The Domain Name www.germawareness.co.uk is for sale. It can be developed into a website or blog. If anyone is focusing on the keywords “Germ Awareness” this is an ideal opportunity to acquire an exact match searchable keyword phrase.
If the cost of living was not bad enough with people freezing and ambulances not getting to people on time there should be no surprise to have another spanner thrown into the works with the dreaded C###d word making the rounds again. The (C) word was never eradicated but it was stable through herd immunity, so reading the following statement has got my mind blown…
The Transport Secretary Mark Harper has said that even though those traveling from China will have to have a negative test, those who are positive will not have to quarantine upon entry into the UK, despite Beijing admitting there have been many deaths.
UK will allow Chinese travelers with positive Covid tests to enter the UK and not quarantine despite in ‘Shanghai 70% having the virus.
The advice, issued by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is warning that it is “likely” that Covid, flu, and scarlet fever will continue to rise in the coming weeks.
The UKHSA are advising parents who have a child with a high temperature of 38C or higher to keep them out of school.
Professor Susan Hopkins, the chief medical adviser at UKHSA, said adults should “try to stay home when unwell” and those who venture out should “wear a face covering” to prevent the spread of infection.
My OCD is germ contamination thatstarted 38 years ago but was diagnosed in1992.
In the beginning, I started to adopt unusual habits I did not understand what it was or why I was doing it other than I had to release the impulsive urge otherwise it would torment me. There was no internet back then so could not google it.
Looking back now my mother had similar traits but not as bad as me and some were a little different.
When I tried telling my mother in her later years she was in complete denial. My father was not happy because he did not know what OCD was and did not like me whipping out Dettol Surface Spray every five minutes and simply thought I had a screw loose.
What is OCD
OCD is a common debilitating condition affecting individuals from childhood through adult life. There is good evidence of genetic contribution to its etiology, but environmental risk factors also are likely to be involved. The condition probably has a complex pattern of inheritance. Molecular studies have identified several potentially relevant genes, but much additional research is needed to establish definitive causes of the condition. Genetics of OCD – PMC (nih.gov)
My mother had OCD, for example, when we came home from school my mother would make us stand in a small area in the kitchen to take our shoes off, we would then have to go upstairs immediately and stand on a newspaper to take our uniform off and get changed.
My mother had a habit of checking the soles of our shoes or even guest shoes as no one could come into the house without taking them off in the corridor. I reckon if anyone caught her doing what she did they would be mortified.
All grocery shopping would have to be washed with detergent before it could go in the cupboards. Obviously, some foods such as bakeries would have the outer packaging wiped with a dishcloth.
My mother had problems with newspapers and mail (just like me), she was careful how she opened them, everything had to be in a certain place and could not be touched unless it was in a certain area of the house and we would have to discard the outer envelopes and wash our hands.
My father’s jacket would always be inspected for dirt, especially on the hem and sleeves after he hung it up. I think her OCD put a strain on their marriage, although I think they had problems way before she developed the disorder which I believe was a direct consequence of how my father treated her.
Ongoing studies point to a genetic defect in the way the front area of the brain communicates with deeper areas. These deeper structures use serotonin, a chemical messenger. Images of the brain in some people with OCD show that these defective communication circuits work more normally with serotonin-based medications or cognitive behavior therapy. OCD Causes: Is OCD Genetic, Hereditary? | HealthyPlace
The start of my OCD symptoms.
I was 21 when I started to develop OCD traits, it was whilst I was in a relationship with someone who took advantage of his position in a Bank he worked in, and any attractive-looking female customers he would look for their names, addresses, and phone numbers up and phone them to ask them out for dates (obviously this would never be allowed to happen now because of GDPR but as I got more suspicious that he was playing away I phoned the numbers that he would leave lying around and the women would confirm that they went out with him. It is amazing no one reported him because he is now a regional bank manager thanks to me finding the job in a job center and applying on his behalf somewhat 38 years ago.
The straw that broke the camel’s back.
I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was when out of the blue with no notice at all he said it was over between us. To be honest I was madly in love with him (he looked like a young version of Tom Cruise a spitting image of Top Gun Movie 1 and now looks more like David Cameron MP (Yes I have looked him up and blocked him). I would have taken a bullet for him (my ex not the MP), regardless of what he did.
In my heart, I forgave him as long as we would stay together, but pressure from his parents especially his mother did not approve of me as the daughter of a working-class immigrant who wanted her precious son to have a more upper-class suitor. His sister was also never a fan because it was her boyfriend that arranged a blind date that got us together and at the last minute bailed only to ask her brother to take his place. I was not aware of how much grief this would cause, and I would have been pissed if the roles were reversed and it happened to me, so did not blame her for being angry. She ended up breaking up with her boyfriend after that.
I knew at heart of hearts there was something very seriously wrong in our relationship (with my ex) and that he was a player. I started to wash my hands and body in ‘Dettol Antiseptic Disinfectant’ liquid, which either would be undiluted on my hands or mixed in my shower gels and shampoos because I believed I wanted to wash the other women’s scent off me when he was intimate with me.
To this day I will only use Dettol Brand, I use it when I bathe and also when I wash my clothes. It cannot be any other brand other than Dettol.
I think what escalated my OCD was when I found out he was visiting brothels and he caught an STD, by that time we were not having sex but the thought of him having crabs grossed me out. It’s a long story about how I found out and it will be in my autobiography when I publish it.
I then started to be very vigilant about my surroundings, I started to have the shower curtain outside the bath, which would cause the floor to get wet and also get him angry, which in turn caused arguments. I could not stand the shower curtain clinging to me as I was showering and to this day I have not changed this habit. I now have a glass folding door fitted in my own bathroom.
