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I think there is something wrong with me.(37 Posts)
I posted this in chat but thought this is probably a better place for it.
You know the feeling you get when you listen to nails being dragged down a chalk board? That feeling is the closest thing I can compare my discomfort to and when I say 'cringe', this is the feeling I'm referring to.
Anyway when I had my first child 5 years ago, I had pnd and anxiety. The anxiety has never gone away and has got better and worse over the last few years.
I seemed to have developed this thing about germs/cleanliness/contamination and although I hide it pretty well, it's actually really hard inside. I'm mostly fine when I'm at home (my house is not spotlessly clean) or somewhere where I feel very comfortable but out and about is a different story. I can just about deal with it normally but we've just had a weekend away and I basically ruined it for my family because of my weird germ thing.
I feel very anxious when taking the kids to public toilets. I get very stressed out as they are not allowed to touch anything. When they are in the cubical I get so stressed if they accidentally touch the walls, door handle or basically anything. Even thinking about it now is making me cringe. Even after the kids have washed their hands afterwards, I keep thinking about the fact that their coat ect might have accidentally brushed the door or whatever. And that they aren't really clean. Their sleeves might have brushed the sink.... Yes I know how crazy I sound.
Cafe tables. I hate the kids touching the tables or chairs. I hate putting my coat over the back of the chair as I feel like my coat will be contaminated I then don't really want to put my coat back on. It makes me cringe.
Say I walk into a coffee shop that I've not been into before. If I look around and the place looks clean ect (doesn't necessarily have to be clean. As long as in my head it's clean then it's okay. I know this makes no sense) then I'm fine but if I walk in and I don't like the look of the place it makes me feel 'cold' and I cringe and feel reluctant to touch anything, sit on the edge of my seat ect.
There are loads of other things but these are just a few examples. I'm not so bad on my own as I'll do my own thing to make sure I don't touch things that are 'cold' sit on the edge of the seat ect. But when the kids touch everything and put their hands on everything I get really stressed out. I don't really know what I'm scared about but I just am. I've tried to relax and not worry about about it or think about it but I can't.
We stopped at a service station on the way home yesterday and I saw a woman changing her baby on the public changing table. I cringed so badly that I could barely look at her.
I don't wash my hands constantly or shower more than once a day and my house is quite messy as I don't cringe or feel 'cold' at home. It's just when I'm out.
I'd only even know what I'm asking here. I know this isn't normal. The only person that I've told is DH and I'm scared I'm going to pass it on to the kids.
Hi, i'm new to all this as well, so dont really know what to say, i just wanted you to know that you are not on your own. I'm sure somebody else will be along soon
I'm struggling with anxiety at present and seeing a CBT counsellor. Knowing that our 'behaviour' isnt normal, is part way to getting it fixed.
You need to speak to your GP to get help for your anxiety and then you won't pass it on to your kids.
It sounds like a form of OCD I feel like I could easily get like you describe if I let myself as am a bit of a germophobe!
I'd speak to your doctor and maybe see a therapist who can teach you some coping strategies.
Try to remember that people who don't focus on the germs and get on with touching all these surfaces are all perfectly healthy so the threat from the germs isn't as bad as you perceive it to be.
Hi, well done you for writing that all down. It sounds to me (no expert mind you!) like a form of OCD which I think is pretty hard to deal with without support. Medication can help with OCD. I'm on sertraline for anxiety but I know that in the leaflet which comes with it, it says that it's used for OCD too. Talking therapies such as CBT would be really helpful too.
You need to start by visiting your gp who can advise you about these things. If you do have something like OCD then the sooner you treat it the better. These conditions can be very debilitating and at the moment it's not stopping you from going out and about, but it could if you don't address it.
Make a gp appointment today. Good luck, let us know how you get on.
Hi What. You're not alone, I feel just like you do. It got to the point where it was having a major (think not seeing people, not going out and terrifying rituals etc) effect on my family's life. I went to gp and was referred to have cbt. They were wonderful and diagnosed me with ocd and explained about it properly because I thought I was going crazy. My opinion is go see your doctor and tell them everything. They have heard it all before and are the right people to help and refer. Don't suffer alone it's shit. It won't get any better without dealing with the problem, it will only get worse so see them asap. Hope you're okay
The thing is, I know these imaginary germs won't kill me but I just don't want them on me if that makes sense? I'm not worried about getting ill. I don't even know what I'm worried about. DH gets so annoyed with me but I can't help it. This weekend was absolutely horrific. I could barely talk as I was so stressed out from all the potential contamination. The kids were driving me crazy because they were just touching everything.
