Ebola/Handwashing Combo Post

Why haven’t I written here about OCD and Ebola yet?

The Ebola virus fright this year has become highly politicized. I would be the first to complain about media hype, sensationalism, and attempts to scare the public. We also must recognize that it should be perfectly reasonable to have discussions and disagreements about protocol without it becoming political, or overly emotional. It can be political, of course, but shouldn’t have to be.

Many people with OCD experience fears of illness, and these people (at times including myself) are particularly susceptible to this type of scare and media hype. Luckily, I have not been unreasonably worried about Ebola this year. It should be noted, however, that for someone with OCD, media hype isn’t even necessary. Those of us with OCD often develop fears based on stimuli which would hardly even affect normal people, let alone scare them.

Sometimes it seems people think it is necessary to over-state or exaggerate something to make an impression on others at all. Sometimes I wonder if this had to do with my childhood fear of germs, and hand washing compulsion. At school, teachers emphasized hand washing. They showed us videos about germs. The normal kids went on not washing their hands but I decided to, every day before lunch. It separated me from the other kids. It was a ritual no one else did. Yet I only washed my hands once — every single day, before lunch. (Not that that was the only time I washed my hands, but the only unusual time I washed my hands, at school.) Would I have been this way if teachers hadn’t treated me like every other kid, assuming I would not listen well enough, or take the concern of germs seriously? I don’t know. Would I have had other OCD fears and compulsions? Probably. But is it right to overstate what we say to kids, assuming they will only mind half of it?

5 thoughts on “Ebola/Handwashing Combo Post

  1. checkrepeat says:

    Working in NYC and suffering from OCD is hard enough. Then Ebola. Then….. Ebola in NYC. Currently there is an ebola patient at the hospital, 1.9 miles from me. I don’t need to tell you what this is doing to me…

  2. Interesting post, and even as an adult I see how overstated things such as hand washing can be. Signs everywhere, not just in restrooms, hand sanitizer dispensers everywhere, public service announcements, etc. Every time I am bombarded by these things I think about those with OCD (which I don’t have). It can’t be easy!

  3. I’ve been washing my hands ever since sex ed. I had classic germ ocd for one hour took an ativan and it went a way after seeing a show about germs that have to do with restaurants. I have extreme ocpd/harm ocd and all that. At the moment nothing feels “right.” So I’m just getting drunk. I don’t tolerate change well yet my obsessive drive which is the flip side of ocd motivates me to progress at things like a hare on roids then i change too fast and have to relax for a week to get adjusted to the change. I’ve talked to you about it and I remember you didn’t say you had the obsessive drive. Not all ocders are the same. I think it may just be my extreme ocpd which in my opinion is just the opposite of ocd. The extreme doubt exists in both (which i noticed you had in the post with your questioning.) I find just telling myself it’s okay to be confusion and literally walk blind seems to work (sometimes.) Other times I just lose it and get all autistic like when the confusion hits it’s peak.

    • willitbeok says:

      I’m great to see you blogging again! It seemed like you disappeared for a while. Hmm… well, sometimes I have what could be considered an obsessive drive, but I forgot what context we talked about before. I’m a complex person, haha. But still stupid. But yes, OCDers are all different anyway. OCPD is kind of the opposite of OCD since people with OCPD don’t view their actions/thoughts/feelings as inherently problematic, necessarily. People with OCD always do. I’m not sure what you mean by “getting all autistic” — I tend to tune things out when I get really stressed, including other people, but I don’t really become *completely* isolated. I’ve grown to dislike isolation the older I get, actually, probably because I’ve been forced to deal with more of it than I would like.

      • I don’t communicate that coherently and clean sorry.

        I’m too vague and speak figuratively too much that’s all when I say autistic. Autistic as in very robotically to the point I’m mistaking not a tree or the forest but a leaf on a tree for a tree or the forest. I’ll look like a complete idiot one second even to myself then remember a physics lesson online that I didn’t try to remember and remember every detail. My memory is weird. I think being self-conscious about memory messes it up (with me anyways.) I think doing exercises for memory like lumosity makes me too self-conscious about things.

        Im so dynamic to others and myself cuz I’m in a rush to improve myself that at times I’ve wondered if I had multiple personalities (but I don’t.)

        I LIKE to what they call ruminate. I sit at night for 3 hours not even smoking (which I do heavily.) and just philosophize and break things down and all that. Buddhism/HInduism/Psychology mixed with analyzing myself. And the doctors say it’s bad to do something I like to do which is literally just to sit and think sometimes but maybe I should stop? Or maybe it’s conformity? And on that topic (I’m a little buzzed right now but I’m the problem not the alcohol or smokes those are just the outside. Symptom of schizophrenia tangents haha.)…………

        Conformity: Trying to fit in and all that. Maybe mental problems all have to do with conformity? Yes I’m gonna indulge in some rumination and all that but whatever….. They tell us they being the doctors and I’ve been in wards numerous times….. They look us up and down and say everything wrong with us. Is there really a problem? (the forest question.) Or is looking at the forest ignorant bliss (buddhist enlightenment?) Sometimes I wonder if it’s just some sort of joke you know. Sometimes I think haven’t I done enough therapy? Then it dawns on me……… There is nothing I can do to fit in without being fake.

        It’s impossible you know sorry it’s difficult to follow me I probably am schizo a little bit but I FEEL like I’m making perfect sense. But it’s impossible to change who we are. I’ve sought and sought to cure my ocd my ocpd my everything and I’ve realized it’s impossible. We can’t do anything about it. If I give up and take the meds I’m not really changing it’ll be a superficial change. If I go in therapy boot camp it’ll still be an outside change and I may look inside my mind and see no ocd anymore and people will see my behaviors and see none…… But my guess is and feel after all this thinking I’m right. It will still be there at 100% ….. It’ll just be a duck that doesn’t quack anymore or even think like one but on the inside the duck will still be a duck whether it knows or not.

        In conclusion I feel mental health is a big joke now and I’ve been had(yes thanks for reminding me I need to work on speaking more clearly it’s probably not schizophrenia despite what the doctors have told me I probably just to need to take some English classes and stop writing poems): 1: In conclusion I really am starting to get nihilistic about everything in the sense I don’t think anything can be known. 1a: Why? Hunch I got in a hightened deep state of thinking about OCDers being intelligent and having doubt and it being sanity. Extreme awareness of the complexity of life. 2: Maybe schizos are right in there on way too with there extreme sanity and maybe normals are internal and external people in a fictional perfect state.
        3: That’s it. Its a joke my brain is working fine though I feel I’m mentally disabled and may even appear like I’m brain damaged it’s just terrible ocd/ocpd but maybe……
        The conclusion again maybe it’s all a joke. So If I get the joke I’ll realize I don’t really have a problem and I’ll stop being so self-conscious and just snap out of it and be myself.

        Sorry about this laboriously written thing.

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