After we broke up I think I must have had a nervous breakdown. I thought my life was over and I so desperately wanted him back, I realized why he no longer wanted to be with me because he met someone that worked at the bank (I believe everything happens for a reason, had I not found him that job, things would have maybe turned out differently) but looking at it now he did me a favor. I then decided to move away so that I would never bump into him again. I have since blocked him on all social media so if he was ever to look me up he would never have a hope in hell of ever speaking to me.
Coping with OCD over the years.
Over the years and depending on what was going on in my life I have good days and bad days but I learned to cope and adapt.
I did keep my OCD hidden for many years as I was very embarrassed to admit there was something wrong with me.
It was when people in public places bumped into me (busy towns) I started to have an issue with social connection. When using public transport I hated people sitting next to me. It got to the stage I would avoid buses altogether and it really rattled me when someone would push past me or if they bumped into me (say sorry) my argument would be if I was a car and there was a collision they would be doing more than apologizing.
I would find it hard to go to restaurants and cafes and have my own set of cutlery. I became vigilant about how the server served the drinks and how close to the rim of the glass their fingers would be. I ended up drinking from straws. I have been known to clean the seat before sitting down, this would get people to give me funny looks. Imagine sitting on a seat where the previous person has sat who may have tram lines in his or her undergarments.
My OCD is germ contamination. My impulse is not to touch unsanitized objects and my compulsion is to clean and disinfect whatever I am in contact with.
I have now opted out of socializing, it’s embarrassing to wear latex gloves in public. There is a stigma attached to people that behave differently from the rest of the batteries in the matrix. The chances of being judged or ridiculed are too much for me to bear.
I prefer to live behind a computer screen than interact with the outside world.
Don’t get me wrong I would venture out if I had to, but try to avoid it as much as possible. I would take extra precautionary measures and try to overcome my anxiety.
I have all my groceries, prescriptions and shopping delivered. There is nothing I cannot do but it all has to be done online. All statements and invoices are online.
I also have a problem with flies (fruit flies in particular) but flies in general that sits on dog poo and then sit on your surfaces really turn my stomach. In the summer months, I am armed with fly spray by the dozen.
My compulsions, I do try and fight as much as I can, say, for instance, if I have touched something by accident, I will go and change my clothes. However, there have been instances where I have not been able to sanitize expensive things and have had to through them away. I remember when my daughter was little and she stepped in dog poo, I ended up throwing out her shoes.
I cannot share my bath with anyone else other than my daughter. I cannot let anyone touch anything that belongs to me such as a laptop, books, or that kind of thing.
I cannot have someone sit next to me or touch me. Even my daughter’s cat knows not to jump on my seating area, although if he has brushed himself by accident against me I immediately have to take my leggings off to be washed.
I go through about 1000 pairs of gloves per month and use two bottles of 750 ml antiseptic disinfectant a week. I spent about £800 on this alone last year (I know this from doing my tax return).
The more stressed I am the worse my OCD gets. If people put pressure on me and cause me stress and anxiety the more it flares up.
Reminders of the trauma and grief I endured
My Personal Belonging Being Touched
Being Touched (Hugs)
Dog Poo (cat poo or bird poo is not so bad, it is dog poo that is a trigger for me)
Animal Hair (especially dog hair)
Shaking Hands (how many people actually wash their hands when they go to the toilet)
Sharing Plates of Food
Public Places that are not sanitized
Half-finished projects or errors that need correcting (I cannot leave an error for another day I have to correct it there and then)
Keeping grief hidden can be a survival strategy after suffering a bereavement. New research shows that the social disconnection caused by concealing feelings of loss can increase psychological distress.
Social Disconnection is not always about OCD it could relate to other psychological distress disorders.
Every person on this planet will endure grief at some point in their lives. It will depend on how they cope which will determine the final outcome.
I find that scripting in a journal helps (I do it online but you can do it in a book, it’s down to personal preference at the end of the day) to get whatever off my chest. I have also tried meditation and hypnosis and you need to stick to it and do it religiously for it to work.
I have tried psychotherapy and CBT therapy and it only works in the short term. Speaking to shrink every week having to talk about the things you would rather forget is counterproductive. As for CBT, it is a therapy to change your thought process and resist the urge of the compulsion, the only way this kind of therapy works is under hypnosis which the NHS does not provide, and if you try and do it yourself you have to religiously work at it (miracles do not happen overnight).
I have self-hypnotized myself successfully although it is short-lived because I have to do it every day or a few times a week, in which I do not have the time for, considering I am working all day I am too tired and just want to go to sleep.
I also take prescribed medication, not that it helps my OCD in fact all it does is help me fall asleep. I would not mind doing clinical trials of magic mushrooms (Psilocybin) which I have heard can help sufferers with OCD. It is illegal to harvest or use them, without medical supervision. They are considered Class A drugs.
I keep myself busy and I am constantly learning about my disease so that I can not only help myself but help others like me.
I try to resist my urges as much as I can.
I am very vigilant about germ awareness and cross-contamination.
Motivating & Empowering & Advocate of OCD
I am an advocate for people with OCD. This is one of the reasons why I built this site to help people not only with mental but physical disabilities.
My daughter has Multiple Sclerosisand there are certain things she finds difficult to do so I arrange her appointments and respond to her every whim at least five hours a day. I am her personal assistant and care for her needs. I support her not only as her mother but also as her carer. Just because I have OCD does not stop me from doing things inside my home, with PPE. I can help her with getting in and out of the bath, just like any nurse wearing PPE clothing, such as disposable gloves and disposable hygiene coats. I can also cook and clean for her and help with anything she needs. Because of her immunosuppression, it is an added bonus that I keep our home sanitized and germ-free.
She is the assistant editor of this site. She suffers from excruciating pain which is one of the symptoms of (MS). and she is on the highest dosage of medication possible to be prescribed on a monthly basis.
