Anonymous, 22, South Africa

After brushing my teeth I need to make myself gag to make sure nothing bad went down my throat.

anon19-no-textI am actually a very messy person and that is why it is so strange. I am a germophobe, but not because I fear that something bad will come from the germs. There is no reason my head gives me for freaking out about germs or dirt or the feeling of it. It is just bad – really bad – with no reason at all.

When I wash my hands, they cannot touch the sink otherwise I need to wash over and over. I wash the soap containers also. I have a bunch of rules and I need to follow them. I need to gag over and over after brushing my teeth, sometimes so much that I throw up a little and then need to brush my teeth again.

I am obsessed with doing things the way my head anticipated they would be. Sometimes it is impossible to do what my head expects. Sometimes when I don’t do it I need to punish myself to stop the voices telling me I need to redo it. I then hit myself in the dirty spot.

It creates a lot of problems in my relationship with my family since they do not understand it. They are also Christian and say I just need to pray it away.

I am very insecure and hear voices telling me people judge me or think I am crazy when I wash my hands for so long.

There are so many things and it is tearing my relationship apart with my boyfriend. I scream and yell at him in distress when things are not right, and I hate it and feel he constantly hates me for it.

I have not seen a therapist and I know I should. I had a bad childhood with my dad cheating on my mom and him getting violent when frustrated. I got stitches in my mouth because he hit me once after I freaked out at him about all my anger towards him. I think OCD has always been there (I remember always being a germophobe and wasting paper, throwing it away if my handwriting was not perfect) but I think my childhood made it worse by giving me other mental issues like anger and depression.

I know this is a long text and may be depressing to read, but it feels really good getting it out there, even anonymously. If people at work knew, they would doubt in my competency.

Categories: The Wall

2 replies »

  1. It may be the hardest thing to do but I hope you seek out therapy just like you’d see a specialist for an ear, nose or throat condition. A mental health professional can help you better understand OCD, help your boyfriend and family understand your disorder and how they can help you in dealing with obsessive thoughts.

    It took me a long time to make the decision to seek help for a bad childhood, lifelong anxiety and obsessive thoughts – and I was a mental health professional. My devout parents also told me to pray constantly (actually they said I didn’t pray hard enough) and I was told sitting in the sun would cure me from depression. They meant well (and there is some truth to the sunlight), but there is more to it than just prayer. Prayer can be helpful for some but it cannot replace any mental or medical issue as the only option.

    You are not crazy. All of us here struggle with obsessive intrusive thoughts. I did not like swimming in the ocean of thoughts alone. It is better to reach out to the lifeguards of mental health to help you from drowning in the sea of thoughts and assist you in swimming back to shore.

    As you can see, you are not the only one who likes to write a lot! It isn’t a bad skill either.


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