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Toothbrush anxiety

(53 Posts)
ChargedUp Fri 29-May-20 20:44:12

I have been struggling with Corona anxiety, as I'm sure most people have.

Many thoughts have whizzed through my brain, many of which are irrational but I can't stop them.

Anyway, my latest thing is about my toothbrush. It's kept in a steripod but the steripod came off and pinged behind a unit. I left my brush sitting on a unit (under a new tv) until I found the steripod. Then I rinsed the steripod with anticac soap and my finger. But then I worried that I'd contaminated the pod, and then I started to think that by leaving my brush sitting that somehow the virus might magically drop off the tv and onto the brush or that it might get onto the brush in another way.

I know that sounds crazy and writing it down makes it sound even crazier. I'm sitting here looking at the brush thinking I can't use it until its cleaned. I have some Milton fluid and read that brushes can be sterilised. Has anyone done this before? Is it safe?

OP’s posts: |
magicmallow Fri 29-May-20 20:47:30

I think speaking to a professional about your anxiety would be a good idea. Give the brush a wash with some soap or milton, and then think no more of it. The chance of there being coronavirus on anything it touched is infinitesimally small. A quick wash will negate any risk no matter how small. Please chill out!

Redglitter Fri 29-May-20 20:51:44

You are seriously over thinking this. That's quite an extreme reaction you're having to such a minor thing

Drivingdownthe101 Fri 29-May-20 20:52:43

My toothbrush is sitting completely exposed on the sink as normal.
Do you have any help for your anxiety?

user1495884620 Fri 29-May-20 20:53:52

It's in your home. The only way coronavirus could have got onto it is if you or one of your family members already have it in which case transmission via toothbrush is probably not the most likely way of it spreading around the household.

jomaIone Fri 29-May-20 21:00:08

The virus doesn't move, it doesn't fall off one thing onto another or crawl along like a bug.

Do you always sterilise your toothbrush?? Mine has always sat out in the bathroom for my whole life and has never caused me a problem.

We are starting to get out now, be around people and need to get used to this and not be scared of everhbting. I suggest you read up from a reputable source about the virus so you can get it straight in your mind. This isn't normal.

oralengineer Fri 29-May-20 21:11:16

As long as you leave your toothbrush to dry bacteria can’t grow. I can assure you that you have considerably more bacteria in your mouth than on your toothbrush. If you are concerned about corona virus, rinse your tooth brush in a hydrogen peroxide based mouthwash (Peroxyl) and dry thoroughly. It will be more effective at destroying Coronavirus than a steripod.
Health anxiety is totally debilitating during a pandemic. I would strongly advise you seek medical advice.

RedToothBrush Fri 29-May-20 21:30:34

It would be easier to buy a new toothbrush. Preferably a red one.

ChargedUp Sat 30-May-20 11:52:38

I know how crazy it sounds, I know the virus doesn't just fall off items or crawl along but common sense seems to be out the window at the minute. I'll tell myself that something that was infected might have been set there before the t/brusht (can't think what). It's one of many irrational thoughts. For the first week of lockdown I couldn't moisturise my face, couldn't touch it.

I change my clothes constantly. Even if I walk the dog 10 minutes from home, in a field with noone about. Even if I do see someone we're not close anyway (virus or not) as he's leash reactive. I come home in, having had no contact with anyone and I take my clothes off. They might not get washed straight away but I'll only wear them once. Then when I take him out again that night, I'll wear something new. I come home and they go in the wash basket. I've seen me clean all my door handles 3 times in an hour. I'm struggling to eat anything without a knife/fork. Was really looking forward to a packet of crisps.... opened the packet.... couldn't eat them cos I had to use my fingers. My hands are red raw, with little cuts from the constant washing.

I keep notes of what has happened that day - been shopping, had a delivery, had an itch, had a takeaway. Just incase I start to feel ill, I can look back and and piece together what could have caused it.

I live with my dad and I'm feeling a lot of pressure to keep the virus out, for his sake more than anything. He knows I've struggled a bit but it annoys him and we've fought about it so I'm keeping everything else to myself.

I know how crazy this sounds and reading what I've written reinforces that. But still, those thoughts linger. I haven't sought help.... where would I go? The doctors? You can barely get through the door to see a doctor at the minute.

OP’s posts: |
justforthecake Sat 30-May-20 11:59:36

Firstly you can put your toothbrush in the dishwasher- I do if we've had a big. Dishwashers sterilise.

Second google how to deal with intrusive thoughts. Try a few out to ones that work for you.

I'd call your GP for a chat about your anxiety, you know it isn't health so that's a good first step.

ChargedUp Sat 30-May-20 12:43:30

I don't have a dishwasher I'm afraid. I could go and buy a new brush but I'd be afraid it was contaminated too.

I've always been a bit anxious but what I'm experiencing now is off the chart, and a brand new experience for me. I'm just not relaxed. Even at home I just always feel on edge. Like everything is contaminated.

