I don’t know what it is, but ever since I can remember I’ve had terribly dry skin. When I was little, I remember slathering on tons of Vaseline to my itchy, dry legs. Today, my dry skin can only be partially blamed on the cold. As I’ve mentioned previously, I am a compulsive hand-washer (and sanitizer). It’s a routine that I am constantly performing at work, less at home, but I’m always doing it. Needless to say, my skin, particularly my hands, have taken a beating. The only thing that seems to help is the Cetaphil that mom gave me (most everything else is crap!). I slather this stuff on at night to the point that my hands are greasy and in the morning my hands seem healed, but as soon as I get to work and start the routine again, they go back to their dry, cracked, ugly state.
The hand-washing is annoying to say the least, but my compulsions don’t stop there. I take AT LEAST two showers a day; the water is so hot that I come out totally red. I can’t stand to be in a cold shower because to me, the surfaces of the tub feel disgusting if they are cold. I know this doesn’t really make sense, but it’s just the way I feel about it. Similar to my skin, my hair is brittle and I always have split ends. This, I know, is a result of my excessive showering and shampooing. Ah, the joys of constantly feeling dirty!
I wish there was something I could do to end this, but I really don’t see an end to it. Wish I did, but I don’t. From my experience of being on sertraline for a year now, I can honestly say that the medication does take the edge and stress of OCD off quite a bit, but it by no means is a cure all. I struggle daily with compulsions, routines, and obsessions. They will always be there, I realize, because they are a part of my physiology. I think the only true way to help diminish my OCD is psychotherapy. I’m just not ready for behavior therapy yet and what that might entail.
I’m seriously thinking about going to my primary care physician and getting a recommendation for therapy. My psychiatrist did a good job of setting me on a path to sanity, but I still feel that I have a long way to go. Wish me luck!
I know this is a lot of rambling, but these are today’s thoughts 🙂