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Germs, Blood and Poison Phobias

Tags: blood fear poison

I've gotten really good about the germ phobias and the poison phobias. The blood phobia still has me slightly.

Most people with OCD will at some point cycle through to suddenly being irrationally afraid of poisons, germs and blood.

Let's start with germ phobias.
Germ phobias are horrific and really do interrupt your life. I was afraid to use public restrooms, touch stuff at stores, touch things other people touched and so on. It is a crippling thing to have happen to you. You start washing your hands and panicking over even petting your pet because they may have some trace of their poo on them. You can't enjoy anything. Your world becomes smaller and smaller until you just sit in a chair and wait for the day to be over.

This area is really tricky and once you're needing help to get away from the fear of germs you're usually already in too deep to be rational about it. At this point you're probably afraid of public restrooms, even trying to rebutton/zip your pants after using the toilet is probably a struggle because of what might be on your hands right? Then you have to touch the door..

How to fix germ phobias

What you have to do in these instances though is keep feeding your mind with thoughts like this: you have lived on this earth in these conditions your whole life before OCD struck and nothing happened before. These are the same germs you've come into contact with your whole life, it's just now your brain is hyper sensitive to every little thing. It's like you are able to remember every little detail of what could happen in a bathroom, instead of mindlessly just using one like you used to. And when you do think of everything that could be in a bathroom as far as germs and blood go, it really is disgusting. BUT it's always been this way and you weren't bothered by it before this sub-type of OCD started affecting you. Also think of everyone else who does not have OCD, doing these things too and no one is sounding out alarms of danger. Because there really aren't any.

OCD has a sub-type fixated on poison

With poison phobias it is usually centered on the kinds of poisons we do come in contact with everyday that don't really harm us, such as ant poison and the like.

I for one was absolutely terrified of mouse poison, which can actually be dangerous to humans too as it is a blood thinner, but a human would have to eat very large amounts of it to die. Like cereal bowls full. So the amount that is in a D-Con packet is not going to kill you, though you shouldn't eat it of course. But I'm talking more about having it in or under your house and fearing one little pellet is going to touch you and then you and your whole family are going to bleed to death internally. That's just not going to happen. That was the fear I had. I have slowly gotten better with meds enough to actually clean mouse droppings with the dye of the D-Con in it without completely losing my mind, and having that panic adrenaline rush feeling for hours afterward. It took years..about 5 to get there, but I did get there.

Ant poison as well is not going to hurt you in the amounts it comes in from the store. Once again, never eat it intentionally, but even if you did, one whole can of ant spray(like raid) has only a 50% chance of killing a 2.2 pound you're good. Most other insect poisons are going to be the same way.

When it comes to poisons from cleaners and such, of course don't eat or drink these cleaners intentionally, which I am certain you have no intention of doing and avoid them like the plague....even so, think of the chemicals and "poisons" or harsh things in our environment our body's are used to being in contact with already. We even breath this stuff in through the air, which is pretty much unavoidable. And you are still here right? You've always been ok, nothing has changed there, just your mindset is what has changed and we can get it back to a level place again.

How to fix poison phobias

What I already mentioned above about the odds of getting hurt by these poisons is what you're going to be feeding into your mind to help you come to terms with the fears.
I had an exterminator tell me what I've told you about the ant poisons, and that a big can of it has a 50% chance of killing a 2.2 pound animal. The whole can. The animal would still have 50% survival rate. Not even full term newborn babies are 2.2 pounds. So think of that statistic and realize, while yes you shouldn't put this poison in your body willingly and on purpose(like spraying it in your mouth), it is not deadly in the amount you'd be using it for in your house. That helped me get through it. It took a while, but I got there and you will too.

As for mouse poisons and stuff like that, they can be dangerous, but again you'd have to eat bowl fulls to kill you. I even had a poison control dispatcher tell me you could rub it on your skin and it wouldn't hurt you(not that I recommend that, just showing you it's harmlessness outside your body). One little pellet of D Con touching you or getting in your mouth is not going to kill you. It's active ingredient is actually a blood thinner that they prescribe to people who need their blood thinned. It's all in the amount that makes something dangerous.