I know I should just pick up the toothbrush and use it but I can't. Am actually scared.

OP’s posts: |
Elouera Sat 30-May-20 12:47:50

Call your GP and ask for help! You certainly need to put things in perspective and have counselling/CBT! Even you can see that your thoughts are off the scale and irrational- which is the 1st step. Best of luck x

GenevaMaybe Sat 30-May-20 12:50:04

What you are describing sounds like OCD. Have you ever had any diagnosis or treatment for your anxiety?

GoatyGoatyMingeMinge Sat 30-May-20 12:50:50

Firstly you can put your toothbrush in the dishwasher- I do if we've had a big.

Am I the only one wanting to know the missing word! Big fight? Big shit? Big outbreak of bubonic plague? grin

I know I should just pick up the toothbrush and use it but I can't. Am actually scared.

New toothbrush?

Lovethesunshine45 Sat 30-May-20 12:57:51

Just dip in mouthwash I think will be fine anyway

TinselTortoise Sat 30-May-20 13:11:29

@GoatyGoatyMingeMinge think big should have been bug 🤣

dottiedodah Sat 30-May-20 13:45:31

If you put your toothbrush in a cup of boiling water and leave for 10 /15 mins it will be sterilised .

Inkpaperstars Sat 30-May-20 16:12:51

Have you used the toothbrush yet?

ChargedUp Sat 30-May-20 16:16:26

Thanks everyone. I have never spoken to a professional about the anxiety, it's always been managed until now.

I think I'll try Milton and see how it goes.

I will seek help for the anxiety.

OP’s posts: |
startriangle Sat 30-May-20 16:51:37

I know how crazy this sounds and reading what I've written reinforces that. But still, those thoughts linger. I haven't sought help.... where would I go? The doctors? You can barely get through the door to see a doctor at the minute.

The key phrase there is "those thoughts linger". You've actually hit the nail on the head there that what you've got here is not a contamination problem (to be solved by cleaning etc.) but a thoughts problem - intrusive thoughts.

The trouble is your mind reacts to the intrusive thoughts and anxious feeling and interprets it as a sign of danger, so making you feel even more anxious, so you get a vicious circle. The problem isn't the basic aim of wanting to deal with contamination risks - the problem is that you have anxiety that persists and grows even after you've taken the basic steps you need to do to remove the infection risk.

Then your mind goes over and over, round and round, trying to think its way out of the anxiety, or you take more and more cleaning steps to reduce the risk from the situation even more and get rid of the anxiety even more.

The trouble with this level of anxiety is that it's just not possible to do enough, or think enough, to get rid of it, that way. You need to try to ignore the anxiety - step back mentally, notice that you're feeling anxious, try to just observe that dispassionately and then let the feeling flow through you and out the other side, without you taking any special action.

It is really really hard, your mind wants to resolve it, remove the feeling completely somehow, but when you've got this much, it doesn't work.

Try saying to yourself sometimes "I've got really strong anxious feelings right now, but those feelings won't last" - and let the feelings exist for a bit without trying any other action (like cleaning, or thinking round and round in circles about it). It's not a quick solution, there isn't one really, but if you can manage to do it, it will definitely help.

You should be able to get a GP phone appointment. Some antidepressants can really help with this sort of anxiety. Read about OCD and intrusive thoughts, too. Good luck.

ilikethemushypeas Sat 30-May-20 16:51:45

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DefinatelyAWeeGobshite Sat 30-May-20 16:57:18

Oh ChargedUp, I understand your anxiety. I’ve been doing CBT for the last 7 weeks to help with my anxiety (peri/post natal anxiety almost 4 years ago which has continually spiralled) and it is helping.

I have Zoom sessions with my therapist for an hour a week which I self referred to through work (I was off for 8 weeks with anxiety, before COVID) if you can find someone you should try it. I waited about 3 months on the list but if you pay privately it’ll be quicker. Best of luck.

BlueJava Sat 30-May-20 16:57:18

Hi OP, certainly talking to a professional about your anxiety could really help. I read some of the things you are doing re changing clothes etc and it seems exhausting for you. However, re the toothbrush, yes Milton will do it, just sterilise as per instructions on the bottle and you're be fine.

OhioOhioOhio Sat 30-May-20 16:58:54

Yeah I sterilise my toothbrush in Milton.

Inkpaperstars Sat 30-May-20 17:10:36

startriangle is right. I have been there and I really feel for you OP.

From what you have said, there is no risk from the toothbrush. Deep down I think you know that. If you sterilise it in any way you are not removing risk, just feeding into the anxiety cycle. It will reinforce the idea that you must take action to deal with all these anxieties, and that is a vicious circle because the action will never 'feel' like it has been enough.

It might be best if you can just try to use the toothbrush now without sterilising it at all. You will feel anxious but that doesn't mean you need to do anything. If you do clean it, set an absolute limit on what you will do.

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