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Fear and anxiety of pins and needles. Washing hands frequently. How to overcome this?

Hello Sir, I am Danny. I am writing for my mom.She is a housewife. She is 51 and for the last 4-5 months she is showing extreme fear and anxiety for pins/needles (sewing needles, safety pins and paper pins). She is always thinking about this and she always use to wash her hands very frequently and for long duration. Because of this fear she is very much restless , always concerned and depressed. And now a days, she behaves so embarrassingly that she doesn t do any of the house hold works including cooking and she takes bath for more than an hour. She is the only daughter and her dad and mom passed away years back. Six months back one of our neighbor-who was 30 yrs old died due to cardiac problem. She was shocked hearing that news- even though that neighbor and my mom was not that close. After that she had gastric problems-she will feel hungry every one hour and used to have food more than ten times a day. She was admitted in the hospital. Undergone all the medical check-ups and everything was normal. After few days that gastric problem was cured without any medicines. That was due to her unnecessary tensions. Now her problem is with this pins. Even after switching on the lights (if someone else is there in the house she will make that person to switch on the light/fan/machines and will stay away from doing that) she will wash her hands. She always wish to be surrounded with people to whom she can talk and relax. As a part of making her understand the things i showed her a paper pin. I was holding that and was playing with it.She started to shout and asked me to throw the same. The whole day she was asking about that pin-where is that pin and did I disposed it. Doctor, what kind of a fear and anxiety is this. How can we help her in overcoming this fear. Because of this fear she is not having proper food, proper sleep and a normal life. We would be grateful to you if you could help us. Looking forward to hear from you soon. Thanks in advance Regards, Danny
Asked On : Sun, 31 Mar 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  30
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Psychiatrist 's  Response
Jun 2013
Hi there ~

I understand that your mother is suffering from what is called as obsessive compulsive disorder or OCD. It is a very common psychiatric disorder which comes under the realm of anxiety disorders. I am sure there is cure for her condition and it would be advisable to see a counselor for cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT and also a psychiatrist to help with medication therapy for the OCD. A combination of both therapy and medications are going to be helpful. I hope this helps.

Take care and have a lovely day!
Answered: Sun, 31 Mar 2013
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