Peanut allergy and OCD

Started by OnceUponATimeLover28, January 14, 2018, 08:59:54 PM

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Hi everyone!

First things first I just wanted to say how glad I am to have found this website. I have allergies to all nuts and legumes, but peanuts is my most severe allergy. It is difficult to find support as no one that I know has any allergies themselves. I am in my early 20s.

I have a slight case of OCD with germs and cleanliness - a few years ago I was eating lunch with some friends and one of them asked to borrow my phone. She was eating ritz crackers (the peanut butter kind) and I thought she was eating the ones with cheese in them, which she told me she was. She knows that I have a severe peanut allergy. I let her use my phone and after she did I started to feel kind of funny (not sure if it was a reaction or just me starting to become anxious) but I freaked out when I found out that it was peanut butter indeed. Thus, this is how I believe I have come to be OCD about peanut butter.

My parents have not had peanut butter in the house for quite a few years but have recently brought it back in. I know that they will be super careful whenever they eat it. When I reach into the cupboard for something (in the same one that houses the peanut butter), I feel anxious and sometimes think there is peanut butter on me, and I will check a few times to make sure there isn't any on my sleeve or arm. The jar is closed at all times and I know that the it is safely inside the jar.

I wondered if anyone out there has experienced something like this, and if they have, what they have done to overcome it. If not, I am hoping to receive some support as I feel like no one really understands how I feel. I hate that I let this get the best of me and I desperately want to overcome this.




Hi and welcome to the forum.

Anxiety of one kind or another is not rare among people with food allergies. Mine was after having an anaphylactic reaction. I got so paranoid of all food and had a difficult time reintroducing anything.

Is there more than jars of pb being kept in the house? Maybe the foods that you cannot eat could all be kept in one cupboard so you never have to open it?


I asked my son to read your post.  He said he completely understood how you felt.  Which, I figured he would because it makes sense to feel uncomfortable around something that could kill you.... easily and horribly. 

When you see a jar of peanut butter, logically you know the peanut butter isn't going to jump out of the jar, force you to eat it and kill you.  But, that jar of peanut butter isn't really a food to you right?  It is full of what could cause you death.  Why shouldn't that make you feel anxious? 

I'd also add, that being sort OCD with germs and cleanliness is something that we also deal with.  For us it has come as a byproduct of vigilance & FA's.  We don't necessarily view that as a bad thing because we think about how we measure something relative to what we have to deal with.

Not letting someone touch your stuff... well.... our kids wouldn't let someone do that either.  For us, that is okay and a good thing because who knows what someone else has touched?  Is that a problem for someone else?  Well, if it is, that is their problem.  If it is viewed as OCD.... okay.  Does it mean then that my DS1 isn't going to obsess about wondering what that person touched before using something of his, and if they had an allergen on their hands which then got on his stuff.... which had been uncontaminated until then.... yes.  Is it better for him to not worry about what is on his phone or is it better for him to appear "normal" to other people? 

We have gotten over trying to live "normally" and live in a way that accepts certain things as part and parcel of having FA's.  My kids carry wipes with them; we carry wipes with us.  None of us has a problem wiping something if they feel like they need to .... logically or even for peace of mind.

If you grew up being taught to be vigilant about what you touched, washing hands, thinking about cross contamination and learning how to be an advocate for yourself, etc., how is it logical that somehow you turn that process off just because it is your parents who are bringing your allergen into what has been a previously "safe" zone? 
"...who knew that Black History Month was really about an Orange White guy" ~gvmom
"...but HILLARY!" is not ACTUALLY a legal defense in the real world.  ~gvmom
"Don't feed the trolls; nothing fuels them so much." ~Oscar Wilde

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