In fact, altered functional connectivity between the cerebellum and cerebral networks involved in cognitive-affective processing in patients with OCD provides further evidence for the involvement of the cerebellum in the pathophysiology of OCD & MS and is consistent with impairment in executive control and emotion.
My daughter has a problem with symmetry and even numbers.
Just because you have a disability you still can strive to follow your dream even though you may have limitations there is usually a solution to every problem and you can overcome obstacles. There is nothing you cannot do if you put your mind to it.
Many neurodevelopmental conditions can often co-exist together, although can be treated in different ways.
OCD rears its ugly head when you find it difficult to cope with life, OCD can be the onset of trauma and grief.
Stress, Anxiety, and everyday struggles can cause your OCD to get worse especially when people try to undermine, humiliate, and judge you. Try to not let anything get to you and if you want your own space to write your own personal story, just drop me a line below and I will create a landing page, free of charge. Whatever your disability may be mental or physical you can write to your heart’s content about yourself and your daily struggles. People love reading stories they can relate to.
Since coming out as an OCD sufferer I have been made to feel as if I am bonkers by Personal Independence Payments (PIP). They have made me feel like I have no authority to speak on disabilities even though I am the Editor of this website and have a Diploma in OCD hypnotherapy. I do not practice hypnotherapy and only took the course to help me. As I mentioned previously for hypnotherapy to work it is a process that has to be done religiously on a regular basis. You cannot just hypnotize yourself in one session and expect miracles.
Whilst practicing hypnosis I have got myself into a very relaxed state.
It has helped me to a certain degree to resist my compulsions but has not eradicated my germ contamination obsession problem.
Furthermore, another day comes with more added stress and anxiety and I feel all my hard work has been a waste of time whereby I have just gone back to square one. I really should practice hypnotherapy every day for it to make some difference, yet never seem to find the time. My business comes first, as that is what pays the bills and brings food to the table.
Zena’s Online Journal Health Update, Catching Covid.
During my first week back in uni, I catch covid, and worse still my mum has caught it too.
I first noticed the day before I did a test I had a bit of a sore throat but the following day rapidly it turned into a cough.
I thought with all the vaccines I had I would not catch it, obviously, I was wrong because upon doing some research I found that people who have had vaccines aren’t automatically protected from the virus. Vaccines don’t kill the virus or pathogen they target. Rather, vaccines stimulate a person’s immune system to create antibodies. These antibodies are specific against the virus or pathogen for the vaccine and allow the body to fight infection before it takes hold and causes severe disease.
However, some people won’t have strong enough immune such as myself, and won’t respond to the vaccine which may still make people like me who have had their immune suppressed from treatment for Multiple Sclerosis susceptible to developing COVID-19 if exposed to the virus. How a person responds to a vaccine is impacted by a number of host factors, including age, gender, medications, diet, exercise, health, and stress levels.
Impact on your health from someone who has COVID -19.
Patient A – My Daughter who is Fully Vaccinated
Patent B – Myself who has not had one Vaccination
I write two examples of two people living under the same roof with two different immune systems.
Just before Covid became world news I remember the Christmas before going to a restaurant on Christmas Eve with my daughter for a pre-booked Christmas Dinner, feeling like I had been hit by a bus with a very high temperature. I remember not having an appetite and could not wait to come home.
I decided after that not to venture out and not come into contact with anyone with the illness. I did not even go for my vaccinations. Because I suffer from OCD I am more vigilant and am an expert ongerm awareness.
Germ awareness and cross-contamination should be taught everywhere and it should be in social media advertising and on television, radio, and in periodicals. It should be emphasized until we are sick of hearing about it. People who deliberately go out spreading their germs should be punished by law.
I obviously dodged a bullet until last week, when before my daughter could even speak I blurted out “Don’t tell me so you have COVID”?
She has had all the latest boosters and was due her fifth until she confirmed the dreaded news. She reckons she caught it from someone in university and by coincidence one of her tutors has just emailed her saying they too have become ill and all seminars will be online.
There is absolutely no excuse the moment you feel you are unwell to do a test and if you have Covid do not come to work or school, university, etc, or any public place for that matter. Do not be selfish. Obviously, people who only think about themselves and do not care about people around them would spread germs.
God will punish people who do not care about others. Do not go out without testing yourself first especially if you start to develop any of the symptoms below or on the NHS site.
Literally the same day she told me I started having the symptoms:
Feeling Freezing Cold even though I had to put the central heating on full blast.
My daughter who has had nearly all her boosters would be entitled to medication as she would be classed as a priority whilst me being the bad egg would not. I am just riding the tide and believe with willpower I can beat this. In fact, she told me last Tuesday, it is Sunday now, and I am feeling 75% better already.
Mind you I felt like I was hit by a truck and dragged down the road backward. I have little energy and am only now slowly coming back online which is unusual for me and it has only happened twice with the Christmas before the Covid announcement and now.
My daughter’s immune system has been suppressed because she finished her multiple sclerosis treatment earlier this year (www.lemtrada.com) and her body would not be reset until January of next year. Suppressed Immune System: What Is It, Causes, and More | Osmosis I was also concerned for her because she is vulnerable. However, we both experienced the same symptoms and we are both on the road to recovery.
I asked her on a scale of 1 being bad and 10 being good how she was feeling and she said 5 whereas I am feeling 7 or 8.
If any of our symptoms change I will document it here.
Am I angry, of course, I am, I have been off work because of the selfish person that decided to come to a public place to spread germs.
Up to ½ million people in the UK have work-related stress often resulting in illness. Up to 5 million people in the UK are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ stressed through work. ‘Stress, depression, and anxiety are the second most commonly reported work-related illnesses. https://www.stressuless.com/stress.html
Stress & Depression are the root cause of OCD.
