05:53 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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simplyj HB User
Plagued by "what if" worries

Hello everyone,

My OCD can go from bad to worse within minutes and I before I know it, I feel like I'm starting all over again. Here's an example...One of my many OCD obsessions is with the daily trash (yuk). To clarify, I obsess that I've written something inappropriate on anything and everything like paper, cereal boxes, soup cans, etc. Everything that I throw away has to be carefully inspected before I can toss it in the garbage to make sure nothing was written on it. This ritual/compulsion has been going on FOR YEARS and I am so tired of it. If I get the fear that my husband has thrown out something that I did not "inspect" I have to take out every piece of garbage and look at it before throwing it away. Some days I can get through it fairly well with only a brief inspection but other days like today it gets out of control. A few days ago I bought My daughter a happy meal that came with a toy. Shortly after cleaning the table I realized that I could not find part of the toy. I looked and looked and could not find it but I assumed that eventually I would. After a thorough cleaning of my house, I realized that the toy piece still had not reappeared and so of course my stress level went up, I was filled with anxiety, I questioned my husband over and over again until he finally said that the only place it could be was in the garbage and that maybe our daughter tossed it in the trash. Well of course at first I thought it was impossible since I never let her throw anything out but I figured it was worth a check. I looked through the garbage bag AND THERE IT WAS. I started to freak out at the fact that something was thrown away without my knowledge. I felt I had to look through every piece of garbage or I just could not deal with the anxiety. Needless to say, I checked through the bag and when I was done, all my anxiety subsided. But of course, checking through the trash yet again only reinforces my OCD but I can't seem to shake this big obsession. Can anyone relate? Any suggestions?


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Old 09-20-2004, 08:36 AM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 8
Memories HB User
Re: Plagued by "what if" worries

Well, it sounds like you have a pretty good handle on it. Especially the aspect of giving in to it re-inforcing the obession. I think sometimes you just have to confront the worst: Well what if you DID leave some personal note in the trash and some malicious trash collector found it? What is he going to do about it? Print it in a book? Call the police? Read it every night? I'll do that when I'm looking for something. OK, maybe I won't ever find it. Will life end?

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