One of the hallmarks of obsessive-compulsive disorder is contamination fears and excessive hand-washing. Years ago, a patient with severe OCD came to my office wearing gloves and a mask and refused to sit on any of the “contaminated” chairs. Now, these same behaviors are accepted and even encouraged to keep everyone healthy.

強迫癥的特征之一是對臟東西的恐懼和過度的洗手。幾年前,一位嚴重的強迫癥患者戴著手套和口罩來我的辦公室,并且拒絕坐在任何“臟”椅子上?,F在,人們接受甚至鼓勵這種行為,為了讓每個人都保持健康。


Only a few months ago, this type of behavior would have been considered excessive and certainly not healthy.

就在幾個月前,這種行為還會被認為是過度的,當然也是不健康的。

So, where do doctors draw the line between vigilance to avoid being infected with the coronavirus and obsessive-compulsive disorder that can be harmful?

那么,醫生如何在為避免感染冠狀病毒而保持的警戒和可能有害的強迫癥之間劃清界限呢?

This is an important question that I, a psychiatrist, and my co-author, a wellness and parenting coach, often hear.

這是我(一個精神病學家)和我的合著者(一個健康和育兒教練)經常聽到的一個重要問題。

Adaptation or internet addiction?

(適應還是網癮?)



During the pandemic, however, society has quickly adapted online opportunities. Whenever possible, people are working from home, attending school online and socializing through online book clubs. Even certain health care needs are increasingly being met remotely through telehealth and telemedicine.

然而,在疫情期間,社會迅速適應了在線上做各種事。只要有可能,人們就在家辦公、在線上學、通過線上讀書俱樂部進行社交活動,甚至某些保健需求也越來越多地通過遠程醫療得到遠程滿足。


Is it obsessive-compulsive or protective?

(強迫癥還是保護性行為)

While COVID-19-era behaviors may look like clinical OCD, there are key distinctions between protective behaviors in the face of a clear and present danger like a pandemic and a clinical diagnosis of OCD.

雖然COVID-19時代的行為可能看起來像臨床強迫癥,但在面對像疫情這樣明確而現實的危險時采取的保護性行為與臨床診斷出的強迫癥之間還是存在關鍵區別的。

The repetitive, ritualistic thoughts, ideas and behaviors seen in clinical OCD are very time-consuming for people dealing with them, and they significantly interfere with several important areas of the person’s life, including work, school and social interactions.

臨床強迫癥患者重復的、儀式化的想法和行為非常耗費時間,而且會嚴重影響患者個人生活的幾個重要方面,包括工作、上學和社會交往。

Some people have obsessive-compulsive traits that are less severe. These traits are often observed in high-achieving people. Such “keep the eye on the prize” behaviors are recognized in nearly 20% of the population. A talented chef who is very attentive to detail may be referred to as “obsessive-compulsive.” So may a detail-oriented engineer building a bridge or an accountant examining files from many different angles.

有些人有不那么嚴重的強迫性特征,這些特征通常在成功人士身上觀察到,近20%的人有種“盯著細節”的行為。一個非常注重細節的天才廚師可能會被稱為“強迫癥”。一個注重細節的橋梁建造工程師,或者一個從許多不同的角度檢查文件的會計,也可能被稱為“強迫癥”。

The critical difference is that the persistent, repetitive, ritualistic thoughts, ideas and behaviors seen in those suffering from clinical OCD often take over the person’s life.

關鍵的區別在于,臨床強迫癥患者身上出現的持續的、重復的、儀式化的想法和行為往往會掌控患者的生活。


A person with OCD never gets the “all clear” signal. It is not uncommon for a person with OCD to spend several hours per day washing their hands to the point their skin becomes cracked and bleeds. Some people with OCD have checking rituals that prevent them from ever leaving their home.

強迫癥患者每天花幾個小時洗手,直到皮膚破裂出血。有些強迫癥患者有檢查的習慣,這使他們無法離開家。

OCD triggers have become harder to avoid

(強迫癥的誘因越來越難以避免)



For those who struggle with compulsive use of the internet and social media, the new, increased demands to use digital platforms for work, school, grocery shopping and extracurricular activities can open the black hole even further.

對于那些強迫性使用互聯網和社交媒體的人來說,在工作、上學、購物和業余活動中使用數字平臺的新需求增加,可能會進一步打開這個黑洞。

People with pre-pandemic contamination fears find trigger situations that were once avoidable have now become even more ubiquitous.

對疫情發生前的臟東西感到恐懼的人,發現曾經可以避免的誘因現在變得更加無處不在。

As new behavioral norms evolve due to the changing social conditions, the way that certain behaviors are identified and described may also evolve. Expressions such as being “so OCD” or “addicted to the internet” may take on different meanings as frequent hand-washing and online communication become common.

由于社會條件的變化,新的行為規范不斷發展,確定和描述某些行為的方式也在不斷發展。隨著頻繁洗手和網絡交流的普及,“強迫癥”或“上網成癮”等表達可能會有不同的含義。

For those of us adapting to our new normal, it is important to recognize that it is healthy to follow new guidelines for social distancing, washing hands and wearing masks, and that it is OK to spend extra time on the internet or other social media with the new limits on personal interactions. However, if internet use or hand-washing becomes uncontrollable or “compulsive,” or if intrusive “obsessive” thoughts about cleanliness and infection become problematic, it’s time to seek help from a mental health professional.

對于我們這些正在適應新常態的人來說,重要的是要認識到:遵循關于社交距離、洗手和戴口罩的新指南是有益健康的;在對人們相互交流的新限制下,可以多花點時間在網絡或其他社交媒體上。然而,如果上網或洗手變得無法控制或是“強迫性”的,或者可能對清潔和感染有侵入性的“強迫性”想法,那就是時候向心理健康專家尋求幫助了。