Depression may be related to the personal stress developed at home or work. Depression may result after the onset of OCD as in the article below but Depression can also be the result of traumatic events in a person’s life such as Grief which causes a Domino Effect.
I will talk about 5 things relating to me and how they are impacting my life and what I am doing in terms of therapy.
I am under a tremendous amount of stress for the following reasons:
I have an ongoing dispute with British Gas and it is currently being investigated by the ombudsman.
I have clients dropping like flies because they no longer can afford to pay for their websites due to the price rises of the cost of living.
I am concerned about the stability of a brand new computer that the manufacturer refused to replace or give a refund for. (I am tired of all the arguing I am having to do).
The uncertainty of what the future holds,
I wrote a letter 15 pages long to my GP (Doctor) after I received a letter to make an appointment for my annual medication review, but they could not send me a letter when I wrote to them (9 pages long) in May 2021. I sent both letters via email and both letters were acknowledged and put on the system with a response that a clinician will contact me…I am still waiting for a reply to my letter.
There is a clue in the 4 points I mentioned that can narrow down to the underlying root of how I am feeling, albeit I am also suffering from the aftermath of the domestic violence I endured on top of the daily stresses.
SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY
Anxiety may present with any of the following symptoms:
Nervousness (I do get nervous when I have to do things I am unfamiliar with relating to work or have to start a dispute to the point I actually feel sick).
Being overly and constantly worried(I try to keep myself busy so that I do not have to think too much about my problems).
Restlessness (I cannot sit and do nothing, I have to do something, I cannot do idle chitter chatter, I think sitting at a table talking nonsense whilst socializing is a waste of time, I would much rather learn something or turn the wheel to generate business than attend social gatherings -although I cannot at the moment because of my social disconnection issues).
Feeling a lump in your throat (If I recall experiencing fear or being in fight or flight mode I have experienced an uncomfortable feeling of finding it hard to swallow).
Difficulty concentrating (I have noticed that I cannot concentrate on reading books, it’s as if my mind wanders).
Fatigue (I am tired usually when I wake from the interrupted sleeping pattern and a combination of taking my med, so I counteract this by drinking energy drinks that are high in caffeine).
Irritability (I am only irritable if things do not go my way).
Impatience (I have a short fuse, I do not have patience and I can be rude at times although I usually do apologize I get irritable of people play me to be a fool. people should be careful to insult my intelligence).
Muscle tension (Not that I have noticed other than back pain or electricity shooting in the back of my neck but that could be related to Epidural Analgesia).
Insomnia (I take medication to send me to sleep otherwise my mind would be racing all night long and I would not be able to sleep).
Excessive sweating (Not that I have noticed personally)
Shortness of breath (If I have a panic attack, if I am extremely anxious, or if something has really upset me to the point I am becoming a nervous wreck I have been known to have a shortness of breath especially if I have been in a fight or flight mode due to domestic violence).
Stomachache (My mother suffered from stomach problems I always thought she was intolerant to certain foods but as I reflect my stomach is normally fine).
Diarrhea (Energy drinks do that but the way I relate to this it helps to flush all the toxins out and helps with weight gain).
Headache (If I get really stressed my head will thump).
Appetite changes (I have not noticed an increase or decrease in appetite but sometimes crave chocolate, but don’t we all).
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder that causes distress to the sufferer, it may be a recurrent pattern of unwanted thoughts (obsessions) such as germ contamination that lead to repetitive behaviors (compulsions) such as to disinfect and quarantine. Obsessive thoughts are uncontrollable fears, ideas, sensations, or impulses that trigger extreme distress.
Because I am stressed my OCD is more visible. I may have to change my clothes multiple times in the day if I think I have brushed past something by accident. I am unstable in keeping my balance(cerebellar atrophy).
I go through about 500 pairs of disposable gloves a day and find it hard to touch things with my bare hand without disinfecting them straight after with Dettol. It has to be Dettol as the other brands I cannot get my head around that they will do the same job even though they claim they do, maybe it is my OCD that makes me think this way.
I have a quarantined area where no one can step foot apart from me, not even my daughter can touch anything that I deemed to be sanitized. I am really sad that I cannot give my daughter a hug, I really wish I could but something stops me. I know it is not her it is me and one day I will be in a better place because in the 30 years I have suffered with OCD I have managed to control it to the point it was not so prominent until I had an onset of traumatic events that caused it to come back again with a vengeance.
I am 100% convinced if I did not have stress, did not endure traumatic events, and if I did not have depression because of the stress and I was in a HAPPY PLACE my OCD would be under control. I would not say it would be 100 % cured because depending on my stress levels it would never be totally eradicated. Some people can deal with stress better than others. Some people, smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol and take recreational or prescribed drugs. I only take prescribed drugs for my OCD and they do not work other than sending me to sleep.
I am always on the lookout for different ways I can control my OCD but I have only found hypnosis and meditation to help with the healing process. I am studying neuroplasticity and how to rewire our brains.
In order forhypnosis to work, it has to be done consistently, you will not be cured in a day, week, or month. This has to be a daily occurrence until you start noticing a change. I have completed my diploma for hypnosis and yes I did hypnotize myself successfully but I need to do it every day and with work commitments and everything else that is going on in my life I am too tired and end up falling asleep. You should do hypnosis just before you do to sleep or when you wake up. Other times you can do it during the day without distractions and religiously around the same time of the day.
Although I can do hypnotherapy I do not practice it and have never tried to do it on anyone else.
I live in rented accommodation and have lived in the same property for 24 years. Although I have had money in the past to buy a property I was never focused and did not understand the consequences of my actions in planning for the future. I lived in the moment and never planned my life ahead.
My intrusive thoughts are:
Will my abuser return to the UK to pay me a visit? (That is part of the reason why I have not left my home because I am scared he may be lurking around.