Weirdly, depending on what I'm doing at work, it can sometimes be a dirty job which doesn't bother me at all. But as soon as I get in I have to strip off, wash everything and if my bag has touched soemthing at work, I can't have it touching anything in my house (apart from the hall floor; that seems to be a safe area) because I don't want work contaminating my house.
My house is messy and not spotlessly clean but I feel like it's safe germs. Makes no sense at all. Sorry I'm just getting my thoughts down.
I seem to convince myself that we've got bed bugs or fleas every so often. (we never have) or that the kids have worms or soemthing. And I can't stop thinking about it.
I'm sorry that some of you are going through this too. It really is hard work.
Could it really be ocd though? I don't obsessively clean things. I don't count things and I'm the most unorganised person I know.
OCD isn't necessarily all about cleaning, thats just one form of it. Definately see your GP as its intefering with your life.
Though I feel the same way as you about public toilets. Think I picked it up from my Mum, she wouldn't even let us wash our hands we literally had to touch nothing even the taps.
I really don't want the kids being weird like me. But at the same time, I still don't want them touching anything! There are so many other little things I do/don't do every day to avoid the cringing feeling/contamination.
I've got a gp appointment for Friday. I've only recently realised that I'm weird one. I used to think everyone else was weird.
Ocd is so complex, some people who don't suffer generally tend to think it's just lining up bottles in size order in your cupboard, or cleaning lots. While it can be, it is also and most probably obsessive and intrusive thoughts, safe guarding rituals, anxiety etc. Stop calling yourself weird, you're not.
Sorry, I don't mean any offense when I say weird. I've been reading about ocd and alot of the symptoms, I can relate to. Especially the intrusive thoughts. I don't get them as bad as some of the things I've read but for example, when we took the kids swimming at the weekend (which was an absolute nightmare for me) I just had this thing in my head where I just knew one of the kids was going to slip over and chip their front teeth. I kept replaying it over and over in my head and that's all I could think about. Obviously nothing happened but I was convinced it was going to.
Don't apologise I just think you new to give yourself a break! Compulsive thoughts are a trait of ocd. Glad you have an appointment
I think it sounds like a contamination fear/phobia.
CBT can be really good for things like this, whether or not you choose to think of it as, or are diagnosed with, OCD.
I have OCD and it took me a long time to summon the courage to go to my GP as I didn't know what it was. It was evident that he had seen many cases before but I had built up so much drama in my head about being carted off in a strait jacket that I was totally deflated (and a bit disappointed tbh) when he just said 'ah, obsessive neurosis, you shouldn't have let yourself suffer for so long, I will refer you for CBT'!
OCD can take many forms (I was going through the 'harm' kind when I went to my GP) and I have had just about all of them apart from the religious kind, as I don't care about religion. It generally focuses on the things you care most about (your DC) and yours seems to be anxiety about them coming to harm, either by contamination or accidents.
Generally people with OCD are thought to be very thoughtful and deeply caring so don't beat yourself up about it. It is exhausting. Hope you find your GP helpful x
I'm glad you eventually got yourself to the GP lady. Do you mind me asking what you actually said to him? Like I don't even know where to start!
I broke down and said I thought I was insane and needed to be locked up. I wanted to be at that point. I had a severe form of 'harm' OCD though probably triggered by my childhood (abuse)and the trauma of a stillbirth (that I blamed myself for irrationally). I had had various forms of it since childhood but never sought help so my OCD got bored with fears about something happening to my DC that were outside of my control (germs/accidents I couldn't predict) and starting terrifying me with intrusive thoughts of ME harming them.
For you I would suggest telling your GP when you wrote in your OP (print it out) and ask if he/she thinks it could be OCD. Please don't worry. They will have seen it all before.
Oh lady you poor thing. Sounds like you ahve been through a lot and those intrusive thoughts must have been terifying. Thank you for telling me about all of that.
I think I will print this out as I don't really know how I'll get the words out.
2 hours until my appointment. I'm so scared.
Thank you I reallally hope u do it. I've got to take the kids with me as I've got no one to have them. Oh god I'm so scared.
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