Contamination OCD

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) whereby one experiences contamination-related obsessions or compulsions. Contamination entails a fear of encountering dirty items or environments, often leading to a compulsion to engage in excessive cleaning behaviors.

Individuals with contamination OCD may engage in excessive washing of themselves or their surroundings. For example, they might clean kitchen floors meticulously using a toothbrush and soap. Alternatively, they may purchase a significant quantity of individually wrapped hand soaps and dispose of each one after a single use, opening a new package each time.

Such behaviors are commonly driven by a fear of contracting diseases through germs that are on surfaces (Covid is a perfect example).

For this reason, sufferers of these types of obsessive compulsive thoughts may go to specific lengths to avoid:

  • Restaurants
  • Working alongside coworkers (prefer remote or isolative work)
  • Contact with other people (hugging, hand shaking)
  • Public restrooms
  • Door knobs, handles, or windows
  • Hospitals
  • Religious gatherings or any public gathering


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