25 April 2019 - 5:06
I have been married to my wife for 10 years and over this time she has always struggled with some anxiety and self-esteam, but in the last month she has developed full blown OCD and it has hit our household like a tsunami. She has become obsessed with contamination fears around the house. She has an intense fear of dirt from outside causing vague but horrifying disease. Rather than intensely cleaning like the stereotype, she is simply too overwhelmed to address the situation. She either comes up with intricate step-by-step plans required to mitigate the contamination, usually requiring significant involvement from me, or she simply puts off the issue. This has lead to entire zones of the house where no one can enter and half of our clothes are stuffed into bags until she can determine how to best sterilize them. Of course all of this is pepped with a immense amounts of showing, washing hands, and changing cloths. I do not want to accommodate her new rules but any violation of them, be it placing your clothes on the floor or refusing to shower when asked is met with screaming, crying, panic attacks, and just a full on emotional maelstrom. I understand that in her mind this is life or death, and she certainly acts like it, but its becoming an unbearable living environment. We have 3 young kids, and these confrontations usually result with me relenting when my crying son says "Dad, please stop making mum upset and just do what she says". This is tearing our home life a part. She has made an first appointment with an OCD therapist, but it is 3 weeks from now. She has also been a very "natural" person and has already ruled out any prescription medicines. I've read the CBT can be successful, but I don't know if my or the children's well-being can wait that long. I can't find many anecdotes of OCD suffers being aggressive or forcing their compulsions onto others. Is this common? How can I manage this until professional help makes a difference?