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I have been diagnosed with ocd,the worst being my constant need to keep the house tidy and clean,i cant leave the house till every things done,or i,ll stay in to make sure no one makes to much mess before it gets out of control.I pick the skin on my heels for hours,and the disgusting bit i chew the skin till it,s in bits in my mouth,then spit it out,disgusting i know.I scratch my head feeling for scabs and pick em off.I really don,t know why i pick and chew,but i think the house work bit is because it,s the only thing i can control,it,s all about staying in control cause there,s so much going on in my life i have no control over.Any one else do these things  HC 

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I have been diagnosed with ocd,the worst being my constant need to keep the house tidy and clean,i cant leave the house till every things done,or i,ll stay in to make sure no one makes to much mess before it gets out of control.I pick the skin on my heels for hours,and the disgusting bit i chew the skin till it,s in bits in my mouth,then spit it out,disgusting i know.I scratch my head feeling for scabs and pick em off.I really don,t know why i pick and chew,but i think the house work bit is because it,s the only thing i can control,it,s all about staying in control cause there,s so much going on in my life i have no control over.Any one else do these things  HC

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes, Headcase you are not alone!  Everyone in the OCD threads can probably relate. I too am a "cleaner", and a severe one at that.  I start having panick attacks about an hour before I leave work, just thinking about there being a speck of dust on my dining room table or if I accidentally left a pair of socks on the floor.  With me, it's like nothing is ever clean enough.  Where normal people would look around and say "wow that's clean!", I can ALWAYS find more to do.  As for the picking and scratching, I thought that was just me!?  I obsessively scratch my head for scabs too.  I know I make things worse by picking and when I look in the mirror I can find little blood spots all over my scalp.  I also play with my hair constantly, which can be very unprofessional looking in meetings and the like.....so um yeah, I do understand.

Luckily for me, I have had some relief from this with Effexor. By no means am I "normal", but my cleaning obsession has definitley been brought down at least one level...and the panick attacks I would have over one thing out of place where I would be a complete bitch to my boyfriend over, have for the most part subsided.  There is hope!!!! ;)

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I get in trouble for taking off baseboards, cleaning behind them and putting them back up. And moving the fridge once a week to clean behind it.

I have scars all over me from picking, and god forbid I grow anything resembling a nail, or it's gotta go, to the quick. I asked hubby if the house we're building can have removable trim inside. He said no.  ;)

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  • 2 years later...
Guest jessica

Hello,

I'm glad to know i'm not alone with these strange behaviors. I also obsessively scratch and pick at my head to the point where my scalp hurts when i brush my hair and i get flakes in my hair. it is almost uncontrollable at times and i have urges to do it when i'm around people, but if i do it around anyone i get uncomfortable and embarrassed. i also have other OCD problems like peeling off my nails when they are too long, plucking hairs, picking scabs, rubbing my eyes to get cat hairs out, until my eyes hurt.

also from the moment i wake up in the morning my heart rate rises and i get shaky and it takes about an hour or two to wear off.

i know i have moderate levels of anxiety. i have tried about 6 different anti-depressants, and nothing seems to work good enough except for the anti-anxiety medication xanax, but my doctor said i can't take it long term because of dependency. i have become disappointed with anti-depressants, although i am on a good mood-stabilizer (lamictal).

I am also fed up with psychiatrists. i've been to 2. it seems like you fill out all this paperwork and tests, wait forever, and then when you finally get to see the doctor, he gives a one-minute speech about what is wrong with you and throws some prescriptions at you and tells you to come back in a month.

Does anyone have any advice for me and the other people with these problems?

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  • 2 months later...

I'm a cleaner and a picker as well. Everything has to be spottless or I go nuts. I would pull my nails down to the quick. I solved that problem by getting acrylic nails; it's too hard and actually painful to pull off. I can pick at them and the pleasure that results is still the same, but it doesn't leave my fingers sore. I go nuts on pimples and what not.

I just roll with the cleaning thing. I'll burn myself out after a while. I and my Fiance noticed that, the more people said stuff about me cleaning, the worse I got, so people just let me clean around them, and once a room or two are spotless, I'll be fine. My soon-to-be sister in law makes me miserable though. She can't seem to understand that I'm not doing this because I want to, but it's because I have to. She likes to make fun of me, which makes my anxiety kick up as well as the cleaning. I've actually worn a hole in the carpet from scrubbing out a stain because she was poking fun at me. She's the type of person who will say, "Hey, you missed a spot..." or point out stuff that will be impossible for me to reach without the possibility of hurting myself. ("Hey, there's a spot on the ceiling behind the entertainment center...")