Salt and sugar in large amounts can kill you too, even water can. But none of us ever take in enough in our daily diets to kill us. You would know if you did that. I used to be afraid of salt because I read that they use it in lethal injections! I mean seriously I was afraid of salt! I couldn't reason. The amount they'd have to use in a lethal injection would be far more than any human could unknowingly eat.

Then of course there are the household cleaners that most of us start becoming afraid of out of nowhere. True they could have(and lots do have) harsh chemicals in them, but so do half the foods we eat nowadays. Think of the preservatives they put in food to make it last longer. We eat that, and while it isn't good for us, it doesn't kill us. Most stuff in the world we come in contact with everyday isn't good for us. That's just the world we live in.

But back to the household cleaners, I have gotten them in my mouth before from my hand, or in my eye, I didn't die(I even accidentally shot liquid terro ant bait in my eye once..nothing severe happened, I just washed my eyes out). I mean I would not intentionally eat these products and neither should you, BUT we're talking about the occurrence of transfer here. Transfer from our hands or something else to our mouths. It's just not as serious as our glitching brains are making us believe it is. It's everyday life. With OCD and these phobias, our brains are making us believe that the full strength of a poison or chemical in a product is going to harm us even if we get a trace amount near us or on us. And that is just not logical. Scientifically that is impossible.

OCD has a sub-type fixated on blood and the diseases you can get from blood
The blood phobias usually come from a sudden irrational fear of diseases that can be in the blood, like hepatitis(which is the fear I had mostly) and AIDS.
Back when I had my fear of hepatitis they didn't have a cure for the C virus, and I was scared to death of it. Hepatitis A comes from food poisoning and once you get it, and it lasts about 30 days or so in your system, you are then immune from it.
Hepatitis B can be acute or chronic. It lives about 7 days on surfaces. Hepatitis C virus can also be acute or chronic. But now, even if you did get it, they have a cure now, so you're fine! Hepatitis C last anywhere from 16 hours to 4 days on surfaces.

If you fear AIDS, and you fear getting it from dried blood or even fresh blood left on a surface, relax. The AIDS virus is very fragile and as soon as oxygen hits the blood it is in, it dies. So no worry there.

How to fix blood phobias

Now if you have the fear of getting hepatitis, think about all of the people everywhere you go, touching the same things you do, and you know somewhere there has to be a person who had a cut on them and a little blood may have rubbed off on something you have touched or will touch.

BUT, even if the person who bled, had hepatitis, think of the fact that you never hear of anyone getting hepatitis from shopping or handling something someone else has handled. You just don't. I knew this when I was under this fear, but I just couldn't rationalize enough to let the worry and fear go. You probably cannot either, so trust me on this, I have been there before.

Eventually I did get to a place where I could rationalize this fear. A lot of it came from learning about statistics and such, but I do not advise looking for statistics because at the moment you will be looking for them, you are going to be panicking and irrational, like I was. You will indeed find all of the bad stuff that can happen to you from the disease and it is going to make you very distressed, and just make the problem worse. You have to remember these sites online that list info on diseases are doing just that, listing all of what it could do to a human body. So it isn't going to comfort you much when you already feel like you have it or could get it from just touching something and going through the motions of everyday life.

What you need to do is take in the kind of knowledge I'm giving you here. That would be that it is not easy to get these diseases. People do get them, yes, but hepatitis is usually gotten from sharing drug needles or from a sexual partner that has it. AIDS the same way, usually one gets it from needles or sex. So if you know you're not doing those things, 99.99999999% is you're not going to get these diseases.

I know it's hard to just leave it at that, but that is the truth and you just need to keep reinforcing this into your brain until it finally accepts it. It may take awhile, but once you get there, you will be so much freer in life! It's worth the hard work and time put in.


Just keep feeding your mind these facts. It will be hard but the knowledge paired with your effort to stop washing because of these fears, or stop panicking and avoiding things because of these fears, will get you where you need to be: a more balanced and level place where you can live normally again.

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This post first appeared on OCD- How To Fight It, please read the originial post: here

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Germs, Blood and Poison Phobias


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