All Posts By

Louise Oldridge

Contamination OCD, OCD

From Contamination OCD To The BBC

I was recently interviewed for a BBC Horizon documentary on OCD and I was asked if I would get rid of my OCD if I could.  I think my answer surprised a few people..

Up until the age of 19 I was a very happy, easygoing, confident individual.  On reflection I was possibly a bit selfish and didn’t think about other people as much as I should have done.  This all changed suddenly towards the end of my first year at university.  I noticed that I became very concerned with making sure my lights were off in my bedroom and sometimes would make excuses from social activities so that I could go home and check they were off.

At the start of the summer holidays I returned home to spend time with my Mum.  She went on holiday for two weeks and I would normally have been fine staying in the house on my own and working part time.  However, by the time she returned from her holiday I was in the grips of OCD and a couple of days later my diagnosis was confirmed.

In the two weeks that my Mum was away I had become convinced that I was HIV positive.  I was showering for hours at a time, constantly washing my hands and arms, frequently changing my clothes throughout the day and was hardly eating.  What I did eat I couldn’t make or touch because I was afraid that I would contaminate it.  My ultimate fear was that I would infect and thus kill my friends and family.

Continue Reading