Sunday, June 13, 2010

The OCD Project, Episode 3

This week, they started in on some big exposures. The ones I paid most attention to were those of Arine and Kristen, who both have contamination OCD like me. They were not to wash their hands (or even touch water) for three days. So that would be hard enough, but then, they went to spend some time with homeless people in Los Angeles, including shaking their hands.

Scariest of all, however, was Arine's assignment to stick her finger in the slimy water running down the filthy gutter nearby. Then she ran her hands over her clothes and hair and face. Hoo-boy, I'm not sure I would have done it! One thing I noticed, and perhaps only a person with OCD would, is that she had a bandage on her finger. For someone with an HIV fear like Arine to do that with a cut on her finger was astounding. I was impressed.

Kristen struggled a lot more. While outside of OCD, I don't think I'd have much in common with Kristen, our reaction to OCD-type things strikes me as quite similar. When she did her "worst case scenario" last week, it didn't involve dying from contamination, it involved living a crappy pointless life due to OCD. And yet she still struggles so hard to do these exposures. I'm certain I would be reacting the same as she is if I were on the show. She wants to do it, but it seems SO HARD!

Each week I like this show even more. Hope it stays as good. And as usual, my exposures all seem just a little easier after watching theirs.


  1. Isn't Arine doing great!? She is absolutely inspiring. I noticed the band-aid, too, though I was more concerned with what she was concealing (infection, lesion, cut, etc.) Arine really gives me hope.

    I also identify with Kristen in terms of OCD/contamination/washing. My impression of her worst case scenario is that she did the project wrong - instead of saying what she fears will happen, she talked about what she dislikes about right now. Or maybe I interpreted wrong, not sure.

    Looking forward to episode 4!

  2. I agree that it seems like Kristen's scenario wasn't quite what they intended them to do (although I think someone else did the same thing). It was telling, though, that her fear of OCD robbing her of everything is apparently scarier to her than her OCD fears. That should provide some incentive for exposures. Hey, I guess that's true for me, too. Hmm.