Will I crash and burn and lose everything? ( I got robbed a few years ago and all my valuables were stolen. I have replaced the majority of things and do not want to lose them again.
Will my daughter’s health deteriorate (she suffers from multiple sclerosis)?
Will my health ever improve?
Will I ever be happy and in a happy place?
Thoughts that cause triggers like the death of Queen II, and although the news is sad and I know a family is grieving, it has however revived memories of my parents and my brother passing which has made me have thoughts such as if our loved ones are watching over usare they disappointed in me or are they happy that I am doing everything I can to turn my life around?
Symptoms of Depression are:
Continuous feelings of low mood and/or sadness (I try to keep myself busy so that I do not have time to dwell too much on all the things that have gone wrong in my life).
Feeling hopeless and helpless (Yes I do feel hopeless at times but I always try to find the energy to fight until I reach my goals -yes I have set goals, you have to, you need to have a plan).
Having low self-esteem (When I wake it is like one of those movies where the person dies and comes back again and nothing has changed, well it is like that for me, I eat, sleep and repeat and nothing changes).
Feeling tearful constantly (I cannot say I am tearful it takes a lot to push my buttons although British Gas (Energy Supplier) did drive me to tears, so I reported them).
Feelings of guilt (I feel guilty for squandering my money. Had I been focused and taught how to manage my money I would be in a different place now, but you learn the hard way I have many regrets and if I could turn back time with what I know I would have done things differently knowing what I know now. I feel guilty for being stupid with my finances and the people that I trusted). I also feel guilty for distancing myself and perhaps not contacting people sooner that have now passed away (old people).
Feeling irritable (I only get irritable if things do not go my way or if I have to deal with stupid people)
Having no motivation or interest in hobbies and interests (I have plenty of things to keep me occupied, the websites that I own and manage for my clients keep me busy, never mind my content writing. I am motivated because I have gotten this far so I am not going to give up even though when I wake it takes me a minute or two to tell myself that today may be the day that things change for the better, so I carry on).
Being indecisive (I sometimes procrastinate over things such as whether should I start a certain project or not, or if can it wait and I end up putting it off again and again).
No real enjoyment in life(I live on the internet my physical self is just a vessel that keeps me going. I do not think of my life in the physical sense I have socially disconnected from the outside world other than for the couriers and workmen that come to the property and I am happy this way. Would I do things differently if I did not have OCD or feared ever crossing paths with the people that caused me harm, I don’t think so. I am happy in my own company)
Feeling anxious and/or worried (My mother was a worrier and I must take after her, she also had undiagnosed OCD. Yes my intrusive thoughts do sometimes get in the way, hence I keep myself busy so that I do not have time to think).
Thoughts of harming yourself or suicidal feelings (This is furthest from my mind. I was at my lowest and for a millisecond it did cross my mind when I endured all the physical and mental abuse from my abuser but I told myself if I quit he would win so I turned my thoughts around to show him that everything he said was wrong and that I would be successful and he would live to regret treating me the way he did).
Loss of appetite – although sometimes can see an increase in appetite (I see food as energy when I am hungry I will eat, I do not watch my calories and try to eat healthy most of the time, I have no problem with my appetite, in fact, I should really lose a bit of weight considering I do not exercise because (a) I do not venture out (b) My knee pain would be too excruciating to walk very far).
A general lack of energy (Because of my medication, I feel so tired when I wake so I counteract that by drinking energy drinks that are high in caffeine which causes a domino effect and causes me to have an overactive bladder)
Low sex drive.
Trouble sleeping (I do have trouble sleeping but that is alleviated with the prescribed medication, however with the interruptions to my sleep because of my overactive bladder I find when I wake I am very tired so have to drink energy drinks to keep me awake).
Avoiding social interaction (I have social disconnection issues and I prefer my own company)
Difficulty maintaining family relationships (I do not have any close relatives living in the UK other than my daughter and we have a close bond, my brother and all his children live in the USA, I guess it must be very hard for their mother who lives in the UK).
My Dreams, Aspirations & Goals
My dreams, aspirations, and goals are one day to be in a happy place living a happy life, be financially free and most of all not suffering from OCD, Stress, Anxiety, or Depression. I want to one day when I retire travel the world and photograph everything I see. I want to one day be able to document my journey and leave a legacy.
I want to motivate and inspire people so that they can be led on the right path.
I will continue to do what I am doing because I sense where I am supposed to be, is the right place to be. By continuing writing and researching I not only help myself I also help others. This online journal is my therapy because it gives me a platform to voice my knowledge, thought and opinions.
“People who shy away from people with mental health disorders or disabilitiesand label people as damaged goods usually have their own demons to contend with”.
I need to vent and let off steam before I blow a gasket.
The last few months have taken a toll on my health. As most of you know I am the Editor of ‘Disability UK – Disabled Entrepreneur Online Journal’ and have come to near enough a standstill with my business because of my health.
My Disabilities are Invisible.
I sometimes am so depressed it takes a lot of effort to do anything, these days.
Renata’s Online Journal Health Report
The following is a snippet of what I am going through.
I am disabled, I suffer from Cerebellar Atrophy, OCD, and Depression so it is no surprise that I have highs and lows. Yet most recently I have been experiencing very bad lows.
I do not have a support system and my GP is as useful as a chocolate fire guard. https://disabledentrepreneur.uk/gp-doctor-negligence-evidence/ To understand my health you will have to understand how the last few months have been for me and what I have gone through and am still going through.
I have been through war and back with ‘British Gas’, which I have reported to ‘Ombudsman’ who in turn report to ‘OFGEM’. ‘British Gas’ caused me humiliation, intimidation, harassment, and emotional distress.
