Thirteen years ago I was diagnosed with having OCD – Obsession Compulsive Disorder. The type of OCD I have is a fear of contamination. Because I have OCD, I am glad that I won’t be taking any plane trips this holiday season.
I have been hearing over and over on any News station I watch, about the increase of pat downs for security reasons during this Thanksgiving holiday and I’m sure the same will happen during the Christmas holiday too. When I hear that it makes me very nervous. Don’t get me wrong…I am all for each person and their belongings to have to go through security inspections to make sure no one is bringing any dangerous and hazardous materials on an airplane. I want to be kept safe on an airplane and I am depending on all of the security precautions to keep us that way at all times. It’s my OCD that puts me into a fear.
I have also been hearing on the News that many people who don’t like to be touched are against these pat downs. Yes, that’s me. It’s me, but because I have OCD it sounds a lot more like me. Normally, yes, no one likes to be touched so closely all over their body by a stranger. Some seem to feel it’s very invasive and violating. But when we think of why it’s being done, hopefully most of us will be okay with it. As my OCD brain goes through the process of a pat down, it comes up with an additional fear. My OCD brain thinks in terms of transference – transferring germs from one object, or person to another. I see on the News that the security personnel wear blue, latex gloves as they do the pat downs. I wonder is that for their protection, or the passengers protection? My OCD brain doesn’t see the blue, latex gloves as any better protection for me – the passenger, than if the security personnel didn’t wear any gloves. Why? Because they have touched the passenger before me wearing that same pair of blue, latex gloves. What am I, the person with OCD, afraid of? I’m afraid that the person before me had something on their clothes that is going to then get on me and contaminate me. That’s where my OCD brain goes when it hears about the pat downs. This pre-conceived fear puts me in a state of extra fear many days and nights before I begin my traveling.
Many travelers are against full body scans. They think these are even more invasive and violating than a pat down. For me with OCD, I wish all airports had full body scanners. I would easily go through a full body scanner and my OCD brain wouldn’t put into an extra state of fear before I start my traveling. Why? Because with a full body scan, I won’t be touched. I won’t be touched by another person’s hands at all.
It makes sense to me that all airports should have full body scanners and the passenger can be given the option of wanting a full body scan, or a pat down. That would definitely work for me.
I understand that the world cannot always accommodate a person who has OCD, but it seems that this is even an issue for others who don’t have OCD. It would be beneficial if we all had the option of a choice, instead of someone telling us, “You have to do this.” It would make life easier for us and people would create less problems and be more compliant if they felt more in control.