Those with contaminated OCD must follow a few basic rules to keep their minds clean. These include washing your hands and double-checking to ensure you haven’t been contaminated.
Having an OCD diagnosis can be overwhelming. Luckily, there are treatments available to help you manage your symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy with exposure and response prevention (CBT) is a proven technique used to treat various mental health conditions. It focuses on identifying and changing your cognitive processes, which can be the cause of your OCD symptoms.
CBT for contamination OCD is effective because it uses cognitive techniques to teach you how to manage your symptoms. You are instructed to learn new behaviors, such as refraining from using compulsive behaviors and rituals. It also encourages you to question the meaning of your symptoms.
Exposure and response prevention (ERP) is a behavioral technique that helps you learn new ways to respond to your anxiety. ERP uses gradual exposure to distressing situations. The therapist designs these exposures to help you discover that confronting the feared situation will not cause you to become anxious.
SSRIs are the essential treatment for contamination OCD. These medications work by raising the levels of serotonin in the brain. These medications are usually well tolerated and can be very effective. However, they can also cause serious side effects. Some patients have reported suicidal thoughts after taking these drugs.
In addition to side effects, SSRIs can also lead to seizures. People who experience this side effect should consult their doctor immediately. The doctor may increase the dosage or try another medication in the treatment plan.
Another common side effect of SSRIs is sleepiness. People who take these medications may be able to sleep better after a few weeks. However, they should still get plenty of rest. It is important to tell your doctor if you have any trouble sleeping.
Exposure response prevention therapy
The behavioral treatment for contamination OCD is exposure and response prevention therapy (ERP). ERP is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy and is often used in conjunction with other treatment modalities. It is one of the most effective psychotherapeutic approaches for treating OCD.
ERP involves exposing the client to situations that are both uncomfortable and anxiety-provoking. This allows the client to learn to confront their fears. It also helps break the chronic cycle of avoidance and compulsion.
A good ERP therapist will help you identify your compulsions’ sources. It may include changing clothes, washing your hands, or using hand sanitizer.
ERP will also help you to develop ritual prevention skills. For example, you can avoid touching things you would rather avoid, such as a mirror. This can be a challenging task.
Among the symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is the need to wash hands. Hand washing is a common practice recommended by public health authorities. People with OCD may wash their hands up to several times a day. However, researchers have found that some patients with OCD do not experience relief from washing their hands.
The obsessive-compulsive compulsion to wash hands is a sign of contamination OCD. It has been estimated that contamination OCD affects 46 percent of OCD patients. This type of OCD has an intolerable effect on its victims.
People who have contamination OCD experience anxiety, depression, and stress. They may avoid places where there is a possibility of contamination, such as public restrooms, and wear gloves when performing routine activities. They may also wash their hands excessively.