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13.08.2014 Feature Article

Ebola And Cholera Verses Obsessive— Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

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Ebola is a dangerous killer viral disease. Though cholera kills, but it's not comparable to Ebola. Experts have called for regular washing and sanitizing of hands. Handshakes are to reduce and where you have to its elbow-to-elbow. Our way of life has been altered with deep seated anxiety.

Now we wake up each day with anxiety filled hearts. Sanitizers have been added to our budget as well as tissue paper. Buying these items is not the problem, but the regular use of them, which you do not have to forget.

Touching door handles, surfaces, shaking hands, coming into contact with another person skin-to-skin, not to talk about kissing for those who love to do so.

Let's Take Ourselves through the Following Few Questions

* How many times do you wash and sanitise your hands in a day now as compared to the past?

* Do you think you are washing and sanitizing your hands unusually?

* Do you entertain fear when touching a door handle, shaking hands, turning a public tap and generally touching a surface?

* Do the washing and sanitizing and other precautionary measures affect your way of life and thinking?

* Do you have to stop everything to think deep whether you have washed and sanitized your hands or not after you know very well you have done so already?

* Do you fear to touch yourself after a handshake or touch anything?

* Are you avoiding handshakes?
* Do you have your thoughts intruded and cannot act as you prefer?

* Have you stopped eating with your hands?
* Do you entertain fear when patronizing public transport?

If yes to any of the above then you are developing Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) or have developed it.

* Obsessive: thoughts that are intruding into normal way of doing things or living

* Compulsive: what has to be done (behaviour), a person will have to put up to reduce anxiety what Psychologist call “Rituals”

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is associated with continual hand washing with prompted feeling of uncleanliness. People who do find themselves locked up in OCD, are sometimes called “Washers”

What can you do for relief?
* In the office, can doors be opened to reduce the touching of door handles? Because, you cannot sanitise door handles after every touch.

* Allocate to your hands their roles, for instance, the left hand which is not used in many instances can be assigned the picking and touching of things, such as door handles, turning the tap etc.

* Observe simple personal hygiene and not see it as a new addition to your everyday life.

* Keep your environment clean and you will be safe from intruding thoughts that prompts hand washing and sanitizing

* Remember to wash and sanitise your hands after each visit to the toilet.

* The call to wash and sanitise yourself is to be done at all times, it's nothing new so don't be anxious.

* Relax, go about your duties normally while observing personal hygiene

This is everyday Psychology

Patrick Twumasi

Patrick Twumasi
Patrick Twumasi, © 2014

The author has 61 publications published on Modern Ghana. Column Page: PatrickTwumasi

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