In another incident I had 40 emails from a credit card issuer (situation now under control), again I have experienced, humiliation, intimidation, harassment, and emotional distress. (They gave me £100 as a gesture of goodwill, with the understanding that if I endure more harassment I will report them to the Ombudsman). I know what they will say but she accepted the £100, which is just a band-aid on a gaping wound.
Most recently my laptop started having a blue screen and eventually died, I have not been able to do anything online for about a week. I have simply used my phone to read and reply to emails and do research. This started making me sink into a very dark place.
I then had a brand new computer and not even a week old I ended up with a BSOD, you just can’t make this stuff up. https://marketingagency.cymrumarketing.com/2022/08/24/lenovo-or-windows-fault-blue-screen-of-death-bsod-2022/
I have lost clients due to the rise in the cost of living and them not being able to afford their websites. (No help for small businesses I hear your cry, and yes the rich get richer and the poor get poorer).
I am very depressed.
My OCD has spiraled off the ricker scale.
I have intrusive thoughts.
I have no patience.
I have panic attacks.
I hate noise, anything from traffic to car doors opening and closing.
The only way I will interact is online.
I do not answer my phone, which no doubt has cost me a lot of business.
So there is a knock-on domino effect when people are so robotic and irritating to the point if I could shove my fist down the other end of the line or across the computer screen, I would.
I am not in a good place right now because I am struggling to stay positive and optimistic. I have been studying neuroplasticity and I should stick with it because something I thought about, the next day materialized. Therefore I need to heal and start caring about myself rather than neglecting myself.
I plan to write a book about my life, this will no doubt open a can of worms, not only for me having to recall things that I would rather not remember but for the people that have done me wrong. My book will mention all the highs and lows and perhaps it may help people to avoid the same mistakes I made, in my relationships, and in my career, not only how everything over the years has affected my health and how I am trying to heal.
“I want to make a difference in this world and help people like me or worse off than me”.
I may not physically want to interact but a virtual connection I am fine with, although I won’t be doing anything for a few weeks because I need to recover from all the trauma I have had to endure over the last few months.
This all goes towards documenting my health so that it all gets put on the NHS database. There is a reason behind my madness.
It saddens me that the people I have reached out to on a personal level, who said they were going to get back in touch never have. I assume that they have reached their own conclusions and do not want to interact with someone that has disabilities. I suppose they see me as damaged goods, but labeling someone in such a way is not only hurtful but incorrect because we all have something going on in our lives thus we can all be labeled the same way. In fact, it will be hard to find a person that has not been screwed over in some way or another and how it affected them mentally. Usually, people who shy away from people with mental health disorders have their own demons to contend with and cannot handle yours. I do not see myself as damaged I see myself as someone who can overcome obstacles and then write about them. Just because I am having a bad day today does not mean I will be having a bad day tomorrow. No two days are the same. Yes, I have disabilities but there are millions of people in the same boat as me or worse off. You need to find the strength to make your story your superpower. Everyone has a book waiting to be written. There’s No Such Thing As Being “Damaged Goods” In A Relationship—Here’s Why (bolde.com)
I am like a bear with a sore head at the moment, as a consequence, I avoid talking over the phone as much as possible. When I do have to call people, as an example the other day, I nearly bit an IT engineer’s head off when I was having trouble accessing my site. I did apologize afterward about my outburst but I have a very short fuse and my temperament is not great, I can come off at times as being rude, (I try not to be, but cannot help it if people push my buttons). However, I also get very obnoxious, patronizing, and condescending individuals and all I want to do is punch their faces. I am no good at interacting physically, which is fortunate.
I have reported ‘British Gas’ to the Ombudsman and have to wait on an outcome. I feel very lethargic and am finding it hard to be optimistic right now. I should stay positive but is hard when I have to deal with some things that cause my health to worsen. It is as if I make one step forward and two steps back.
My OCD has gone through the roof and where I was making progress the last few months have basically thrown all my hard work away. Having a mental health disorder like depression which causes an onset of intrusive thoughts causing you to have compulsions to ease the anxiety. it is a vicious circle. and that is why I do not interact physically.
I have this methology “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. I am not the type of person to whinge and moan, I just make the most of what I have and try to get on with it.
I always keep myself busy and set goals. However my physical and mental disabilities are obstacles that daily I have to get round.
My OCD is by far one of my prominent disabilities and have designed a quarantined cocoon area where only I have access to. This area allows me to be free of any anxieties that I would have in the normal environment. I have adopted this practice to save cleaning my whole home from top to bottom day in and day out. Believe me I used to clean from top to bottom every single day until I realised I was wasting valuable time doing something else.
Keeping myself busy does help to block out intrusive thoughts to a certain degree. I am the worlds worse for critising myself. I try to brain train to reason with myself that what I do is ridiculous and out of character to normal people, but it all is related to stress, anxiety and depression. Depending how stress I am under will depend how well my day will be. If I am super stressed, I find that I cannot concentrate and even do minuscule tasks.
My OCD is germ contamination related and I am even more conscious of my surrounding and the things that I touch. I dislike people visting me and visa versa. I prefer not to go out, hence I am not going out any time soon pandemic regulations or not.
I actually wrote an article on my other blog about germ awareness and cross contamination: https://marketingagency.cymrumarketing.com/2021/02/16/saliva-and-mail-cross-contamination-of-germs/
As for my other disabilities:
Cerebellar Atrophy (I lose my balance or grip and muddle my words up especially when I write, I also have mental blocks).
OCD (I am aware of germ cross contimination and and am careful what I touch).
Social Disconnection (I prefer my own company and not go out and socialise, although we can’t anyway but you get my drift).
PTSD (I have flashbacks of the physical and mental trauma I endured in the past and certain things trigger my depression).
Clinical Depression (This is related to past physical and mental trauma I endured, in which there are days where I go to a dark place).
Rheumatoid Arthritis (I cannot bend my knee, again from past physical trauma/abuse).
