Do you wash your hands and feet very frequently? You might be suffering from OCD

Germs, viruses, dirt can harm you and you are washing or cleaning your hands again and again, then this is a symptom of a disease called Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

World: A child had a habit of washing hands and feet again and again. If he came into the house from anywhere, he would first wash his hands and feet. While sitting, suddenly he went to wash his hands and feet. He somehow managed to get rid of this habit by explaining it, but now, these symptoms have started appearing in him again due to the coronavirus.

In this era of coronavirus, it is being asked to keep cleanliness and wash hands frequently so that the virus does not reach your body.

In such a situation, people are washing their hands again and again, but if you start feeling that everything has germs, viruses, dirt which can harm you and you are washing or cleaning your hands again and again, then this is a symptom of a disease. This is called Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Doctors say that in people who already have the problem of OCD, the situation has increased during the corona epidemic.

Dr Sameer Malhotra, Head, Department of Mental Health, Max Hospital, Saket, says, “There is a chemical called serotonin inside the brain. When this chemical is reduced in the brain, there is a feeling of incompleteness while doing any work. Sometimes the problem is about cleanliness, then the man walks very evasively in it.

“They cannot believe that the cleaning is done well. That’s why they are engaged in it for hours. At the same time, the hands get cleaned well within a few seconds.”

Such habits are seen in people in OCD-

  1. Washing hands frequently
  2. Spend hours in the bath
  3. Cleaning up all day
  4. If you do not have confidence in yourself, getting confirmation from others whether to wash hands properly or not. Was it cleaned properly or not?

Doctor Sameer explains that people’s lives start getting poorly affected due to this disorder. Many people may begin bathing with a detergent solution or laundry soap. They can’t believe that everyday soap did clean properly. When this problem increases too much, it causes both physical and mental damage.

Like washing hands or bathing frequently, the skin becomes dry and starts cracking. Daily work gets affected. You leave the rest of the work busy only in cleaning. Irritability, sadness, and frustration begin to ensue. Relationships start to deteriorate.

Whether it is winter or summer, give bath to the children as soon as they come from outside. 

Impact on children’s health.

Do not allow people to enter the house. Getting the house helper cleaned frequently. One of Dr Sameer’s patients doesn’t go to the washroom because they think their hands will get dirty and then have to wash for 7-8 hours. Her hands have turned black because she used to wash her hands with detergent.

If not treated on time, then this problem can go to the obsessive level. A person can leave all the work of life and concentrate only on cleaning.

What is the treatment?

According to Dr Sameer, OCD treatment is necessary. In this, medicines are given to the patient.

Along with this, counselling and behaviour therapy is given to the patient. They are prevented from doing what they are used to doing again and again. This disease can be cured with treatment.

What is Germophobia?

Many times people confuse germophobia and OCD as one disease but it is not so.

Dr. Kamna Chhibber, Head of the Department of Mental Health at Fortis Memorial Research Institute, says, “Germophobia is not a disease whereas OCD is considered a medical condition. However, sometimes germophobia can turn into OCD.”

The fear of any germ, bacteria, virus, microbe and infection etc. is called germophobia. This is the same fear as if someone is afraid of a lizard or a snake. Many people are fearful of insects – occasions, animals or a particular situation.

There is a fear in this that I should not have any infection with germs. I don’t like it and need to stay away from it.

According to Dr Kamna, “In germophobia, a person may have a fear of being germinated in some material or in someplace. So that he does not touch that place. But, if this fear comes to the fore sometimes. This fear is normal as long as it doesn’t bother you much.”

“When these fears started affecting everyday life. Like washing hands frequently, cleaning a place and if you cannot stop yourself from this, then it becomes OCD. But, it is not necessary that germophobia becomes OCD.”