What Hands Washing Mean for OCD Patients Amid Corona virus Crisis

People with Obsessive- Compulsive Disorder (OCD) have marked unwanted intrusive thoughts ( obsession ) that force them (compulsion ) to perform specific rituals or routines.

They don’t feel “safe” or relieved until they perform rituals. The rituals can include, repeatedly checking that the door is locked because they feel paranoid, and excessively washing of hands because of fear germs

The WHO recommends we routinely wash our hands to control the infection of the virus. Although it’s worth taking some extra precautions to protect yourself, people with OCD may have distressing urge to do more hands washing, just to “feel safe”. Eventually the compulsion will get stronger and their symptoms may get worse

What Can You Do?

If your family member or loved one is suffering from this condition, you may concerned about their increased compulsiveness to hand washing and may even complain about how they use water around the house. Try these tips to help your loved one with OCD

• Most cities are on lockdown, nevertheless, help them keep in touch with their doctor. It could be through the phone or Skype or any other social network system.

• Don’t offer any form of resistance or try to stop them from performing rituals.

• Encourage them to continue taking their medication. Even partial non – compliance could make a big difference on recovery.

• Increase their awareness to the corona virus. The media may have overly exaggerated the nature of the disease. Provide them reliable information from the CDC or WHO

• Keep them away from watching the news. Or simply turn off the news. Watching or hearing updates from the media could bring about unnecessary anxiety.