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 germs.
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.