Contamination OCD

Excessive hand washing, bathing, or constant sterilization of your surroundings may indicate contamination OCD. Constant worry about germs, contamination, and illness can be draining and significantly disrupt your personal and professional life. However, thousands have overcome this and you can too.

Contamination OCD

Understanding OCD and how it connects to fear of contamination 

Contamination OCD, similar to other types of OCD, follows a cycle of obsessions and compulsions. For instance, someone with contamination OCD may obsess over walking near drops of blood on a sidewalk, fearing they have stepped in it and might contract an illness. This obsession leads to compulsive behaviors such as excessive showering and discarding the clothes worn during the walk. This cycle illustrates how obsessions about contamination trigger compulsions aimed at reducing anxiety, albeit temporarily.

Common Obsessions in Contamination OCD:

Contamination OCD sufferers often fixate on fears of illness, germs, and dirt, spending a significant amount of time consumed by these anxieties. Some of these obsessions may include:

  • Fear of contracting STIs or developing cancer
  • Fear of bodily fluids, including blood, saliva, and others
  • Fear of spreading illnesses and contaminants to others
  • Fear of germs, toxins, radiation, or dust

Common Compulsions in Contamination OCD:

In response to these fears, you may engage in compulsions aimed at reducing anxiety and removing contaminants. These compulsions can involve excessive hand washing, showering, cleaning, discarding items you believe are contaminated, and performing repeated actions to temporarily alleviate your anxiety.

  • Excessive and repetitive hand washing, showering, and cleaning
  • Separating contaminated items from non-contaminated items
  • Discarding items deemed contaminated
  • Using harsh chemical cleaners on your skin
  • Conducting excessive research on germs, illnesses, and ailments
  • Employing rituals such as knocking, tapping, repeating specific thoughts.

You Don’t Have to Fight This Alone

Treatment for Contamination OCD is often Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP), and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). These therapies empower you by challenging irrational beliefs about contamination, gradually reducing anxiety through exposure exercises, and creating acceptance of intrusive thoughts without avoidance. By equipping you with practical coping skills, you can regain control, manage symptoms, and enhance your overall well-being.

Are you ready to take the first step?