Illness - my body being disgusting/contaminated

barefoot

Sponsor
I’ve just tried to explain this to my partner and I don’t think I articulated it very well and she didn’t really get what I was saying (though was supportive anyway!) So, I thought I’d try and think it through here!

When I am ill, I often find fixating on body stuff more challenging than the actually feeling unwell part…

Eg I have Covid again at the moment. I have been feeling pretty rough, have lost income as too poorly to work at the mo, but I am also a fairly patient patient. So, it’s a bit rubbish and not ideal, but it’s not horrendous and, with a bit more rest, I’m sure I’ll be on the up again fairly soon.

However, I have a tendency to focus on my body being contaminated / infected / putrid etc, and that becomes quite anxiety-making.

So, I’ve had quite a few GI symptoms. Nausea, being sick, sharp abdominal pains, trotting to the loo a lot… It has been unpleasant! But I also get over focused on my body being contaminated and my insides being rotten. Like something had invaded my body and contaminated it and made it putrid and disgusting.

I woke up this morning with what looks like the start of a stye on one eyelid. It’s a tiny bit sore, but not causing me any real bother physically at this point. But I notice I have had lots of thoughts about infection festering on my eye. So, now my eye feels contaminated too…so ‘it’ is spreading…And that thought bothers me much more than the (currently very mild) physical discomfort of the lump.

I don’t really know why I’m posting or what I’m needing/wanting…I just know that this sense of my body being invaded or infected or contaminated… is quite anxiety-making and that it tends to be a pattern for me when I get unwell. And I don’t think it’s helpful. And yet, that’s where my thoughts and focus keep going…

I brought up the idea of my body feeling disgusting and wanting to step out of my skin/body with my T a few months ago…which wasn’t about being unwell. I can’t really remember now where we got to with that. But I think, when it’s tied up with illness, it’s also tapping into this general sense I feel about my body being…yuck… I’m not sure what would be helpful for me to do about this?

Sorry, a bit of a ramble post. Not sure if much of that has made sense? And not sure what I need here really. It just feels quite difficult at the moment.
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
i'm not sure it is the same thing, and it can easily carry to psychotic extremes, but i mostly feel like there is considerable proof available that my body really is disgusting and toxic when i am ill. it is infected and my immune system is compromised. extra environmental precautions and self-care needed.

feel better soon, barefoot. being sick sucks.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
I struggle with being ill too. Is it the focus on your body that is the concern? And/or feeling infectious?

For me, I wonder if it is not being in control. Don't know if there is an element of that for you?

And for me, I think I get scared with being incapacitated. Which I think is linked to control.

This feeling of disgust that comes to the forefront? If that is linked to being vulnerable or hiding an underlying issue?

(Hope you're feeling better soon).
 

barefoot

Sponsor
Sounds upsetting and really difficult.
Yeah…it’s challenging!

It sounds quite OCD too?
Hmm…it’s something I can get quite fixated on, which raises anxiety. So, in that way, I guess I have some obsessive thoughts around it. There isn’t any compulsive behaviour that goes along with it though?

OCD hasn’t ever come up with my T. But she is also not much of a labeller!


there is considerable proof available that my body really is disgusting and toxic when i am ill. it is infected and my immune system is compromised.
Yes. I guess if we are infected, we ARE toxic? Or, at least, there is something toxic in us? I’m going to try hard to challenge that thought though because, I suppose, there are people who wouldn’t then extend the thought from ‘I have an infection so my body is toxic and, therefore, my body is/I am disgusting’…? Hmm…

Is it the focus on your body that is the concern? And/or feeling infectious?
I hadn’t really thought about that first but. But, since you’ve brought it up…yeah…I suppose there is discomfort in being more aware of/focused on my body when I’m ill/ in pain. I guess I spend a lot of time usually floating around in my head. I’m not very…embodied. So, this situation forces more focus on my body as I can’t really ignore it so easily with what’s going on.

But also, the being infected part…that feels yuck.

There’s also a big aspect of: something is inside me that shouldn’t be. So, like…something has invaded my body/breached the physical boundaries of my body…and it’s inside me…and that feels stressful and, well, quite horrifying in a ‘body horror’ kind of way…

Added to all that ^^^ I like to be clean. But when I feel unwell, the last thing I want to do is submerge my body in water. The thought of getting in a shower or bath feels intolerable. So, I don’t. And then that makes things worse because I’m unclean. So then I am disgusting.

I wonder if it is not being in control.
Perhaps in terms of there’s something in my body that shouldn’t be - so I have lost control of my borders?! My physical edges.

This feeling of disgust that comes to the forefront? If that is linked to being vulnerable or hiding an underlying issue?
Finding it hard to answer this. There’s shame caught up in it, I think. But not sure that answers the question.

The bit on my eye isn’t any worse today, so perhaps it’s not a stye and will just go away soon. So, I feel a bit better about that…
 
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