Dysphagia (I sometimes choke of food, I get a painful feeling followed by trouble swallowing and breathing and only when the food is dislodged does the feeling subside, gross I know but what can I do? I have been told I could have surgery but there is no gauarantee that it would work. I am not going to go under the knife for anything, I can tell you that for sure).
Epidural Analgesia (Chronic Back Pain, even bending down to feed the cat makes my back spasm, the same goes if I am standing for excessive length of time I have shooting pains from the small of my back to the nape of my neck. Simple taskes like taking out the rubbish or bringing in the grocery shopping has brought tears to my eyes in the past).
So yes I have good days and bad days but I do not dwell on my ailments and try to live the best way I can. I adapt to around my disabilities. Fortuantely for me I offer digital services so I can do 100% of my work online and do not have to venture out.
Stress and worry are contributing factorsto my OCD, PTSD, Depression and Social Disconnection.
Getting headaches (I have regular headaches)
Having stomach cramps (I have a bad stomach most days, but that can be from drinking energy drinks to keep me awake).
Not being able to sleep (I find my medication helps me sleep but it takes a few hours for me to wind down, hence I watch a film or play a game, I also read books from time to time).
Feeling pains in your chest (I do not get them often but when I do it is scary as I have also experienced jaw ache and shooting pain down my left arm in the past). I have had an ecg scan done and the doctor said there was nothing wrong, yet the same doctor also prescribed antacid ‘Gaviscon’ to my daughter even though she was later diagnosed with MS after I admitted her into A&E.
Having constant worring (If I do not keep myself busy I do worry hence I try to keep my mind occupied all the time). Worrying only makes your health deteriorate and although life struggles can get in the way of your happiness, one needs to find a way to tackle the problem we are faced with, rather than sweep them under the carpet. Confronting your inner demons makes you stronger. Sometimes simply writing down your problems is the first step to dealing with whatever is on your mind. Talking to a friend or family member also helps but for me expessing my emotions in the form of a blog is theraputic in itself.
Having panic attacks (I only get these if I have to meet negative people). People that judge or critise, you know the people I am talking about or if I have a deadline in work or something that I have seen or heard that has triggered the onset of sheer panic. However for most part I am organised and know to how to avoid trigger warnings, so panic attacks are subdued.
Feeling shortness of breath, (I only get this if I cannot swallow due to my Dysphagia or at times when I have in the past been in distress, due to the trauma and abuse I endured).
Having mood swings with friends or family (I avoid socialising so no one knows my moods and no one can be on the tail end if I do have a bad day).
Finding it hard to feel happy (Continuously reassuring myself and staying positive that what I am doing will eventually change my life for the better, is enough to motivate me to get up and tackle every day tasks).
Although I was going to do a daily/weekly journal of my health, I am not able to do so at present as I have many projects I am working on and simply do not have the time, but I always try to strive to stay focused and optimistic that tomorrow will be a better day.
Obviously adopting a healthy lifestyle can help with coping with life struggles, such as:
Learning New Things
Avoiding Negative People
Learning to Trust People
Talking to Family and Friends About Your Troubles
Discussing your Problems with Professionals, Health, Finance, Relationships etc
I am a disabled entrepreneur and I have created a business round my disabilities. The way I saw it when I first started out, I would not fit in or be accepted in a normal working enviroment and I am the most happiest I have ever been for a long time doing what I do and it works for me. So the way I see it is my disabilities are a blessing in disguise, as I would not be where I am today without them.
I avoid negative judgemental people especially if they have power trips (Trolls especially that have nothing better to do than try an bring a person down, these get immediately blocked).
As for me I will help anyone that genuinely needs my help. I am very good at analysing people and situations and I am very astute.
Stay safe, stay focused and stay motivated, nothing stays the same forever unless you let it…
The Domain Name www.germawareness.co.uk is for sale, anyone wishing to acquire this name should contact us in first instance. The domain name is not developed and is simply pointing to this post. This domain could easily be made into a teaching website or blog. I have already started to generate traffic for this domain name.
Germs are all around us and we would not be able to live without them.
But for sufferers of contamination OCD the thought that germs can potentially harm people, OCD sufferers are more vigilant and willavoidgerm contamination to safeguard themselves and others.
The wording ‘Germs’ refers to the microscopic bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa that can cause disease. There are good germs and bad germs. The germs also known as (bacteria) help keep our digestive system in working order and keep harmful bad bacteria from moving in. Some bacteria are used to make medicines and vaccines. We also have good bacteria in our bodies to help fight bad bacteria. Scientists from the University of Georgia estimate the number of bacteria on our planet to be five million trillion. Most People Encounter Roughly 60,000 Germs per day and germs live all around us in the air, in soil and water, and on food, plants, and animals (including on and in our bodies).
With an OCD germ contamination sufferer, it is not always about washing and about keeping things clean, it may be more to do with the intrusive thought and the prevention of germ cross-contamination and the spread of germs.
An OCD germ contamination sufferermay avoid touching things that have not been disinfected or sterile, as everything that has been touched by someone else and not disinfected could possibly carry harmful germs.
An OCD germ contamination sufferer will avoid touching things that have been touched by someone else without taking measures to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination. This may include touching door handles with tissue, elbow, or gloves which could also include toilet seat handles, and sink taps.
Anything that has been touched by another person potentially could have harmful bacteria including Door Handles, Public Chairs, ATM machines, Petrol Station filling up Nozzles, and Card Machines,
When shopping several people may have handled a product before you, these people may be the ones that stack shelves with products that have been shipped from warehouses where other people have touched the same item before it ends up in your shopping basket and then in your home.
Imagine from the factory the item has come from may have been packed by the person (1) and then shipped by another person (2), collected by another person (3), and then stacked by another person (4), with a total of four or more people handling the same item you have just purchased. This is just an example but once a product leaves a factory and goes on its journey it will be handled by multiple people.
