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I have developed a very bad body odour. Suggest some effective cure to get relief

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Practicing since : 2003
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I have become suicidal because i have developed a very bad body odor not caused by hygiene. so bad my job has been threatened i am young, 23 years old and very attractive. i cant see myself living with the embarrassment when someone approaches me. I have little to no income or family support. i need help. Google has become my best friend and i have tried multiple remedies. I dont feel as if anyone who i have had the courage to tell takes me seriously of how this effects my life and personality on a daily basis. i have drastically secluded myself from the world. please take me seriously and help me.I dont want to work i dont want to grocery shop but since i have full blown responsibility mostly bills i force myself through it but feel as if its come to a point that my mental health is in danger. i ignore it during work day and cry myself to sleep. Even though there are nasty side comments from starngers, my boss and coworkers. i feel as if i have to work to take care of myself no one else is going to do it. So what is the first step without losing everything ive worked hard for. i have no savings to depend on while seeking health.
Posted Wed, 7 Nov 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 3 hours later
Welcome to Healthcare Magic and thanks for your query.

I do understand that you are going through a terrible time with this problem. I know how difficult it can be to live with these thoughts and how much of social, occupational and day-to-day dysfunction this can cause, because I have seen patients with the same problem suffer. And believe me, with appropriate treatment they have been able to overcome this problem. So, please be assured that I am taking your symptoms very seriously and will surely guide you in the right way.

Now, first of all, you are in a state of extreme mental stress, so much so that you are having suicidal thougts. So, the first step is to seek help for this. Only if you are stable and stay positive, you will be able to undergo proper treatment and improve.

Secondly, the symptoms which you are having are indicative of a delusional disorder, more specifically called an Olfactory Reference Syndrome. This condition is caused due to certain neurochemical inbalances in the brain. Now, please don't misunderstand that i am implying that your symptoms are not real or imaginary. Rather, what I'm saying is that your symptoms are indeed very genuine and serious, but the underlying cause is not a skin problem or a bodily dysfunction, but due to these chemical disturbances in your brain.

There are effective medication available which will set right these neurochemical imbalances, but you have to continue them for a long period. In addition, you will also need counselling / psychotherapy to handle your stress and depressive symptoms also.

So, I would strongly advise you to consult a psychiatist urgently, for a detailed evaluation and further management. Also, please keep talking to someome close to you, so that you can offload your emotional burden and feel more supported.

Wish you all the best...
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: I have developed a very bad body odour. Suggest some effective cure to get relief 7 hours later
I understand how that diagnosis relates to me majorly but the thing is although i may out of paranoia and guilt misjudge pples body language occasionally i am certain that the body odor exist. pple tell me to my face that i smell. And i myself smell it. After i bathe i smell within 2-3 hours. What do you think the odor is from. it smells sometimes like fish or garbage or even farts.
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 15 hours later
Hello again and thanks for writing in.

Well, in this disorder, the problem is not just a simple paranoia or guilt that other people may find you smelling bad. The pathological roots are much deeper, where the person actually "percieves" that he / she is indeed smelling bad and many people do report strongly that they can actually smell the bad odour emanating from their body. That is why I had mentioned that you should not misunderstand that I am simply implying that you are just 'paranoid' or 'over-reacting' or 'unecessarily feeling guilty'. No... this problem is more complex than that. Normally, the nose picks up raw sensations of smell which are then interpreted by the brain as a particular smell. So, if there is a disturbance in your brain causing it to misinterpret the smell sensations as 'foul', then you are indeed going to be smelling a foul odour. So, your symptoms are real, you find yourself smelling bad and have often actually smelt the foul body odour. But this is because your brain's perception itself is faulty or altered, due to the chemical imbalances in the brain and this altered perception is what is causing you to have this firm, unshakeable belief that you are smelling bad. So, please remember, it's not your fault and you are not simply 'imagining it' or 'over-reacting'

I would advise you to first have a detailed evaluation by a psychiatrist. This evaluation would also include a physical examination and a medical screening to rule out any possible medical conditions. So, please don't worry that just because you go to a psychiatrist, you will be labelled as a "psychiatric patient" and none of your symptoms would be taken seriously. More importantly, since this problem is causing you extreme distress and depression and because you have become socially withdrawn and have suicidal thoughts also, it is essential that you seek a psychiatric consultation at the earliest. Please take the help of someone close, who can support you and guide you through these tough times.

Wish you all the best.

- Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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