Slightly different post- advice needed, very confused.

Posted , 4 users are following.

Hi everyone, 

A few people on here know me already and know a little about my depression and assaults. 

I've noticed over the last two months specifically a couple of things that are starting to concern me and I was hoping to get some advice.

When I was about 6 I became what I would call, scared of dirt/contamination. In the sense that, I could not walk on a floor that I felt was dirty or that I had seen dirty previously. When I could not avoid walking on this floor/ground/poolside I would walk on the sides of my feet (which looked very odd) or my tiptoes and would stop touching the floor as soon as I possibly could as it would make me feel overwhelmingly uncomfortable. I swam competitively and poolsides were the worst flooring for me so things were very difficult then. It was also poignant with things like car seats, I could not sit down in a car that I felt was 'dirty' or had seen dirty previously. I would sit on my hands and then wash them thoroughly asap or sit on somebody else's coat that I felt was clean enough (but never my own otherwise I couldn't wear it). And finally, if my clothes touched the floor, even after they had just been washed, I could not wear them as I felt they had been 'contaminated'. 

It all sounds like I was just being an awkward child but, I was very embarrassed and upset by all of this and my parents did not encourage, nor did they address it at all. It was just something I got on with and learned how to live with, albeit uncomfortably. 

I never fully got over it (I don't go swimming anymore so things like that are easier anyway) but I could easily say, sit in a dirty car and walk on most floors (I mean without shoes on btw - with shoes is fine!). Overall, especially when I moved out to Uni etc. I got over this almost completely, it rarely bothered me and wasn't something I had to think about much anymore - which was amazing! 

Recently, over the last few months it has been building up again. I can't stand on the floor in my bathroom in my flat and I keep putting my flatmates towel down to stand on otherwise I can't cope. I also keep having nightmares about being stood on the poolside and the floor is filthy, or I'm in a public bathroom with no shoes and the floor is dirty and wet (I feel sick, uncomfortable and as though I want to chop my feet off just typing this!) I'm starting to walk oddly again, avoiding letting my whole feet touch the floor - jumping onto my bed to avoid it etc. and I'm worried because I'm not a child anymore, if people see me doing this they will think I have lost the plot! 

But at the same time, I don't know why I do this or how to control it. I did before so maybe I can again, but I genuinely have no idea what is going on! It feels so specific and random. I'm not a clean freak or anything it's just the things I have mentioned and it is only my feet and sitting in a car that upsets me. I don't know if it's just a quirk, a little characteristic and strange part of me or what. I feel like my stress and trauma may be what has made it come back full force though? Although I have been depressed for over a year now and it's only the last few months it has become so bad. 

I am so sorry for such a long post! If anyone manages to read this without falling asleep and has any advice/opinions then please comment! I genuinely have no idea what to do with it, if anything? 

1 like, 7 replies

Report / Delete

7 Replies

  • Posted

    Have you taken any meds?  I think you're right about the stress increasing symptoms.  I have some OCD symptoms.  I have to keep things "lined" up.  If chairs are not square and in place I feel the need to push them back.  Somehow, things being clean and straight make me feel calmer.  My home life as a child was chaotic, noisy, messy out of control.  I have taken Prozac which makes me care less about order and cleanliness, meditation helps to relax and center my thinking.  I try to think about my choices in life, will they make more stress?  It seems like I have often chosen the stressful options, but now I must stop and think to take care of myself.
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Linda, thanks for your reply. 

      I'm glad the meditation helps you that is really something I need to try. In terms of meds, I am on Sertraline for my depression and I also take Propanolol. This is for anxiety but for the physical symptoms e.g. fast heart rate so, it doesn't help calm my mind. But I agree, stress seems to be the main factor!!

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi fee my friend.  This to me sounds like classic anxiety.  Anxiety can take some very strange forms with a very common one being OCD,  that Linda is talking about.  The fear of germs is not as common but I have heard of it before.  Are your meds for anxiety as well?  If not I think you need to have a chat with your doctor about it.   You need to nip your anxiety in the bud before it gets worse. 

    Google Howard Hughes - he had an overwhelming fear of germs and would go to extraordinary lenghts to avoid any.   Hugs  Bev xx

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi Bev, I hope you're well! 

      It is a very strange sensation. I think as a child the anxiety was solely to do with a big fear of germs and 'contamination' I thought I was going to die basically. Though as I got older I realised that logically, this was not the case and it slowly managed to ease. I know that if I stand on the floor I'm not going to die, nothing bad will happen but it feels like sitting in a bath full of wiggly, dirty, maggots! It makes my skin crawl, my feet ache and tingle and I feel like I want to chop my feet off and rip my hair out! 

      I take anxiety meds for the physical side of things, my doc is aware of my high anxiety which lead to very high blood pressure, shakiness, high pulse etc. so I was put on 120mg daily of Propanolol to block my adrenaline, so it only really effects me in a very specific physical way: slowing my heart rate. I don't know if there's meds that make more of a difference to the type of thing I'm experiencing? But I don't really know how to explain it to the Dr either. It's a bit odd sounding and difficult to explain! xx

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hi Fee, these type of feelings are becoming quite common so dont be too hard on yourself have you ever seen an expert just to help with the application of thinking like CBT understanding  the why or more importantly the dealing with?
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I've had CBT before but not for this specifically, I've never addressed this particular issue with anyone before. I just managed to slowly ease it off myself. I just find it odd that it has come back so hard and fast! I managed to loosen the grip once but I'm not too sure how to again as it's a different cause for the return I suppose! 
      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I wonder if you had strep thought around that time it all began. It would have been noted as PANDAS, possibly corrected with strong antibiotics. Too late now. Too late now so I guess thats irrelevant and you just have to treat the symptoms. This was a documentary on tv years ago. I believe howie mandell has similiar problems..germaphobia. I have no clue what he uses or did but he managed to have a successful career. I believe he has two homes so when it would act up he used to stay in his spotlessclean one. Might be helpful to google him and read about his plight.
    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up