The Covid-19 pandemic made all of us more
conscious about cleanliness. Social distancing, quarantine, and hand sanitizing
became common terms in households. The outbreak exposed our germophobic side
with over-sanitization of hands and surfaces. However, germophobia is a
diagnosable condition that many people deal with. Those affected tend to be
extra careful about contamination.
Germophobia causes an extreme obsession with
avoiding contamination. Those dealing with the condition do their best to avoid
contact with other people’s fluids, contaminated food, and touching items and
surfaces that might be dirty. There are different types of germophobia,
including fear of disease, animals, and untidiness.
Symptoms of germophobia
Clevelandclinic.org explains that the condition can cause various behaviours
including the following.
· Washing hands frequently several times in a row · Cleaning hands for an unusually long time · Avoiding social situations · Wearing gloves always to avoid germs contamination · Taking multiple showers per day · Using hand sanitizer every time you touch an unfamiliar surface · Minimizing time in public areas like restaurants and restrooms
How to manage and overcome germophobia
Germophobia can be treated with exposure
therapy. A mental health expert helps one establish the reasons behind the
symptoms. The process starts with small steps such as thinking about germs and
later being exposed to situations that usually make you uncomfortable. With
time, you can learn how to handle negative feelings and thoughts. Medical
experts can also use other treatments to help patients manage their fear of
Fear of germs can affect a person’s overall
well-being. The conditions come with stress and worry of contamination that can
make touching surfaces and social interactions uncomfortable. With professional
help, one can manage the symptoms and live a healthier life.