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HELP ME! Long but PLEASE read and help.

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Old 09-23-2005, 07:25 PM   #1
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HELP ME! Long but PLEASE read and help.

I have been doing some reading on OCD's and believe that I may have a few...however, my worst problem is with cleaning. I started this about 9 years ago and it has progresively gotten worse. For example, I cleaned from 7 am until 8:45pm today and this is normal for. I CAN NOT FUNCTION unless I am in a clean, neat environment. The weird thing is, if for some reason I do not clean ans a little mess starts (i.e dirty dishes in the sink) I will go on a complete downward spiral. I will go for a week without getting out of bed and will neglect to do things that I know I have to do. My daughter asked mme to eat lunch with her at school today and I told her no because the house was dirty. I felt so bad but I could not help it. I have a ritual and do not want anyone else to help me do anything because they do not know how to do it like I do it. Everything, toilet handles, light switches, doorknobs and refridegerator handles must be disinfected. I just feel so bad when my kids come into contact with germs. I even wash my dog 2 times per week and each time I wash him, all of his belongings have to be washed. MY LIFE IS CLEANING and neatness. My house is NEVER neat enough. I feel lie it should always be picture perfect and with 3 kids, this is not possible. I will be late for antyhing just so I can wipr the water spots of of my sink or faucet. I wipe down telephones all day long. WHAT CAN I DO! I hate it but I have no control over it. If I do laundry, I will not sop until it is all done-which takes me about 7 hours for a family of 5 + a dog. My hands are so corroded from all of the chemicals I use that they look like man hands ( I am female by the way :-) I am scared to tell my husband because of what he may think. I think that he thinks I just like to clean. He tells me to manage my time better! Like I wouldn't if I could. I also am a little embarrased to tell my doctor. What will he think of me. Somebody tell me something. I am SO trapped by this. And this is not the only one but it is one of the most pressing ones. I am scared that I am being too hard on our kids...pencils go in 1 box, crayons go in another and all shoes are organized according to the seasons and stuffed with paper to maintain shape. I hate goign behind them when they have tried their best to complete a chore because I do not want them to feel incompetent...but I can not help it. I do not want them to think that this is normal or end up resenting me.

Can I do something to fix this myself? Please offer any advice as I am beginning to get very scared.

I am sorry so long. See, I have got to stop typing to Clorox my keyboard keys. Crazy? ! ?

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Old 09-24-2005, 09:31 PM   #2
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Re: HELP ME! Long but PLEASE read and help.


Really sounds as if you have untreated OCD.
Nothing to ashamed of; your brain is different, and no, without medication and therapy, you cannot help it.
It is so good you are thinking of your effect on your kids. From my experience in growing up with an OCD father and mother, yes, it can hurt the kids a lot.
Please don't be afraid to seek treatment. A psychiatrist could help you a great deal, and you can ask for a referral from your physician. You could just say depression, if the OCD stuff is too embarassing for you, then deal with it with the shrink.

Good luck,


Old 09-25-2005, 05:29 PM   #3
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Re: HELP ME! Long but PLEASE read and help.

Thanks seaturtle. I am going to try to muster up enough courage to talk to my physician.

Old 09-25-2005, 06:59 PM   #4
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Re: HELP ME! Long but PLEASE read and help.

Reace - I can clean too from 8 am to midnight and then do more the next day. Sometimes I spend a 3 day weekend, just cleaning constantly. Then I'm a maniac about keeping it up, but then if it starts slipping, sometimes I let it go, and then I feel depressed and held back from it. Right now it's on a downward spiral and I don't even really care. I know what you mean about staying in bed because you know there's stuff to do. I recently realized that I have OCD. I wash my hands a lot, have to check everything over and over, get songs stuck in my head. I bought a couple books, but haven't started them yet, but I'm hoping just an understanding of what it is will help me. I don't think it's bad enough (for me), to seek help. I will try to deal with it myself first. Good luck to you.

Old 09-25-2005, 07:58 PM   #5
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Re: HELP ME! Long but PLEASE read and help.

I have add and depression. One day several years ago I went for one of my appts. with my shrink( would say her med. name but can anyone spell that). Anyway, I saw a paper in the waiting room about ocd. When I read it I could have cried. I told her I didn't know what I thought was wrong with me, had always read about it like you are, with the cleaning and seen shows where the person lines up all the foods just so so. Me I was going around the house mainly at night or before leaving the house, checking to make sure things were turned off or unplugged and checking the locks. I might do this for hours and hours after I had told Billy Don that I'd be in bed soon. I might not get to bed til 3 a.m. I felt like I was crazy. The good news, there are meds that help. I won't say I never recheck things anymore, but not to the point that I feel nuts about doing it and when it does happen at all it's not very often. Usually like after something has happened to some one I love or I'd been worried about someone I love. Or maybe after seeing on the news about fires happening, but I have to hear it a lot like in the winter when it happens more often.
I used to wish that if I had to have ocd that it would be with cleaning, especially since I have fibromyalgia and stay almost to tired to care what the house looks like, after reading what you wrote I apologize for ever thinking that. Ask for help, it's there and it works, I hardly ever do it anymore, wen I di it surprises me. No one will think bad of you.

Old 09-25-2005, 08:16 PM   #6
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Re: HELP ME! Long but PLEASE read and help.

Thank you, April414! That's EXACTLY how I was! Little did I know that, three years ago, I would have found the tormenting disorder that I had been suffering from for 15 years. I blame the media for reinforcing stereotypes of OCD, causing all of us to think that contamination fears and being a "germophobe" is all that OCD is, and leaving those of us, especially people like me who are pure obsessionals and have few, if any, motor compulsions, to not suspect the disorder and continue to live a hellish existence. If movies like "As Good As It Gets" and "Matchstick Men" and shows like "Monk" would show that contamination OCD is simply the largest subset, rather than the whole disorder as they portray, I'm sure many more unaware OCD-ers could be seeking help at this very moment...
"Not everything that steps out of line, and thus 'abnormal,' must necessarily be 'inferior.'"
-Hans Asperger

Old 09-25-2005, 08:35 PM   #7
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Re: HELP ME! Long but PLEASE read and help.

Thanks to everyone who has helped me realize that I can really gert help and not feel terrible about it. Today was another rough day, I was just talking to mt husband and he asked me if I realized I sewpt the kitchen floor 13 times and mopped it 10 in the last 9 hours. I told him I knew it was a few but didn't think it was that many. It's so crazy because as I am typing, I amthinking about what cleaning I need to do in the morning. I have a list written out and everything.

I am gonna call the doc in the am so that I can move on with things. I am a control freak as is and it feels terrible whn something that should be so trivial controls my life!

Thanks again!

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