Category Archives: Germ Phobias

Germ Phobias

Germ phobias are exaggerated and often debilitating fears of germs.  These fears are  part of the anxiety spectrum and often are symptoms of OCD, although they can also exist on their own.  Germ phobias often manifest with both obsessive and compulsive components.  When a person suffers from germ phobias, he or she obsesses about germs in the environment and/or on the body and will spend large amounts of time compulsively cleaning the surfaces and objects that are the focus of the contamination fears.  The compulsive cleaning is a ritualistic attempt to relieve the anxiety caused by the obsession over germs.  Often, germ phobias entail a sense of loss of control over the safety of the environment in terms of hygiene and a fear of contamination.  These phobias and related compulsions are often connected with a sense of shame or embarrassment, as the person suffering often realizes at some level that the obsessions and behaviors are unreasonable yet are unable to control them. Continue reading Germ Phobias