At the age of 25, Ken was going through a difficult period in his life and was clinically depressed. He was having problems with relationships and with his career. The “trigger” for his O.C.D. occurred on a trip to Canada. Ken explains:
“There was a drought and we could not wash very often. I felt so dirty that I used to hold my hands away from my body. When I returned to London, suddenly, I couldn’t touch anything – total revulsion.”
Normal life rapidly became impossible. Ken ate with his fingers because he couldn’t bear the idea of touching cutlery. Ken’s father made him a special table that no-one else was allowed to touch. He washed his hands so often that his skin peeled and the flesh split to the bone. It developed into a situation where Ken would spend the whole day sitting on his “special” chair inside an imaginary “clean circle”, only leaving it to go to the bathroom or to bed. In this way Ken wasted 6 years of his life!
We are glad to say that Ken, using cognitive behaviour therapy to slowly but surely reduce his washing, is well on the road to recovery and his life is returning to normal.