Dissecting my OCD symptoms leads to the realization that my symptoms often don't make any sense. I am aware of the oxymorons, if you will, of my symptoms. It is not this way for everybody but it is this way for me. It makes it harder to get others to understand the more complicated OCD issues I go through.
When I wash my hands I will take such care to get them clean or rather to feel clean. This is where the making no sense comes into play, I will often dry them on my pants. Pants that I have worn all day. You would think that my pants would be a source of dirtiness but my mind has no issue with it. I do not regain the feeling of dirty hands after wiping them on my pants. It appears that my OCD is only preoccupied with the washing sensation but not the drying.......It makes no sense.
I have issues with residues and textures. They make me feel unclean and I have trouble touching them without physically flinching and yet I can stick my hands deep into the earth and plant flowers and not be bothered. I can see the dirt and I wash them but there is no anxiety like when my hands are actually clean and I didn't like the feeling of whatever I ran my hands across........It makes no sense.
Back when I had suicide idealization I would contemplate suicide and yet not eat a sandwich that brushed my counter top because I couldn't remember if I scrubbed the counter good enough and I was afraid of ecoli......I was thinking about dying but worried about dying at the same time......It makes no sense.
I can flip out and feel dirty by simply touching something my mind has deemed filthy and yet I do not bat an eye when grabbing a shopping cart which has been known to be ,quite possibly, the filthiest thing on the planet. It doesn't affect me in the slightest. I know it's dirty but I don't care. Stores usually offer the antibacterial wipes to wipe off the handle and I don't use them. I never use them....But ask me to pick up something that feels off to me and I have to bring out the hospital grade antibacterial gel.......It makes no sense.
In my mind somethings are dirty and somethings aren't. I only have the anxiety on what my mind deems to be dirty and not what actually is dirty. It is a mind game. A false perception. A lie and often times it makes no sense and yet I am powerless to it's wills.
The symptoms I have are specific to each issue I come across and often times they end there. They don't necessarily have to be complete. I am a germ-a-phobe but somethings, even though I know they are dirty, do not make me feel the anxiety or the symptoms. Somethings do not trigger my OCD and yet other things do. There appears to be no rhyme or reason. They just pop up when I am stressed or I least expect them too. The more stress I am under the less I am able to ignore my intrusive thoughts. Lack of sleep makes the symptoms double in magnitude and strength. I have to always remember to try and get enough hours of sleep to help combat my symptoms. So basically I have many symptoms that don't really make much sense however, I still have them and do them. It doesn't matter what is actually dirty, I already know that it's dirty but I have no anxiety about it and let it go or just wash once. My mind informs me on how to feel about what is germ encrusted or bacteria laden. My mind controls the anxiety and the anxiety is what I wash or mentally compulse to get rid of. Therefore, it doesn't really matter that my symptoms don't always makes sense. It changes nothing except that I am aware of how insane the whole process seems.