Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX you for bringing your concerns to Just Answer...with regards XXXXX XXXXX most stressful and difficult situation...and I feel for you ....'both' greatly in this...
I suspect your girlfriend might well be suffering an OCD disorder ( obsessive Compulsive Disorder)...particularly if you have repeatedly asked her to stop putting it on your food...hence, every possibility that it has become an 'obsession & compulsion' with her...just one of these symptoms is portrayed by way of her need to : to perform certain rituals
to avoid the possibility of negative events occurring? This is in her thinking.
It is also believed that people who develop obsessions and compulsions are more likely to believe that they will be held responsible and blamed if something negative does happen..hence the ritual. This too makes
them want to engage in certain rituals
to bring relief from this fear. We also know that everyone has unwanted and unusual thoughts at times. However, people who develop obsessions and compulsions tend to view their unwanted thoughts as highly significant.
Obsessions and compulsions commonly develop following a period of stress
in someone’s life (e.g. a bereavement, financial problems or work place stress). Someone’s experiences throughout life can also have an impact. For example, if someone has grown up in a household where cleanliness was a high priority, they may develop a sensitivity towards hygiene issues themselves. If this is the case, they may be more likely to engage in time consuming rituals to make themselves and their surroundings feel clean...then again there is also some evidence that biological factors play a small role in the development of obsessions and compulsions.
For example, if someone in her immediate family has experienced obsessions and compulsions, there is a higher, albeit small chance, that she may go on to experience them too.
In reality, it is possible that a combination of these factors play a role in the development of obsessions and compulsions. However, in some ways it is less important to know what causes them, and more important to know what stops us overcoming them.
Those who experience obsessions and compulsions become distressed when they have an unwanted thought (e.g. I’m contaminated and will spread germs). In attempt to neutralize this, they engage in rituals designed to bring relief from this distress (e.g. wash their hands). Although this is a very understandable way of coping with an unwanted thought, it is actually one of the main reasons that people find it hard to overcome them...and if she consistently puts ketchup on everything ..this too can be seen as a way of 'cleansing process' ..and she feels 'better after doing this..though becomes oblivious to the distress its causing you...
There are a few resources to seek in her treatment of this disorder (providing she is in agreeance with this) I have posted websites below for you to obtain a copy via Amazon.com ..she will need to work through this as has a step by step guide to help her work through this...
Aside from this she would have to seek the professional services of a qualified CBT therapist (Cognitive Behavioral Therapist ) Cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the idea that our thoughts
cause our feelings and behaviors, not external things, like people, situations, and events. The benefit of this fact is that we can change the way we think to feel / act better even if the situation does not change...
This would be another option..but first she has to realize that she actually has a problem ..and so this is where you come in...
I do hope the this has been of help to you....if it has then please 'accept' my response as it does help to keep this valuable service going for you and others alike in the future...Please know my thoughts are with you in this...and I do hope that all goes well..
Karyn J ( ProfClinicalDipCounBMin)