Olfactory Reference Syndrome: The Illusion of Smelling Bad {The 5th Sense in the News}

A rare form of obsessive compulsive disorder called Olfactory Reference Syndrome (ORS) has been identified and referenced more or less informally for more than a century but still awaits fuller recognition to enter an official classification of mental disorders, namely an entry in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V). People who are suffering from the disorder hold the belief against the better judgment of their entourage that they smell foul...

"On average, volunteers spent a good three to eight hours a day preoccupied with negative thoughts about their perceived odor. Many also engaged in repetitive activities (perhaps using an entire bar of soap in a day) for hours each day. Eighty-five percent were convinced that their beliefs were completely accurate, even though no one else agreed, Phillips said, and three-quarters felt that others were noticing them because of their "smell." [...]

"Ninety-five percent practiced at least one compulsive behavior on a daily basis because of this conviction. Eighty percent smelled themselves continually, 68 percent showered obsessively and 50 percent changed clothing repeatedly. Many used powder or perfume (sometimes even drinking the perfume), deodorant, gum and other products to rid themselves of the scent. One individual actually had their tonsils removed, thinking this would take care of the perceived bad breath."

Read more in US News...

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1 Comment | Leave a comment

  1. I have excellent bathing and grooming habits, so I know I smell fine.

    BUT. I have zero, zip, NO tolerance whosoever for bad smells. I don't care where or whom they come from. If that is a disorder, consider me the poster kid for it.

    After I cook, I go about the house armed to the teeth with air fresheners. And I don't care what your religion, your culture, your political affiliation, your beliefs, or your nationality is. You stink. You stay away from me.


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