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How to recover from mainly contamination OCD without having harmful medicine

Hi there.. this is my first post in this community. I'm a 27 yrs old male having severe OCD, mainly contamination and cleaning issues. I'm struggling with the problems for abt 3 years.. but the severity is much for last 2yrs. Some of my OCD things are common, but some are a bit exceptional. The much painful thing is some weird symptoms are adding day by day. Like firstly it was limited mainly in cleaning my hands and  many parts of my body for several hours. Gradually the time just increased. I started to wash the taps, mugs, buckets in toilet and kitchen too with soap as I feared the water might be splashed while I washing my hands. These water splashings irritate me heavily still now. Actually the main reason of my long term washing rituals are mainly these water splashing. I just wonder about the fact that before 3 or more years I didn't notice or think of these water splashing problems. But since my OCD had started, all my focus had somehow been transferred to little things. I think that some water drops might be splashed while washing my hands here and there and contaminate the touched things. So I have to wash my mouth, tap, forearms etc while I only needed to wash my wrists. I know these thoughts might be irrational and when I'm a bit less stessed I think that I'll be not engaged on the painful rituals further but in vain. The things just appear again and again and befuddle me like I'm a cursed one, a complete psychopath! I had to quit my undergrad mainly because of OCD and some severe depression issues. Also I have severe contamination issues.  I just lose myself in chain reaction of contamination and isolate myself in a corner of my room not touching many things. I think that I might contaminate the things around me when I have some kinda germs (mainly in my thought) in my clothes. Too much I'm concerned with the contamination of bodily fluids. And a weird thing which has been added kinda recently is I don't look at the time of any analog clock to avoid wathcing some unholy time! I've just come to a stage at which I take some specific times of the clock and watch as cursed and unholy. And I try to not start any new work on those specific times. I try not to write some specific numbered words thinkung them to be demonic. Sound pretty much bizarre I know! I was kinda introvert from childhood and all these things have just made me partially sociopath, completely depressed and most of the time angry. OCD has drained my energy, patience and goodwill too much. Have some more irritating issues too but maybe period for now. Now going to my doctor and medication issues. I've visited total 3 doctors but not anyone for long. I was prescribed Escita, Setra, Clofranil, Residon, Sizonil, Riscord etc as far I remember. But some of them had quite extreme sedative and vision effects on me and for that I just stopped to take them. Firstly, I believed that medications might help me to recover. But because of the side effects and reading an article by a neuroscience researcher on the long term effects of depression medicines and hearing from a friend about the hardships he had gone through because of medicines I became a bit nervous and hence not taking medicines. My situation is extremely messy now! Don't know actually what to do. None of my doctors actually discussed on CBT or ERP deeply to treat me. I don't know that I should go to a new doc or try to recover by any other way!! Thanks in advance for any response.
2 Responses
Avatar universal
Do seek therapy with a psychologist who specializes in treating OCD.  If the doctors you are seeing are general practitioners, they don't have any special training either in the meds used to treat OCD or therapy.  In the olden days they would refer you to a psychologist their patients had success with and if that didn't work, the therapist would refer you to a psychiatrist for medication.  At the level of dysfunction you're at, I'm not sure therapy will work quickly enough or that you'll be able to do the work.  Maybe you can.  So medication is probably going to be necessary at this stage of your disease.  But meds will never cure you.  Nobody knows what causes it so nobody knows exactly what to target with medication, so it just tamps down symptoms when it works.  When therapy works it fixes the problem.  But if you're at the stage where you're quitting school because of it medication is probably necessary to get you to a place where you can steady your life.  Certain meds are considered better for OCD than others, but any antidepressant can work but if it doesn't, you might need to add to it or try something else.  Meds are no fun.  It's true.  Neither is suffering every day.  Peace.
2 Comments
Thanks for the response. Actually I was not having any better outcome with meds rather some serious sedative effects. I couldn't keep my eyes open even not being that tired after taking them. And I came upon an article which promoted that taking meds for depression might make a person severely ill and weak forever. I'll try to post it here if possible. Whatever, if meds are really helpful, I think I'll try some again.
You just didn't find the right med for you.  It takes some time, as it's trial and error.  No, they won't make you severely ill and weak forever, but I won't falsely reassure you and tell you they can't have some long-term harm, they can.  They usually don't, though.  It depends a lot on how long you take them and the rest is just bad luck or good luck.  But you are also suffering a lot now, and that's also a problem, right?
973741 tn?1342342773
Being afraid of medicine that would ultimately help you with your ocd is part of your ocd.  :>)  This is a health condition.  When debating whether or not to take medication, the impact of your mental health disorder on normal functioning of your life needs to be evaluated between you and a health care professional. You certainly can try intensive therapy by itself to see if you get better functioning or feeling better.  Exposure therapy an be beneficial in this regard.  However, please know that man with the disorder of OCD do require medication to manage.  A psychiatrist would be very helpful to oversee this.  
2 Comments
Thanks. Actually I was not sure at all whether OCD can be treated by medication or not.
I think Mom meant to say many, not man.  Yes, OCD can be treated by anything that helps any form of anxiety.  But it does take some time to find one that works and the right dosage for you and one that doesn't have side effects you can't tolerate.  Sometimes combining meds is necessary.  And as Mom says, if you can live with this you can try therapy first and see if it works.  The treatment for OCD that works best is probably a form of CBT, but all of them will aim to get you to stop doing the rituals you're doing and realize nothing bad will actually happen.  But it's not easy, it will take work, and it will take time, and I'm concerned you're at a very bad place and medication does work faster but it can't cure you, but it can give you a lot of your life back so you can seek a cure.  Peace.
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