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Date of last update: 8/24/2017.

Forum Name: Psychiatric Topics

Question: i think i have an odor

 Shafiq - Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:24 pm

i am 25 male and i have suffered from depression for a long time and am on mirtazapine . recently in christmass time i was under alot of stress and i have developed a thought that i smell. i wash my cloths once a week and i take regular baths and use fragrance on my cloths and i still think people can smell somthing when they pass by me or at work. the sad thing about this thought is that i don't have any evidence that i ever smelt . i am very scared that this might lead to another problem. my question is i am seeing a psychotherapist and he told me that i might never be able to get rid of the thought wat i need to do is to ignore it and carry on life and don't avoid social situation. i cant understand why is he telling me to keep this irational thought in my head and i feel very stressed out in a social situation. i would like someone to give me some advice on how to cope with this thought and what is the name for wat i am going through.
 Tim W Latsko - Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:13 am

check out this link.... luck, I hope this is helpful

 Shafiq - Sun Mar 08, 2009 7:38 pm

i didnt understand what that link has to do with me. is it epilepsy that i am having?
 hachi - Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:25 pm

I do not understand the link either. I think odor is related to epilepsy. Someone with epilepsy can smell an odor that others would not smell. I tried searching the linked site about odor and that's all I came up with. Anyway, I have that same question as yours too, Shafiq, that's why I am interested.
 charlie82 - Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:34 pm

I understand how you feel. For the longest time i felt i had an odor coming from myself. After going to my doctor and talking to other people it turned out i was the only one who could smell it. It took me awhile of telling myself that i don't smell and it's all in my head for me to finally not smell it anymore. Funny thing is though till this day i can't stomach the smell of big red gum or any cinnamon smell like that because i associate it with that period in my life when i went through this. To this day i am not sure why. Good luck. I hope this helps you out.
 Shafiq - Fri May 15, 2009 12:06 pm

thanx for ur replies guys..charlie how did u manage to overcome this man..i have been having a hard time i still go out and try and do things but at times its impossible for me to cope outside..i m pretty sure i don't smell bcos i take shower and wash my cloths regularly but i still always find it hard in public places..should i start asking people wether i smell?
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Thu Jul 23, 2009 1:08 pm

Hello Shafiq,

You've been receiving lots of advice, and I will add some more. The central issue is most likely an anxiety reaction or disorder. You are doing all the right things, but the fear remains. Your psychologist can suggest some behavioral steps to take that might help, some as simple as a mantra or self-talk, such as telling yourself "I have a pleasant odor" several times a day, including when you look in a mirror. Wearing a rubber band on your wrist might be helpful, to snap it whenever you think you have an odor and repeating your mantra. It's simple, but can be very effective. Discuss it again with your psychologist; I suspect he did not mean to simplify your issue by telling you to ignore it and get on with your life. There also are medications that can help; discuss it with your doctor, or see a psychiatrist. I hope this helps.

Good luck to you.
 jessi76 - Sun Aug 09, 2009 10:54 pm

I went through a very similar thing it lasted for about a year probably back in 2003-2005. I was in grad school under a lot of stress/anxiety a terrible place in my life. I felt like I smelled like sh*t, I even could swear I was passing gas all the time. It was so disturbing to my psyche I stopped eating except once a day. I figured if nothing goes in, nothing will come out. I saw a therapist who told me she smelled nothing, I went to one of the best gynocologist to see if it was a fistula (yeah, looked it up), best colo-rectal surgeons and gasterointeralist who gave me a colonoscopy. I was constantly asking my friends, my sister and my parents. They thought I was losing my mind. I avoided men like the plague, terrified I would repulse them so I basically had no dating life because it caused too much anxiety. I couldn't get close to anyone I didn't already know well. I wouldn't even go to class some days because of it.

Truth is one day I actually did, went severely manic and wound up in the hospital. Of course I never told them this, they had enough to decide I was nuts. Shortly after I got on meds it went away, it maybe the meds calmed me down enough to say to h*ll with it or may be the meds fixed the problem. I have never discussed it with my psychiatrists was too embarassed b/c they were male. I have had 2 MRIs and an EEG because I did have a seizure but they said it is not epilepsy and that was 3-4 years after the fact. I didn't know this was related to epilepsy but I don't have epilepsy anyway.

So I never did know what it what and I'm real curious too...can you really have hallucinations for a year like that? I wonder if someone has an answer to that...
 mathair4 - Sun Oct 25, 2009 2:52 pm

Hi. I have the same problem. It seems to me you suffer from Olfactory Reference Syndrome. Check it out on Wikipedia or google it. It is an OCD spectrum disorder. I am not a medical professional at all- but I have a pretty good understanding of OCD spectrum disorders because I suffer from most of them. LOL. I try to just understand myself that I have a mental disorder and not get too down over it. Try to focus on the good things about yourself. I'm not saying it isn't important- I would definitely talk to medical professionals until you get one that understands you and gives you some medication for it. Good luck.
 Faye Lang, RN, MSW - Sat Jul 17, 2010 8:09 pm

Hello, all-

Thank you for helping provide information for Shafiq. I think it was all very helpful, and hope that Shafiq has found it to be, also. Mathair4's reference to OCD emphasizes the need to consult with a psychologist or psychiatrist, as OCD is an expression of severe anxiety. There really is help available. Good luck to you all!!

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