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OCD or Phobia?
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OCD or Phobia?

I'm new to the forum, so I wanted to say, "Hello" and to ask a few questions, as well as explain what I deal with.  I don't know if I'd be classified as "OCD", but maybe it is.  My younger brother has it, but what he does is totally diff from me.  I have a lot of "quirky" ways about me.  To start, I have to make what I named as a child "corners".  I have to take pieces of paper or certain types of materials and fold them to make a sharp point and I poke my fingers or anywhere on my body with them...it feels good and it's become a security thing for me, throughout the day and to go to sleep at night.  I'm also horribly afraid of metal on metal and the smell of metal (that metallic smell), it's sends my anxiety thru the roof!!  If I see someone touching tin foil with their metal utensil, I get chills and immediately start to make "the yuck face".  It's almost become instant reaction.  And, even though I make "corners" with paper and poke myself with it, I cannot stand for paper to touch my arms or legs...only my hands.  So, I can't lay a newspaper on my legs to read it, I have to put a buffer there, so it doesn't touch me.  My clothes have to be a certain way in my closet and all of my canned foods have to be a certain way in my pantry.  I do take medicines for anxiety, but I still have all of these things that I do and still have these irrational fears/phobias.  Another fear I have is of vomit....OMG!!  I can't see it, be around, or even know someone is sick.  I have a son, he's 13 now, but as a child when he'd get sick, I'd just run the other way and couldn't help him.  This one is also weird, I get fears that food will make me sick (this goes w/the vomit fear), so I won't eat at times.  Or, if I'm eating and something doesn't taste right, I'll assume the food is bad and I'll spit it out then think, "oh god, I'm gonna get food poisoning".  I'm also HORRIBLY afraid of anything with feathers:  birds, duck, geese, you name it.  I have this fear that it's going to fly in my face to peck and scratch my eyes out.  I've never had a bad experience with any type of bird, but it's just a fear of mine.  When I send an email or a comment, I have to go back and read it like 4-5 times just to make sure I wrote it ok and I have to spell check it about 3 times to see if things weren't misspelled.  Sorry to have made this so long, but I need to know if this is just a lot of irrational fears/phobias or OCD.  Does anyone have any answers or comments?  Thanks in advance for reading my long comment/question.  :)
Tags: fears, phobia
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Avatar_n_tn
Can you clarify a couple things? What do you do if paper touches your arms or legs? Do you shower or wash off your legs? I'm trying to determine if you have a contamination type of OCD. The experience you describe with canned foods such as a fear of food poisoning is a good indicator this is a possibility. I think poking yourself with paper may fall under an "impulse" disorder. Are you poking yourself til you bleed? Also, what do you think is happening when a metal eating utensil touches foil or another metal surface?
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744415_tn?1243956976
If paper touches my arms or legs, I just get the creeps, I get a weird sensation on my skin where it touched me and I immediately have to rub my arms or legs until I fell the weird feeling go away.  I don't have to shower or clean myself, I more or less get the "willies" and I vigorously rub myself (in that spot it touched) until I feel better.  I normally don't poke myself until I bleed, but if I'm feeling really anxious or stressed, I'll poke under my fingernails until they bleed, but I don't even realize I'm doing it until I say "ouch" and look down and see that I've drawn blood or my fingernails start to get sore.  Mostly, I just poke my finger tips or drag it along any part of my body.  I poke my fingers pretty hard, sometimes too hard, this is a daily thing.  Later in the day, my finger tips will be sore, if I do it too much.  I've never been a "cutter" or harmed myself in any other way.  As far as the metal, it's almost like the paper issue when it touches me.  I get the "willies" and it makes my mouth water, I'll get shivers up my back and neck, and I'll grind my teeth until I feel better.  It puts the sensation of the taste of metal in my mouth or if you've ever sucked on a penny...blech!  I just hate it!!  Even thinking about it gives me shivers.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi again,

I believe you have a phobic disorder although OCD is somewhat related. I think they're all lumped together under one large umbrella of "OCD & related disorders". Your description of making "corners" and poking yourself would be considered a type of "self mutilation". Other types of self mutilation include cutting oneself, skin picking, pulling ones hair out etc...These impulse behaviors are quite common in folks that suffer from multiple phobias among other types of illnesses such as depression etc.....Are you in therapy for your condition? If you're not, you may want to try behavioral therapy. Basically, that will entail you being exposed to your phobias and not allowing you to poke yourself. Good luck to you
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