OCD under tratment, please help!

Question

Ciao Dr. Bob, first of all: complimenti pe il tuo italiano. Perfetto, davvero. Sono italiano.

Here is the serious part of my letter. I am an OCD sufferer. I just started a CBT with exposure and response prevention. So, believe me, I think I can fight it, and I'm putting all my efforts on that.

I work in a hospital (...even DOCs get OCD!). Hospitals are not so clean and safe places... I know... I fear of transmitting bloodeborne diseases around me. I got some answers but I am always struggling for the truth. Ok I know it's a part of my OCD condition being always in need of reassurances... Nevertheless I agreed with my psyk that some more CORRECT information could do no harm to me, and should generate a good basis to start on.

You always tell that dry blood with HIV in is not really a problem... but what abot HCV and HBV??? I am puzzled. Me, myself, I am vaccinated (against HBV). Nevertheless, as I told you, I am overwhelemd by the fear of touching this nasty germs and trasmit them elsewhere with my hands (Hyper-responsibility OCD). e.g. I use my mobile phone in the hospital, some nasty germs can be on it... the virus can stick to my hands... and i can transmit it further on... then someone touches where I touched... where it's dirty, then touches his/her conjunctiva or other mucous membranes... what happens? Can he she get the illness (in particular hepatitis?)

Riassumendo: It is not so clear how much HBV lives outside the body... and OK it's not "safe" to share tooutbrushes and so on... but if we touch some contaminated object (of course not visibly) then we touch our mucosal membranes... can we REALLY get ill (hepatitis B and C, for exemple?)

Per favore, ce la sto mettendo tutta, dammi una mano anche tu.

Te ne sono grato, un abbraccio, doc OCD.

Answer

Caro doc OCD,

Grazie per le tue parole gentili riguardo al mio italiano. Perché non mi hai scritto in italiano?

Quanto a HBV, ti sei già vaccinato. Quindi non preoccuparti: sei immune.

HCV, benché può sopravvivere fuori dal corpo per un tempo limitato, non è trasmesso via il modo che tu suggerisci. Ancora una volta, non preoccuparti.

Buona fortuna e un abbraccio.

Dr. Bob