“When they were toddlers, putting on their shoes or socks was a long, drawn-out process because there couldn’t be any wrinkles in their socks and their shoes had to be tied just a certain way, and that process could go on half hour, 45 minutes, an hour,” their mom, Kathy Worland, said in a 2017 interview on The Doctors. (Worland did not respond to an interview request from BuzzFeed News.)
The sisters said on the show that they began cleanliness rituals in middle school, and by their early twenties were taking showers that lasted up to 10 hours, and would use an entire bar of soap.
They began to lose friends. ”When it takes you all day to take a shower, you are never going to meet them somewhere,” Sara said in the 2017 interview.
“It’s a cold, miserable, agonizing shower,” Amanda said in an interview with 9News in 2016. “We used hydrogen peroxide and alcohol. There was one point we were using so much hydrogen peroxide on our faces, it turned our eyebrows orange.”
The rituals were painful, debilitating, and exhausting, and did not relieve their symptoms, they said. “It hurts a lot — it’s ridiculously painful,” said Sara. “And it’s just something I did, like I had no choice. The OCD is saying, ‘Do this, do this,’ and I’m like, ‘OK, OK, I’m doing it.’”
“It’s like listening to somebody who is holding you at gunpoint — you absolutely have to do what they say, ” Amanda said. “We’ve tried all the medications — we’ve been on medication since we were 12.”
The twins couldn’t work, travel, or touch other people (including each other or their mother) due to the condition.