I also have to keep things in order. The spice rack is alphabetized, ordered from smallest to largest, and she'll come through and move the Old Bay next to the All Spice and point it out. She tells people all the time, "It's just a bizzare issue she needs serious help for, maybe a stay in a psych ward..." When I met her Fiance, she told him, "Don't shake her hand, she'll be in the bathroom for the next three hours..." So the two of them made my life hell for the week they were staying with us by doing little things like re-arranging the spices, hanging a piece of black thread from the ceiling fan...ect

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I'm also a cleaner and washer. I hate doing it all, but I have to, or I'm driven crazy with thoughts. I sometimes buy things to solve one problem (OCD-related or not), but it creates another problem. If I buy a storage container for something, to solve the issue of worrying about the items from getting dusty, I still have to worry about keeping the storage container dust-free, and finding space for it (for which I don't really have any).

I also pick my skin and scalp sometimes. I think of it more as a habit than OCD, because it doesn't really control me. I can resist doing it, for the most part, but I do get a satisfaction out of it.

Where some people clean like crazy, I have a tendency to limit my cleaning, and just avoid more and more things and areas. I just get overwhelmed with it all.

I've been to a lot more psychiatrists and psychologists than you, Jessica, and most of them are the same. I'm sorry to tell you that, because I feel the same frustration as you. On those documentaries we see about OCD, they show psychiatrists doing behavior therapy with the patients, but a few years ago, I found out most people have to go to behavior therapists to get expose and response prevention therapy (ERP). So, they want you to pay two different docs (one for meds, one for ERP), at least. And if you go to one of those clinics where there are psychologists and a med doctor (which can be a psychiatrist, nurse practitioner, or perhaps others qualified to write prescriptions), you'll need three.

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Hello,

I'm glad to know i'm not alone with these strange behaviors. I also obsessively scratch and pick at my head to the point where my scalp hurts when i brush my hair and i get flakes in my hair. it is almost uncontrollable at times and i have urges to do it when i'm around people, but if i do it around anyone i get uncomfortable and embarrassed. i also have other OCD problems like peeling off my nails when they are too long, plucking hairs, picking scabs, rubbing my eyes to get cat hairs out, until my eyes hurt.

also from the moment i wake up in the morning my heart rate rises and i get shaky and it takes about an hour or two to wear off.

i know i have moderate levels of anxiety. i have tried about 6 different anti-depressants, and nothing seems to work good enough except for the anti-anxiety medication xanax, but my doctor said i can't take it long term because of dependency. i have become disappointed with anti-depressants, although i am on a good mood-stabilizer (lamictal).

I am also fed up with psychiatrists. i've been to 2. it seems like you fill out all this paperwork and tests, wait forever, and then when you finally get to see the doctor, he gives a one-minute speech about what is wrong with you and throws some prescriptions at you and tells you to come back in a month.

Does anyone have any advice for me and the other people with these problems?

2 psychiatrists? Welcome to the mental health system. I've had many many psychiatrists. I'd say about 1 out of every 8 is worth a crap. Keep on looking. You will find one you like. You just have to be persistent. Most of them aren't in it to help others. They just want the prestige of being a doctor without having to get their hands dirty.

Have you ever tried any therapy? It can be just as effective as medication. Yes you shouldn't keep taking xanax. It is a wonderful drug, but it is very addictive. I've been there. I'm stable now on 150mg effexor xr daily and 30mg of paxil daily. My OCD symptoms are nearly nonexistant.

Just keep your head up and realize there is hope. Good luck.

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  • 6 months later...

I get in trouble for taking off baseboards, cleaning behind them and putting them back up. And moving the fridge once a week to clean behind it.

I have scars all over me from picking, and god forbid I grow anything resembling a nail, or it's gotta go, to the quick. I asked hubby if the house we're building can have removable trim inside. He said no. ;)

you may have allergies . I have had the picking scarring problem from the age of eight until now- 47 years old. I had to go on prednisone for an overactive imune system. I have tryed every thing to stop this habit. while on this drug I stopped with absolutely no effort. when i stopped the drug the symptoms came back. I talked with my psych and she suggested going to an allergist. I think my overactive imune system actually needs something to "work" on. I will let you know the results. rentalss

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