Contamination OCD is a type of OCD with which the sufferer feels like he or she may have got or will get an incurable or severe disease. The person often comes up with a scenario in which he or she may have
somehow gotten contaminated or have contaminated others. For example a person who works in a hospital may try to avoid touching anything when she gets home in order to prevent her house getting contaminated. Another example may be a person who avoids touching doorknobs at all costs to prevent from getting a particular type of illness.
Here are some common traits of contamination OCD:
A person with this type of OCD will always be afraid of a particular illness and not worry so much about other illnesses.
A person with contamination OCD will often worry of others catching an illness either from them or from what they view as contaminated object. They are worried that if that does happen it will be the
sufferers fault and they will be responsible.
The sufferer will go above and beyond what is considered standard safety precautions to ensure that they or others do not come into contact with contaminated objects.
A sufferer of contamination OCD will often have their doctors perform tests to ensure that they do not have a particular illness. Most of the time they are not satisfied with just one test and require more reassurance.
They spend a lot of time researching their feared illness to try to figure out whether they or their loved ones are in danger of it. This type of research gets them nowhere and set them up for more OCD because they will still be unsure and no amount of research or doctor knowledge will feel like enough.
If you doubt whether or not you are suffering from contamination OCD, ask yourself these questions:
1. Am I doubting this as an OCD thought?
2. Is this thought repetitive?
3. Does the thought bring on extreme anxiety?
4. Do I feel the urge to solve this thought and figure out whether my fears are valid?
5. Are you the only person you know who would go to this extent to ensure hour own safety or safety of others?
If you answer yes to these questions it probably means that you have contamination OCD.
If you are suffering from this type of OCD it is important to recognize it as OCD. Once you do, you need to react to it without fear. After all, you are not in danger; you are just experiencing a symptom of OCD. To make these thoughts go away start to view them as OCD and not as valid fears. Once you do that, the thoughts will lose their power over you and will go away.