Let’s face it people are not doing as they are told and are not maintaining social distancing and are basically spreading germs.
If we all did as we were told and we all disinfected everything and stayed our distance the virus would be under control but it’s not.
For people especially teenagers who won’t be told, try keeping two teenagers madly in love apart. Intermingling is happening under the radar and until a vaccine is found this virus will continue to persist. Imagine two people living apart who are in a relationship, teenagers and adults alike how do you stop them from meeting up, you can’t and you won’t. Also, try keeping bored teenagers under lockdown. You would literally have to tag everybody. Maybe that is their master plan but I am not going to go into conspiracy theories here right now. 🙂
For me, social distancing is second nature, especially now my social anxiety is increased, and am even reluctant to even meet and greet the delivery drivers let alone anyone else. I am at arm’s length when I have to collect a parcel and make them put it down on a wall until they are at a safe distance away from me.
I suffer from germ contamination OCD and the fear of touching things that have been touched by someone else without being disinfected is not incomprehensible to me. Hence I will avoid touching things and will handle items in a safe manner including removing all outer packaging carefully. The same goes for envelopes imagine how many people have touched that envelope before you and the saliva that stuck it down. How many letters have you opened that could be licked by someone? Imagine the tons of post that is being mailed worldwide on a daily basis. How come no one has thought about this other than me? Licking envelopes and stamps is the equivalent of sending anthrax in the post.
Nothing gets touched with my bare hands that have not been made sterileor disinfected. I get it I cannot disinfect everything around me and would have to live in a sterile bubble if that was the case, but I try to maintain a sterile environment as much as possible.
I use over 1000 pairs of disposable gloves per month and about 6 liters of Dettol Antiseptic Disinfectant Liquid. That’s a small penance to pay if you want to keep your family safe.
Not everything can be disinfected so be careful how you sanitize things and remember if you have been out in public the chance of cross-contamination on your garments is slightly higher hence garments need to be washed at high temperatures to kill germs, as most professionals are suggesting for facemasks. However washing clothes at high temperatures potentially can damage the garments, such as shrinkage, and color bleeds so an alternative method of using Dettol Antibacterial Laundry Cleanser helps to kill 99.9%% of germs at low temperatures in your washing machine. I personally use the traditional Dettol Antiseptic Disinfectant (brown-colored liquid), the downside to that my clothes do not come out smelling of flowers but I do believe Dettol has a Lavender and Orange oil Disinfectant that you can use for laundry use.
**Always read the small print on the back of the packaging to see if it suits your purpose.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, I am even more careful what I touch and am more vigilant especially after I had intrusive thoughts about a takeout that was made up by someone else. I fought my thoughts but started to feel uneasy when I developed a mild sore throat which has now eased off thankfully. But the paranoia started to set in and it took some doing to overcome these unwanted thoughts.
Being labeled a germaphobe is not a laughing matter and one should not put labels on people. OCD is a mental health disorder and in my case, it has fluctuated since this Covid-19 Pandemic.
If you are to use disposable gloves only use them once and then immediately replace them with a fresh pair (They are for one use only).
Always get rid of disposable masks carefully and never wear any mask twice, even if it is a washable cloth mask, as the pathogens could have landed on your masks whilst you were out (if you can’t see them how do you know they are not there).
Never share anything with another person, such as pens, keyboards, etc without disinfecting them first.
Don’t worry about what people think, they should be more understanding, especially in this present climate.
Always maintain social distancing and in the case of people you work with where you cannot maintain social distancing do not shake hands with them, especially if you do not want to whip out the hand sanitizer straight after, so as not to offend the individual and always wear your masks wherever possible and disinfect everything prior to using.
If anything when making contact with someone try to do fist bumps, air hugs & kisses unless you know the person.
Germs could be on surfaces avoid touching public surfaces wherever possible and disinfect things before touching them.
Be vigilant of your environment and where pathogens can land on surfaces if they are airborne.
Do take a moment to watch the videos and the link I have attached to give you a better understanding of Germ Contamination.
As you are all aware we are all in Lockdown again in Wales as of Friday with the ‘Fire Break’, I’m sure the government makes up words and phrases as they go along.
Anyway because of my OCD I have not ventured out and am concerned about eating things that have been prepared by hand eg. from bakeries. I am also concerned about flies especially fruit flies that are in fact dangerous to humans as they carry pathogens.
I am also concerned about cross-contamination and how there is not enough being said about how a virus can land on surfaces and spread from one person to another. This not just about washing your hands frequently or staying your distance it is about: ‘cross-contamination.
Here is a couple of scenario’s someone who is a carrier (unaware they are infected) who does not wear a mask at home has cross-contaminated their belongings, so these germs can be cross-contaminated and transferred to other people, by sharing. The same with anything anyone else has touched before you could be riddled with germs.
No one is talking about this and its alarming.
Here is a video of how easily germs can spread:
So to end this short entry, I am feeling under the weather so to speak, and just want to sleep. I want to bury my head in the sand and wait for this pandemic to go away.
I am also paranoid about the fruit fly infestation I seem to have in my home and am spending a fortune on the fly spray. These flies are stressing me out.
So not only do I have to worry about the pandemic and how to keep my family safe I have to contend with these parasites. Like I have nothing better to do with my life…..
Anyway I digress, I may be in need to take time out to just chill and re-charge my batteries. I am better at taking breaks than I used to be, as before I would not switch off.
The things I cannot live without at the moment are fly spray for sure and I will list all the things I use to try and combat my OCD. The other thing is disposable gloves and Dettol, it has to be Dettol as no other brand will do, well not in my eyes. I am sure other brands do the job just as well but my brain is wired to use Dettol products.
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