General Practice 2022

Cleaning mania: what é, signs, causes and treatment

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Cleaning mania: what é, signs, causes and treatment
Cleaning mania: what é, signs, causes and treatment

Cleaning mania is a type of obsessive compulsive disorder, popularly known as OCD, and which is characterized by the need to carry out detailed cleaning of the house several times a day, as well as personal hygiene, in some cases.

The fact that you are always in contact with cleaning products can lead to the development of allergies and skin irritation, and as there is always an excessive concern for the environment and cleanliness, it is also possible that there is interference in personal and social life.

The dirt and germs present in our daily lives are partly responsible for strengthening our immune system, especially during childhood, helping the body to build its own defenses.Therefore, excessive cleaning and the use of products that promise to kill 99.9% of germs can be harmful to the construction of the necessary defenses, harming he alth.

Cleaning mania signs

When the obsession with keeping the house clean grows and becomes the main task of the day, this can be a sign that it has become a psychological disorder. So, some of the main tell-tale signs of cleanliness mania are:

  • Spend more than 3 hours a day cleaning the house;
  • Presence of redness or sores on the hands, which indicate the constant need to repeatedly wash or disinfect hands;
  • Exaggerated concern about dirt, germs or mites and always disinfecting the sofa and fridge, for example;
  • Stop attending social events, such as birthday parties, so as not to waste time;
  • Do not let events take place in your own home, because it needs to be clean, at all times;
  • In the most serious cases, the family itself may be restricted to certain rooms in the house and never receive visitors, so as not to dirty the floor;
  • Constant need to check that everything is clean or in place;
  • Need to clean objects that are not usually cleaned, such as credit card, cell phone, milk carton, or car key, for example.

Cleanliness becomes a disorder when habits are no longer he althy and become a daily obligation, dominating a person's life. Symptoms usually start slowly and gradually intensify, and it is important that a psychologist or psychiatrist is consulted so that treatment can be started.

Possible causes

The exact cause of the cleanliness and organization craze is still not completely clarified, but there are some factors that can trigger it, such as:

  • OCD family history;
  • Changes in brain chemicals such as serotonin;
  • Stress or traumatic experiences;
  • Anxiety Disorders;
  • Depression;
  • Neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injury, Tourette's syndrome, or Huntington's disease.

Furthermore, the lack of ability to deal with uncertainty or a greater sense of responsibility also seems to be related to a higher risk of developing OCD.

How the treatment is done

The treatment for OCD due to cleanliness and organization is done through psychotherapy sessions, through the cognitive-behavioral technique. In some cases, it may also be indicated that a psychiatrist is consulted for a more extensive evaluation and the use of medications that help relieve symptoms of anxiety, which is quite common in cases of OCD, can be indicated.Check out more details about OCD treatment.

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