Mrs. Clark came to see me because of a problem beginning one year earlier. An attractive woman of 45, she’d noticed some white amidst her head of black hair. She’d decided to color her hair jet black.
On the day she treated her hair, she got some dye on her hands. No matter how often she washed them, she felt she couldn’t cleanse her hands. After many attempts, she grew frustrated and frightened. Over the next weeks and months, her worries about contamination spread. She repeatedly washed and re-washed the family’s laundry, but was convinced the clothing still wasn’t clean enough. She began scrubbing floors and vacuuming frenetically, always imagining dirt, no matter how thorough she’d been.