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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, everyone. After sometime thinking about posting about this, here I am. I've been suffering from severe cleaning OCD. I make this mix of water, soap and bleach, yes, bleach! I know it's bad, but I can't get rid off it... The result of it? My hands are burned, hurting and really making me feel like, "Why live like this? Let's just end up this. It's for the best!" I mean, I sometimes want to die... But I can't get rid off it mainly because I live with my family, and they are disgusting... They come from the streets, and they don't clean their hands... They use the bathroom and after that, they don't clean their hands and then they go to the kitchen, putting their dirty hands in our foods, our drinks, our spoons, knives, everywhere... I know I might be overreacting a bit, but that makes me feel so bad. Like, really bad. I just want this to end, but I don't know how... I am taking pills, but they seem that they are not working at all... I just wanted to know some cope way to make it easier to live with it, and with time, I stop using this thing I use to clean my hands. Does anyone know any way to cope with it at all?
 

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Have you look into seeing someone for this? This seems really extreme, and excessive. I think just using soap would be fine and if you are still concern maybe some purell or something.
 

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OK, so as HenDoggy has mentioned, seeing a professional is your best bet. And I'm no psychologist so I won't be able to offer any life changing advice. But the bleach thing is definitely not good, a possible temporary solution to stop you using bleach; Go to your local chemist and look for a box of those disposable thin latex gloves, I wonder if wearing a pair of them would help ease the OCD (Knowing that your are not directly touching any service you believe is contaminated) for now and prevent you using the bleach, until you begin the steps offered from a professional to alleviate some of the intensity of your condition.
 

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It is fairly common for people to not scrub the skin off their hands many times a day even after doing things that (technically) are dirty. The thing about it is that this is as common as it is and we still have 7 billion humans on the planet.

Long story short - You'll live without the bleach bath. Probably. Yes. I know it is really just the thought of it but you're really not doing anything good for yourself so your rationalization is not really valid.
 

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I used to have OCD and would wash my hands so much that there were soap suds to the top of the sink. My hands were always super dry and cracked. Till this day, I'm still a germophobe, but my family is clean, thankfully. I can't imagine living with dirty people. I've gone to friends' houses and couldn't stand being there because they would NEVER wash their hands before cooking or anything.

Using bleach on your skin can be very harmful, and it's unnecessary. Most bacteria are harmless, if that makes you feel any better. I dealt with this problem as a kid and kinda just grew out of it, so I don't have any useful coping skills. I recommend that you talk to a therapist. The best thing that he/she can do for you is exposure therapy. For now, please try to stop washing your hands with bleach. If you are going to wash your hands excessively, fine, but only use soap. Bleach can't get rid of all germs anyways.

I hope you are able to find coping skills that work for you. Good luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It's so hard for me to stop. I know it's bad for me, and I know there are those alcohol sanitizers things, but I just can't stop with the bleach. I feel like if I stop with it, I start to feel like I am having an abstinence crisis. It's pathetic, I know. And my family won't collaborate with me at all. This week I have an appointment with my psychiatrist, and she already told me about Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. I will ask more about that to her. And the worst thing about this bleach thing is that I keep stinking like bleach afterwards. So I can't be around anyone without anyone asking me why I am smelling like that. =/
 

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It's so hard for me to stop. I know it's bad for me, and I know there are those alcohol sanitizers things, but I just can't stop with the bleach. I feel like if I stop with it, I start to feel like I am having an abstinence crisis. It's pathetic, I know. And my family won't collaborate with me at all. This week I have an appointment with my psychiatrist, and she already told me about Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. I will ask more about that to her. And the worst thing about this bleach thing is that I keep stinking like bleach afterwards. So I can't be around anyone without anyone asking me why I am smelling like that. =/
OK look. 3% hydrogen peroxide is dirt cheap. Often comes in a bottle that is perfect for a spray top. So if you buy a cheap spray bottle, all you have to do is remove the sprayer and put it on a fresh bottle of peroxide. Peroxide is not 100% safe but it isn't nearly as bad for your skin as bleach and it kills lots of germs, doesn't stink and doesn't give off toxic fumes like bleach.

I spray our counters with peroxide before cooking because my parents are (ironically) not very good at cleaning the kitchen. The funny thing is they're germaphobes. They spray all kinds of nasty crap on doorknobs trying to kill germs but they never wash the kitchen counters or the sink.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I will try. At first I used to use this container of 500ml, full of bleach that I sprayed in my hands with soap and then wash it off with water... Then I started using half water and half bleach. Today I filled it with 20 per cent bleach and 80 per cent water, so that's something, I guess... Also, I used to clean the bathroom like 5 times a day, now I only clean once a day. I think I have improved, but still sucks so much that I can't deal so well with it.
 

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Unfortunately you won't be able to rationalise this away and alter it. The first step though is to stop justifying it. There really aren't going to be problems with your family not washing their hands etc, it is your OCD that makes you think so. You need to accept this, because if you don't you won't be in the position to even try to fight against the OCD.

In terms of therapy, its very high dose SSRI (make sure your psych has you on a very high dose if you aren't), and CBT via exposure and response prevention. Essentially this means gradually learning to tolerate the discomfort and not giving in to the compulsions.

My suggestion would be, if you are struggling with the bleach thing, and cant stop (like, really can't), can you water it down? (reducing the bleach over time) or switch to something else that is still overkill but not so harmful? Gradually (over time) you need to reduce what you are doing.

Other techniques would be to slowly increase the amount of time before you do the compulsion. Get a stopwatch, and time how long you can resist. Slowly increase this time.

I would initially try to replace the bleach with something else though (and throw the bleach out of the house even). Something over the top, that will satisfy your OCD for now, but not as harmful. Then gradually work on reducing.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have been lowering the "doses" down with time. I have this 500ml recipient that I use. Before I used the whole 500ml full of bleach. Then I started using it like, half water and half bleach... Now I am using like, 20 per cent, a bit more, of bleach, and the rest of water. But still, I feel like when I don't use the bleach to clean, I am not clean and I cannot touch and use things... =/
 

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I have been lowering the "doses" down with time. I have this 500ml recipient that I use. Before I used the whole 500ml full of bleach. Then I started using it like, half water and half bleach... Now I am using like, 20 per cent, a bit more, of bleach, and the rest of water. But still, I feel like when I don't use the bleach to clean, I am not clean and I cannot touch and use things... =/
have you tried using straight-up rubbing alcohol? sometimes after having to clean in the bathroom, i can't shake the feeling that my hands are still dirty, but the burn and especially the smell of the alcohol feel convincingly sterilizing.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
have you tried using straight-up rubbing alcohol? sometimes after having to clean in the bathroom, i can't shake the feeling that my hands are still dirty, but the burn and especially the smell of the alcohol feel convincingly sterilizing.
I tried sometimes, but I feel like I am still dirty and can't live well until I clean myself with bleach... But as I lower the doses down, I am starting to feel a bit more open minded about starting to use gel alcohol or something else, besides washing my hands with soap and water.
 
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