I am obsessed with cleanliness (Obsessive compuslive hand washing)

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Are you obsessed with cleanliness or hand washing

Do you wash your hands many times repetitively?
Do you waste a lot of time washing your hands or cleaning your house?
Are you obsessed with cleanliness?
Do you suffer from Obsessive hand washing??

Obsessive hand washing or obsessive cleanliness is one of the forms of obsessive compulsive disorder. Obsessive compulsive disorder is a psychological disorder that results in getting obsessive thoughts about something such as washing your hands which can force you to do that thing over and over.

In this article i will tell you why you might be obsessed with cleanliness or with washing your hands.

obsessive hand washing symptoms

The symptoms for obsessive hand washing or obsessive cleanliness are easy to recognize. The person who is obsessed with cleanliness will always find himself wasting a lot of time in cleaning the place or washing his hand.

If you found yourself continuously getting the same thoughts over and over then know that its a symptom for obsessive compulsive disorder. People who are obsessed with cleanliness don't feel good when they clean the house once or wash their hands twice but instead they find themselves continuously repeating the same task over and over, this is another common symptom.

This is why you are obsessed with cleaning and washing your hands

The beauty about psychology is that it can help you understand any behavior that might seem weird or strange. For example a child who always interrupts the class might appear like a problem child but when we understand that he is doing it for attention things become clear.

The same goes for obsessive cleanliness when you get to understand the reasons behind it things will become more clear. Below are some possible psychological reasons for obsessive cleanliness and hand washing:

  • Obsessive cleaning and Striving for superiority: We all want to be powerful and to feel good about ourselves. Some of us try to do this in a constructive way such as becoming successful or famous while others try to do it in other ways that are not useful. Some people who didn't manage to reach the goal of superiority wash their hands and clean more often in order to be cleaner than others or in other words to be superior to them. Of course the person is always never aware of what's going on in his mind but he just believes that he loves to clean or wash without understanding that the real reason is wanting to feel good about himself by criticizing other unclean people
  • Obsessive cleaning and escapement: People can be divided into two major categories according to their coping style in dealing with problems. The first group faces the problems directly while the other group escapes from them. The people who learned to escape from problems usually direct their efforts to a useless activity in order to feel in control. Obsessive cleaning could be nothing more than an attempt to escape from real life problems by creating a virtual environment that you have full control over.
  • Guilt and obsessive hand washing: Obsessive hand washing could also be a sign of guilt. The subconscious mind of a person might let him believe that by washing his hands over and over he will become clean from the inside. Again this is always transparent to the person's conscious mind

Getting over obsessive hand washing and obsessive cleanliness

If you are obsessed with cleanliness or hand washing then it makes no sense to try to solve the problem by dealing with the symptom which are the obsessive thoughts.

Instead you should focus on finding the real reason behind your behavior then working on replacing it with another useful behavior. For example if discovered that you are obsessed with washing your hands because you feel guilty then dealing with guilt is the right action and not trying to control your obsessive thoughts.

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