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The disease and the attention it is receiving are “good for business”, one psychiatrist told me with gallows humour. An important difference is that someone with OCD will wash until they feel comfortable or “just right”. Roselle wasn’t experiencing typical OCD contamination fears, but rather mental contamination. doctors, hairdressers, homeless people, gay people), Avoidance of contact with people in general (i.e.

), Checking, reassurance seeking, or analysis of items that may or may not be blood (i.e. If I say don’t think about blood, it will have the same effect as me saying not to think about a tap-dancing giraffe! It is the virus that causes AIDS, it is incurable (as of this writing), and it is loaded with all kinds of stigma and misconceptions. If I am not certain, then I may have gotten some blood on me and it may give me a terrible disease. In an attempt to neutralise their intrusive thoughts and uncomfortable bodily sensations (obsessions) after contact with the contaminant, excessive cleaning rituals (compulsions) of the areas are usually employed until the person feel “de-contaminated”. For Kyle MacNeill, a freelance writer, the 2009 swine flu scare initiated a years-long struggle with OCD. In 2012, Australian scientists reported the first cases of OCD in people who fixate on thoughts about climate change – a bogeyman for the new millennium and one that, like HIV in the 1980s, poses an uncertain, universal threat, depicted in lurid detail by the mass media.

Are you willing to sacrifice time with your family because you’re stuck in the shower? Individuals who develop contact contamination OCD, typically experience an overwhelming feeling of distress, discomfort or a sensation of uncleanliness, when they come into physical contact with substances, objects, people or animals, that are viewed as ‘contaminants’ (usually containing germs, dirt, disease, bodily waste, secretions, or toxic chemicals).

In this first installment, I will be focusing on blood, how fear associated with blood often presents in OCD, and how cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be used to treat it. Further, washing just sends the message to the brain that getting stuff off your hands is an important thing to focus on. As anyone with the condition will know, of course, OCD is challenging all the time. Veale says the signs of OCD are clear and different from the “normal” response to the coronavirus.

Mental contamination and traumatic experiences. This typically involves initial low exposure to the contaminant that gradually increases over a period of time as the perceived distress and threat decreases.

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