Wipe, sweep, tidy up, wash your hands again, undress outside the door and run to the bathroom, wipe again, sweep, shake, tidy up… Is any place dirty? Let the kitchen be cleaned too, okay! Now again, one, two, three, four and five! Yes, we washed our hands five times… If I don’t shampoo three times, something bad will happen for sure. Cleaning routines that last for hours, never ending, that are never believed to be enough… Well, why does being clean make one’s life difficult?
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is defined as repetitive patterns of thought and behavior that disrupt daily life activities. The thoughts that appear involuntarily in the mind and cause restlessness in the person are called obsessions, and the behaviors that the person does to relax against the uneasiness created by these obsessions are called compulsions or rituals.
Obsession with cleanliness is an obsessive compulsive disorder. The origin of the obsession with hygiene, which can occur for different reasons, is usually based on past life traumas. “The nature of the bond established within the family, the parents’ evaluation of many behaviors as dirty, dirty or bad, the cleaning disease of family members, the evaluation and suppression of sexuality as a sin, shame and dirty, being exposed to violence, growing up in an environment where their interests and needs cannot be met. can cause. In addition, the effect of environmental and genetic factors should not be ignored.
What are the symptoms of cleaning sickness?
When it disrupts the flow of a person’s daily life, interferes with his functionality, when difficulties begin to continue in the normal course of life or when relations with the environment are affected, we can talk about a disease of cleanliness.
Apart from all these, it becomes a problem when the person starts to want to do an intense cleaning even if there is no obvious pollution or mess and starts to clean for hours without end.
Personal cleaning is very important for cleaning patients. These people take longer showers than others and no matter how much they wash, there are still question marks in the back of their minds that they are not fully cleaned.
In some advanced cases, wounds or cracks may occur due to washing hands frequently and with some hygiene items. The need for repetitions such as 3, 5, 7 while cleaning is another behavioral pattern. Cleaning patients may feel the need to wash many times, especially because they find everything that comes from outside to the area they live in dirty. No matter how much cleaning is done, it is not enough, the thought that it is dirty continues, he thinks that he is not free from dirt.
Obsessive behaviors can be seen in some situations in those who have a cleaning disease. While the thought of being dirty constantly manifests itself in some patients, some cleaning patients may repeat their behaviors to avoid negative situations and repetitive thoughts. E.g; If I don’t wash my hands three times, something might happen to my mother.
While drug treatment and psychotherapy are recommended in some cases in the treatment of cleaning sickness, psychotherapy has been found to be sufficient in most cases. In fact, the most important step in the treatment process with cleaning patients is cognitive restructuring. Our minds tend to focus on the negative. Obsession, on the other hand, has repetitions that constantly focus on and trap the negative filter of the mind and cause you to constantly look down on life like a prisoner.
Reframing with cognitive therapy works with a person’s distorted thoughts. To explain this with an example; If you are obsessed with cleaning very intensely, look at what you are trying to clean, not your hands or your house, but your thoughts you are trying to clean. What you’ve washed 50 times is your thoughts and your anxiety.
All repetitive behaviors; It takes place in order to relieve thoughts and the anxiety they create. If we look at the world with thoughts, we will see that anxieties will haunt us. Thoughts are perceptual; Perceptions can sometimes mislead people. The mind tends to focus on negative stories. If you get lost in these negative stories, you will keep cleaning your hands and your house. For this, it is necessary to accept that every thought is in flux and is a guest. You can explore these thoughts in the company of an expert, without forgetting family and environmental support. In order to avoid getting dirty, you can accept the possibility of getting dirty instead of cleaning, and you can see the cyclical behaviors to relieve repetitive thoughts.