Emotional Contamination OCD

Please note:  The information on this page should not be construed as medical advice, nor should it be used to diagnose or treat any condition. The content on this page is written by recovered OCD sufferers, not by clinicians. Read More

What You Need to Know About Emotional Contamination OCD

Do you feel afraid of “catching” negative energy? Do you feel like people or places are “tainted,” and you can’t get rid of the feeling? If so, you may be suffering from emotional contamination OCD. It is a type of OCD that can make you fear being near anything emotionally charged. This blog post will discuss the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for emotional contamination OCD.

What is emotional contamination OCD?

Emotional contamination OCD is a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder characterized by intrusive, unwanted thoughts and fears related to emotional “contamination.” People with this condition often worry that their positive emotions will be “ruined” by negative ones or vice versa. They may also fear that they will catch other people’s emotions or that their feelings will infect others. It can include contamination from other people, places, or things. For instance, the sufferer may believe that they will become tainted by the energy of others or that they will absorb the negative energy around them.

As a result of these fears, people with emotional contamination OCD often engage in avoidance behaviors. For example, they may avoid happy or sad people or situations and things that might trigger their concerns.

Emotional contamination OCD symptoms

One of the most challenging things about emotional contamination OCD is that it can be hard to identify the symptoms. The reason is that they can vary so much from person to person. For some people, it may manifest as a fear of becoming attached to someone they perceive as being “contaminated” somehow. For others, it may be a fear of becoming contaminated by emotions (e.g., through contact with someone who is crying).

Symptoms of emotional contamination OCD may include:

  • Fear of becoming emotionally contaminated
  • Avoidance of people or situations that may be emotionally charged
  • Constant checking and reassurance seeking
  • Intrusive thoughts about becoming contaminated
  • Extreme anxiety and distress

The critical thing to remember is that, regardless of how it manifests, emotional contamination OCD is a real and debilitating condition that can significantly impact your life.

Is there a link between contamination OCD and trauma?

There is growing evidence to suggest that there may be a link between OCD and trauma. One theory explains that children exposed to stressful events during their childhood were more likely to experience obsessions. Thus, individuals with OCD were more likely to have experienced a traumatic event than those without OCD. This link suggests that trauma may be a risk factor for developing OCD.

Of course, it’s important to remember that correlation does not necessarily mean causation. Just because people with OCD are more likely to have experienced trauma does not necessarily mean that the trauma caused the OCD. However, trauma may contribute to the development of OCD contamination.

Therefore, understanding the link between trauma and OCD can be helpful in treatment, as it can help address the underlying causes of the disorder. In most cases, a qualified therapist help OCD sufferers understand if there is a possible connection between their OCD and any past trauma. Consequently, they have the right tools for dealing with their obsessions and compulsions.

Emotional effects of OCD

OCD can profoundly affect your emotions, and those who suffer from it may experience severe depression. Moreover, this condition can be incredibly isolating, as people with OCD often avoid social situations for fear of triggering their symptoms. 

Thus, the isolation caused by OCD can be one of the most challenging aspects of the condition to deal with for the individual. It can make it hard to maintain relationships and lead to feelings of loneliness and remoteness.

In addition, If you have OCD, you may find yourself feeling constantly anxious or stressed. Those feelings can lead to problems sleeping, concentrating, and carrying out everyday tasks. You may also feel hopeless due to the challenges posed by OCD. In severe cases, people with OCD may experience suicidal thoughts.

Emotional contamination OCD treatment

Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective treatments for emotional contamination OCD. CBT focuses on changing the way you think about your emotions and yourself. With CBT, you’ll learn to challenge the negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to your anxiety. You’ll also learn coping and problem-solving skills to help you manage your symptoms.

Medication can also help treat emotional contamination OCD. Antidepressants often help reduce anxiety and improve mood. If you have severe symptoms, your doctor may also prescribe antipsychotic medication.

If this blog post has helped you or if you have any questions, please leave us a comment below. Furthermore, feel free to join our community if you need to share your thoughts about OCD or provide support to fellow members. 


Childhood trauma leading to OCD – https://www.bridgestorecovery.com/blog/is-ocd-caused-by-childhood-trauma/

Notable Replies

  1. Being afraid that certain people will steal my good energy has always been part of me. I had no clue that this is a subtype of OCD. :exploding_head:

  2. I was also surprised to see that there is a condition behind my weird thoughts. Being so afraid that someone will negatively affect your life, just being around you is upsetting.

  3. Well, sometimes I feel that some people do not have the right energy. Then I instinctively start worrying if their energy would affect mine. I always thought this was something usual that most people experience.

  4. It happened to me too, but maybe it depends on the severity of whether it can be called a disorder or not.

  5. I will ask my therapist about it and share it with you. But most likely, you are right about the severity which makes the diagnosis.

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