banner image

Contamination OCD

What is Contamination OCD?

Contamination OCD is a subtype where individuals often fear that they are, have been, or will be contaminated, contaminate others, or spread germs. These obsessional triggers can be different for every person that has this form of OCD.

This type of OCD can lead a person to have obsessive thoughts and fears about being “contaminated,” with dirt or germs, which causes them to develop various compulsive behaviors in order to cope with and neutralize their fear and anxiety.

Common Obsessions (fears or doubts)

  • Bodily excretions (urine, feces)
  • Bodily fluids (blood, semen, sweat, saliva, mucus, tears, etc.)
  • Fear of contracting a serious illness
  • Dirt, germs, virus’s
  • Garbage
  • Household chemicals or cleansers
  • Sticky substances or residues
  • People who appear unwell shabby or unclean
  • Spoiled food
  • Lead or asbestos
  • Animals or even ones’ own pets

Common Compulsions (safety behaviors)

· Avoidance

· Reassurance seeking

· Excessive washing, cleaning, sterilizing, decontaminating rituals of self and the environment

· Using barriers to open doors, cabinets, or drawers

· Refusing to use public restrooms go to other locations

· Refusing to touch objects others have touched

· Excessive medical exams or tests

· Having others complete tasks for them

· Changing clothes

· Having designated “clean” areas in the home others can’t access

· Avoidance of going to the restroom and limiting foods or liquids

· Avoidance of doctor or dental appointments

· Tracking what others have touched

At the OCD Counseling Center of OCD we can help. Be the change and get back to living your life!