Newbie here

Hello, joined today :blush:

I’m caring for my daughter with ptsd of germs. Does anyone have similar experience please? It is all consuming for us in trying to help. We have to change our lives so much and it is so very hard seeing her go through what she has to.

Lovely to meet you. Absolutely no direct experience, but I’m sure there will be people along soon who do.

I have elderly parents. One now in a nursing home the other living at home with Alzheimer’s. I was at breaking point when i found the forum, and the lovely people here have given so much help in making things better.This is a lovely supportive group with people who DO understand.

Do you get any help with your daughter?

Hi Lynn
How old is your daughter?

Thank you :blush: my daughter is 28 next month. My husband is really supportive. She doesn’t want to see anyone or us to get outside help.

lyn, i’m a big believer in ‘firm love’. it’s not as ‘tough’ as tough love, but the purpose is the same.

It has to be an ABSOLUTE condition of her continuing to live with you (does she?) that she sees a doctor and gets and accepts psychiatric help.

The problem with any one with mental illness of any kind is the illness ‘takes over’ and then starts laying down rules which torment the person AND their family. Her ‘sick mind’ just wants to be left alone with its torment.

That is NOT acceptable. it is doing her NO good at all to refuse medical/psychiatric help, and as her parents you must insist - or throw her out of the house. (ie, to force the issue!)

All you are doing currently doing is allowing her ‘sick mind’ to go on being just the way it is - you are ‘enabling’ her mental illness. That is not what a good parent should do.

I know it’s incredibly hard (my bro’s daughter is mentally ill, and they have nearly always ‘enabled’ her …), but it has to be done, for HER sake.

You say PTSD of germs - I take it this is an OCD?

There IS help available, and I would suggest that YOU go and see your GP initially, to find out what that help is, and how best to get your daughter into it. She CANNOT just be left to ‘sink’ as she is currently doing.

FIRM LOVE - is not EASY, but it is the right thing to do. Do not be afraid of her - walking on eggshells is a HUGE mistake (my bro and SIL have walked on eggshells for years - completely useless - doesn’t help their daughter at all)

Aw, that is really tough. but outside help probably is the key to making things better. My Mum didn’t want a medical opinion on her memory problems. And didn’t want outside help. It took a long time for me to put my foot down and insist she got a diagnosis and help. But things have improved immeasurably since then. But it was REALLY hard.

Can you take some babay steps? Maybe ask the GP about some online therapy for her? Other people might have some better suggestions.

Are YOU getting a break from the situation. Are you able to meet friends. Take time to yourself or to be with your husband. Don’t underestimate how important this is.

Take care of yourself. xxx

Lyn, you mention PTSD so was there a specific incident or period in her life when this all started to get a malign grip on her?

I’m ‘mildly’ OCD myself, and I know that the ‘trauma’ that ‘kicked it off’ was losing my husband to late diagnosed cancer. Nor surprisingly, my OCD now takes the form of trying to keep all my family ‘safe’ from ‘unexpected disasters’.

I’ve never really studied OCD much (as I say, I’m pretty mild - it’s more irritating than anything)(though I have to be careful not to let it escalate ,and I have ‘good and bad’ days etc etc), but what strikes me is the following:

OCD is about trying to CONTROL an ‘uncontrollable and dangerous universe’. That certainly makes sense in my case - something ‘hideously bad’ happened (out of ‘nowhere’ it seemed) and showed how ‘dangerous’ life is.

Someone else I know of who has OCD is the brother of a younger sister who is severely brain damaged - the family’s entire life revolves around the poor sister (the mum has ballooned to the size of a house - another key ‘stress signal’!), and so the teenage boy is completely ‘powerless’ over his homelife and environment. Hence his OCD - an attempt to ‘control’ what he cannot control.

Fundamentally, I personally believe, we just as human beings have to learn to ‘live with danger’ - and take REASONABLE steps to minimise the danger. of course, with OCD, those steps are MAXIMISED! hence the endless rituaals - a hopeless attempt to make us safe, safe, safe, safe, safe… (in your daughter’s case, presumably ‘safe from infection’.)
On a less personal basis, I watched, a while ago, a programme on TV about OCD, and two things stood out -

(1) OCD is a failure to reach closure. For example, for most of us, when we leave the house, we check the central heating is off, the garden door locked, the iron off, etc etc etc …and when we’ve done it, we ‘know’ we’ve done it, and so get ‘closure’ …and out of the house we go. BUT, with OCD we can’t achieve that closure. Performing the ‘rational’ safety check (turning off the central heating) does not ‘convince’ us that we actually have checked it - so we go and check it again… (eg, your daughter may wash her hands…which, for a rational person, sorts the ‘clean hands’ problem, but for OCD the gesture fails to convince, and so she washes them again, again, again, again… ie, no ‘closure’ is attained)

(2) if we ‘deny the urge’ then over time, it dissipates. The programme had someone who was ‘prevented’ from doing her ritual, and had to go for a walk for half an hour. After about twenty minutes the ‘urge to go back and repeat the ritual’ had left her…it took time, but it DID ‘dissipate’. So, as a therapeutic method (ie, delay and diversion’) this ‘may’ work.

finally, ther should be a lot on the Internet about OCD/PTSD and ‘germ-fear’ and how it is both coped with (ie, to diminish it - not to ‘endure’ it!) at a personal left AND what can be achieved by psychiatric help (or even pharmaceutical help to diminish the chronic anxiety that eats us up!).

Maybe your daughter will always be ‘prone’ to OCD etc, but she cannot be ‘left to endure it’ as it is for the rest of her life.