A TikTok user, zavhbruh, has captured the world’s attention with a moving video that illuminates the realities of living with pollution-obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The clip, which offers a look at household rules related to cleanliness, racked up more than 44 million views and sparked conversations about this subtype of OCD.
Unraveling OCD from pollution
According to research conducted by the University of Cambridge, almost half of people diagnosed with OCD struggle with fears related to pollution. Amanda Petrik-Gardner, LCPC, LPC, LIMHP, anxiety, OCD, and BFRB treatment specialist, explains that the subtype revolves around the fear of something becoming impure or unclean. This fear can manifest itself in several ways, including avoiding physical contact with people or objects, excessive hand washing, and obsessive cleaning rituals.
The art of recovery
Pollution OCD recovery is an ongoing process, not a one-size-fits-all journey. People with OCD may experience flare-ups during periods of stress, and the spectrum of recovery ranges from mild, occasional symptoms to complete remission. Seeking professional help and obtaining a formal diagnosis are crucial first steps toward recovery.
Effective treatment options
There are several evidence-based treatments for pollution OCD, including exposure and response prevention (ERP), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), and inference-based cognitive behavioral therapy (I-CBT). ERP, considered the gold standard for OCD treatment, involves gradually exposing people to their fears and helping them resist engaging in compulsive behaviors.
Zavhbruh’s video has not only raised awareness about pollution OCD, but has also offered hope to those struggling with the disorder. By sharing their story, they shed light on the complexities of living with this mental health condition and emphasized the importance of seeking help.
As the conversation around mental health continues to evolve, the power of vulnerable storytelling, like zavhbruh’s TikTok video, cannot be underestimated. His bravery in sharing his experiences has sparked a global dialogue, reduced stigma, and reminded viewers that they are not alone in their fight against pollution OCD.
The viral video serves as a powerful testament to the impact of sharing personal stories and the potential of social media platforms to foster understanding and empathy. By illuminating the realities of pollution OCD, zavhbruh’s video has contributed to a more informed global community and paved the way for continued conversations about mental health.