The fear of being contaminated with dirt or germs
is called Mysophobia. Mysophobia, the fear of being contaminated with dirt or germs
just like any other phobia, is an anxiety disorder defined by a persistent and excessive fear of being contaminated with dirt or germs
. Fot Mysophobia to actually be identified it has to typically result in a rapid onset of fear and is usually present for more than six months.
Mysophobia Physical Symptoms
People that suffer from Mysophobia the fear of being contaminated with dirt or germs
, experience panic attacks more often than not. No matter how overwhelming the feelings of anxiety, a panic attack can cause real physical symptoms, such as but not limited to the ones below:
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness in the chest/chest pain and difficulty breathing
- A need to go to the toilet
Mysophobia Psychological Symptoms
- fear of losing control
- fear of fainting
- feelings of dread
- fear of dying
- fear of harm or illness
- guilt, shame, self-blame
- Withdrawing from others
- Feeling sad or hopeless
- Feeling disconnected
- Confusion, difficulty concentrating
- Anger, irritability, mood swings
- anxiety and fear
Having fear of being contaminated with dirt or germs
can be very distressing and create a lot of disruptons in the sufferes life. But Mysophobia is treatable. The different options available span between mdication and talking therapy.
Exposure-based treatments are the first-line approach in the treatment of Mysophobia. In this type of treatment, you are gradually and progressively exposed to the fear of being contaminated with dirt or germs
. You might start by just thinking about your fear of being contaminated with dirt or germs
and then move slowly toward looking at images of the object and finally being near the object in real life.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Often referred to as CBT, cognitive behaviorial therapy involves learning to identify the underlying negative thoughts that contribute to feelings of fear of being contaminated with dirt or germs
. And learning to counter those thoughts by better more joyous thoughts.
Medications may be prescribed in some cases to help manage some of the symptoms you might be experiencing as a result of Mysophobia. Medications your doctor might prescribe include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), beta-blockers, and anti-anxiety drugs.