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Hey everyone,

 

So I am in week 4 of treatment and it's been going pretty well. I have contamination OCD, my main fear being that I have HIV and will give it to others. So I have been washing less, my hands healed and I was having practially no crying fits or freak-outs.

 

Yesterday, I was doing an exposure of trying on dresses at a store. I used the restroom and there was a red spot on the toilet paper. I threw it in the toilet and finished up but I was freaking out! I figured I should do the exposure anyway and tried on dresses. My therapist was impressed that I carried out the exposure after the much worse accidental exposure. I was keeping it together for the most part but today my dad was fixing a pipe and turned off the water so I could not wash my hands. I had to pee, but I also had to wait for him to be done and my the time the water was back on, I was very upset and just freaked out completely. I am on my period which is always really bad and I felt like blood was everywhere.

 

It feels like I am falling back to square one, what types of things help when you feel like you're falling back?

 

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Good work on the exposure therapy!!!  

 I know that often OCD impulses do not necessarily make sense . So I wonder what washing hands has to do with the HIV. Do you feel the doctors have it wrong and that it can be transmitted through something other than blood? 

 

Ok , when gals are on their periods, anxiety , ocd, depression, etc., goes through the roof. So please try to not really ' analyze' your progress until the period has stopped because the hormones and mood swings associated with your normal cycle really can kick up the mind into high gear .  I know it's hard but just try to say ' this is my period talking and when it's over, things will settle back down' . And then you will be back in the place you were 2 days ago , which was AWESOME!  Every month as you improve, you 'll be better able to handle the hormonal swings ! 

 

You should be very pleased and proud of all your hard work. Don't let a period get you down. Eat some chocolate and turn on a chick flick and ignore it ! 

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Great work on the progress vamp! Joy is right, hormones can really mess with our disorders, but one thing to note is when you are kicking its butt, the anxiety will try and fight back, so expect it, its totally normal. I found it very helpful to keep a journal, and to write down some 'affirmations' things I was taught in therapy etc, to remind myself of what to expect and how it was part of the procedure, it helps to reassure yourself in writing as the anxiety makes your head spin. I also rewarded myself for even a small achievement. Little things help and its a bit or a rollercoaster ride but we don't see how good we have done until we have come out the other side, thats why keeping a journal can help, through the rough patches it helps to see your past achievements and how you got through the set backs, usually a little better each time, but we don't often see it when we are in that moment.

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   yes, for many with C OCD the aids thing is one of the worst imaginable.  and it doesn't have to follow logic, contamination is like an often invisible cloud that is just there, imagined and unplesant

   different things will cause it to get worse or better.  i guess i am lucky to be a guy, but we do have feelings too.

mine got much worse when a longterm relationship ended, and when i quit drinking, which is often self medicating

i guess the important thing is to expect that the OCD will be there so it doesn't surprise you and be ready to fight it.  meanwhile have plenty cleaning supplies ready, because sometimes it wins.

  good luck, you're not alone!

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Thanks so much for your input and support Joy, Gilly and Steve! It is much better today, and I have been trying to continue to challenge myself. I do want to try to journal more, thanks Gilly for that suggestion.

This weekend my assignment was to put my hand over my mouth and rub it all over myself and my bed, etc. This is because my gums bleed sometimes so I am afraid to touch my my mouth, eat things without a fork/spoon, etc. I have been slipping on that but I have been trying other things like not showering after I go #2. Haha sry for so much tmi but I know you guys understand! So i will try to carry on through this tough week, ugh!! And I think I'm going to be on my period during a family beach vacation, so disappointing! I think that realization threw me yesterday too.

 

 

 I know that often OCD impulses do not necessarily make sense . So I wonder what washing hands has to do with the HIV. Do you feel the doctors have it wrong and that it can be transmitted through something other than blood? 

 

Well, I feel like all my bodily fluids are contaminants (tears, snot, anything) so I wash after blowing my nose, brushing my teeth, etc. And I also fear touching anything red like spots in my environment and stuff. So yeah I have trouble believing it is not easily caught like through casual contact. I came in contact with blood like 3 times last year and my OCD went insane. So weird.

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   i know science doesn't always make it better, but remember - bodily fluids don't really become contaminated until they are out in the environment for a while and germs get to them.

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