When the obsession with cleanliness becomes a problem

Living in a clean and tidy house is something that gives us all (or the vast majority) well-being. In this way, it is logical that we dedicate part of our time to maintaining order and cleaning the different spaces in our home. And it is also logical that we do not all have the same level of demand and our scale of what is an acceptably clean house is different. Namely, There are those who coexist better with disorder and dirt and, on the contrary, there are those who do not tolerate things out of place or a minimum accumulation of dust. Among the latter, we find those that the taste for cleanliness is more than a ‘healthy’ mania and becomes an obsession, making it difficult for them to day-to-day and living with their surroundings.

And, the path that separates mania from obsession may be shorter than we think. In this way, if this obsession prevents us from leading a normal life because we spend too much time cleaning and tidying up, and we feel upset because we cannot keep things our way, we may be leading to obsessive compulsive disorder that requires the help of A professional.

When is it an obsession?

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Obsessive compulsive disorder (TOC) is a disorder characterized by recurrent and persistent fixed ideas that generate restlessness, fear, anxiety or apprehension. One of the most common disorders is obsessive compulsive cleaning and it is not about the taste for having everything pristine since all the experts agree that They are people whose life is dominated by their mania for cleanliness. In this way, the common features of people who can suffer from this disorder would be:

  • They clean the house every day dedicating a lot of time to it which interferes in the normal development of the day and, therefore, in their personal, family, social and work life.
  • They always keep everything in the same place and even feel the need for things to be arranged symmetrically.
  • They feel uncomfortable if they find a speck of dust or something in a different way than they expected.
  • They review the tasks that others perform and, logically, no one does them better than them, which greatly hinders the relationship and coexistence with the people around them.
  • They feel anxious if they cannot carry out their routine of cleanliness and order.

How can we remedy it?

The most important thing to help a person with this problem is make him realize that his mania has turned into an obsession and therefore a serious concern. In the case of people who have a more flexible compulsive behavior, you can try to:

  • Monitor your cleansing rituals postponing them for a while, that is, wait a while before starting to clean. And every day try to increase this time to take control of impulses.
  • The fact of cleaning and ordering gives these people a feeling of well-being, it is their way of reducing anxiety. One option is to search other ways they can relax and put them into practice.
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But if they are or we are unable to reduce the anxiety and stress caused by not fulfilling the tasks that are required, it is necessary to go to a professional. The objective is that the person can free himself of this burden to improve his life and that of those around him.

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