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Contamination OCD - Ella loses control at school..
Contamination OCD - Ella loses control at school..
Contamination OCD - Ella loses control at school..

Contamination OCD - Ella loses control at school.. - MinuteVideos

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Ella's been making good progress with controlling her OCD. It hasn't been easy being in high school with this illness - but it's just about to get even harder when the most popular girl accidentally gets involved.

Thanks for watching our video! In case anyone wants to see the script, it's right here for you:


Most people at my school look forward to lunchtime,  but it's the scariest time of day for me.  Luckily, we manage to avoid the rush. My best friend, Sophie, and I sit at a small table near the edge of the food hall.  I watch as more students flood in and start queueing up to get their lunch.   Some of them are messing around, pushing each other and laughing.  Even Jennifer, the most popular girl in school who actually hates me, is in the queue just giggling and flirting with all the boys.  I've started bringing my lunch from home instead.

"Ella?" Sophie breaks my train of thought. "I asked you how the maths paper went…"  
That morning we were given a practice maths test. The pressure is on for our real exams which are taking place in a few months.  
"Could have been better, I'm so behind."  
"Ah don't worry! There's still time to catch up. You're doing great being back here!" Sophie tries to reassure me.

She's right. I have been doing much better recently, this time last year I couldn't have made it into school at all.  I notice Jennifer and her friends sit down at a table close to ours.   I shift in my seat.  Those girls make me feel so uncomfortable; they just think I'm a weirdo.  They start talking loudly about the maths paper and we can't help but overhear.  
"I should have done well! I was going totally crazy in there, seriously OCD, checking everything."  Jennifer's sharp voice rings in my ears, she's laughing. I feel frozen, stuck to my chair. Sophie's concerned eyes meet mine.

"It's okay!" I lie, speaking quietly so that only Sophie will hear. "I just need to get out of here for a minute."  
I hurry out of the hall. All of a sudden everything seems so overwhelming, there are too many people talking and eating. I silently pray that the bathroom is empty.

Fortunately, there's no one else around. I stare at myself in the mirror, I'm trembling.  I have contamination OCD.  Feelings from last year come rushing back; I'm terrified of getting ill.  I wring my hands, they must be dirty already.  Mentally I start listing everything that I've touched throughout the morning, so many germs.  I've probably also touched my hair, clothes, maybe even my face.  By now, I'm dirty all over - contaminated.  I pull a paper towel from the dispenser, and discard it.  Maybe somebody touched that one.  I take another, and use it to turn on the tap.  I start washing my hands, scrubbing quite hard. I feel sick which only scares me more, even though logically I know that nausea is a daily side effect of my medication.  I try to breath. What am I doing? It's so frustrating.

This all started when I was around 11 or 12. Nothing traumatic happened; the doctors eventually said that my OCD was triggered by puberty,  a chemical imbalance in my brain.  At first it wasn't a big deal, people just thought I was odd. I liked things to be a certain way.  I started showering before and after school, but I was still functioning fairly normally.  Around my 14th birthday it started getting worse. I would spend hours washing myself.  My mum caught me about to take bleach into the shower,  that’s when we went to the doctor.

But I am better now, I'm coping.  I don't know why Jennifer's words are throwing me off like this.  People say that kind of thing all the time - it's just a silly phrase.  
I spend a few more moments composing myself and finally turn off the tap.  No paper towel.  I better go and find Sophie, she's probably worried.  I walk out of the bathroom and turn back towards the food hall.

Suddenly, someone bumps into me, trying to grab me to avoid falling.  Horror courses through me. A girl is touching me, pulling at my clothes.  I scream and stumble backwards, recoiling.  The girl falls to her knees.  I stare open-mouthed, mortified.  It's Jennifer.  

"Oh my god, I'm so sorry" I stammer.  But, I'm already retreating back into the bathroom.  I start desperately ripping off my jumper.  Jennifer follows me, her face threatening.  My jumper has fallen to the floor  and I'm frantically washing my hands again.  Jennifer stares at me as though I've completely lost my mind. Oh god, maybe I have.

"What the hell is wrong with you? I'm not diseased or anything you freak."  
Her voice is hard and cruel.  Tears are sliding down my face.  I want to explain that I can’t help it; it's like a reflex for me to avoid human contact.  But, I can't.
"I'm sorry" I sob again.
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