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Obsessive compulsive disorder and dried semen
Oct 7, 2012

Hello,

I am 26 years old. I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder at the age of 20, but I have been suffering from my "phobia" let's call it, since the age of 17. So here's the deal: I masturbate under the shower, but I am afraid some splashes of semen may be present on the shower curtain, even if I wash it, because they are so small and invisible. Last week I had a plumber who came to my house to fix some pipes in the bathroom and I freaked out because he touched the curtain and he did not wash his hands. For me this means that my semen is everywhere now, because after that he probably touched so many doorknobs and other things so that now it is probably everywhere. This thought is driving me crazy. I need to know: can someone get semen on his hand if he touches dried semen? Can semen spread like that?

Response from Dr. Fawcett

Thanks for writing. First, let me remind you that the HIV virus is very fragile outside of the body and will not survive for long in such circumstances, including a shower curtain. The issue is not the spread of semen but rather your obsessive worry about it. You don't mention if you are on any treatment, but from the level of distress you describe, I would strongly recommend getting a consultation.

Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) can severely impact one's quality of life. There are several treatment interventions that work well by controlling the symptoms. The first is counseling, particularly cognitive behavioral therapy. This involves, among other things, identifying and correcting thought patterns that result in your distress. The second is pharmacological. Several antidepressants are effective with OCD, although successful treatment may require trying several before one that works well for you is identified.

Speak with you healthcare providers about a referral.

Take care,

-David



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