Dr. Oz emphasizes there are germs everywhere and says no one should try this kind of therapy without professional help. Yet Dr. Grayson says sometimes it's necessary to treat OCD patients with extreme experiences. "Think of it like cancer. You don't cut out a small piece and leave the rest of it in there," he says. "We like to go as much as possible to the core—to the fear."
Though most people don't go around sticking their hands in dirty trash bins, Dr. Grayson says the challenge he gave his patients isn't far removed from everyday scenarios.
"How many people put trash in a Dumpster or in a trash can, start driving to work and put their hands in their mouth or go and eat?" he says. "People without OCD do these things without thought."