Irrational fears are called phobias. Having one means you are afraid that something can bring you major harm, so you face it as a dangerous obstacle all the time. As a result you tend to overreact by panicking and taking drastic or even unnecessary measures. All of these statements can be applied to describe germaphobia.
Nowadays having a fear of bacteria and other microorganisms is quite common. Although they can indeed cause an infection or sickness, a germaphobe is constantly nervous about this matter. The thought of germs penetrating the immune system comes to mind by every contact with a filthy or an unsanitized object. Therefore these individuals would avoid at any cost getting dirty or the moment that happens to them, they will clean themselves right away.
Understanding the Issue Better
Germaphobia is often associated with OCD - Obsessive Compulsive disorder. Although they are not the same thing, we can not deny there's a connection between them. The former is a pathological fear while the latter is about stressful throughs and the tactics used to overcome them. Not every person with OCD is afraid of germs but those with Germaphobia do have an Obsessive Compulsive disorder. We are talking about a defence mechanism that leads to the development of certain rituals that help to cope with the fear of microorganisms. The answer to the problem in this case is intensive cleaning.
Germaphobes are called neat freaks because of the lengths they are willing to go to make sure every surface is free of the dreadful microscopic monsters. For these individuals, what most of us consider a normal level of cleanliness is not enough. Once they start erasing the dust and dirt from the household, they won’t quit until there isn’t a single speck left. Germaphobes don’t spare any expenses to supply themselves with the best detergents and tools for the job. The same goes for maintaining personal hygiene by purchasing soap, shampoo, shower gel and other items.
You don't have to be a germaphobe to take good care of your own residence. Surely you wouldn't like your home to hide a potential risk for infections because of unhealthy living conditions. Besides, if you are not the owner of the place, the landlord will expect a splendid level of cleanliness, so take proper measures. Our company is among the best service providers in London, so we know how to make every space spotless. With the 200 percent guarantee, there's no doubt you'll get the outcome you demand.
Rituals For the Sake of Cleanliness
Filth is unpleasant to us but we can cope with it when necessary to perform a task. For example when we are taking out the trash, cleaning the furniture with our bare hands or doing garden work, we can't avoid getting dirty. Therefore we bear with it until our work is done.
Germaphobes on the other hand can not accept staying like that for more than a few seconds. The thought of having dirt directly on their skin can cause stress, anger or panic. Should they have to finish such a task, they will surely wear gloves and use items of clothing to cover any part of the body that might get in touch with the dirt. Below we are going to list more examples for habits related to the fear of bacteria and other microorganisms:
If your friends are washing their hands every time they touch an object, you are dealing with germaphobes. For the sake of neatness they will repeat this action more than once by a single wash. Over the day, some of them do it so often, that the skin on their hand becomes red and swollen.
According to germaphobes, any form of direct physical contact can get you exposed to germs. Because of that, they would even refuse to shake hands with a friend as they interact. Kisses on the cheek or the forehead are also a tabu.
Germaphobes spend over an hour taking a shower or a bath but not because of the hot water. They will wash thoroughly every inch and falten of the body several times. In addition, they do a lot of scrubbing to make sure all the dead skin cells are properly removed.
Having dirt on the limbs is bad but when it is on the head it is much worse. If the hands of a germaphobe are dirty or have been in contact with an unsanitized object, the individual will avoid touching his/her face before washing them. Getting germs on the eyes or in the mouth is a risk that can not be taken.
For the germaphobes getting a stain on the clothes is problematic. They can't bear the thought of wearing something fitly as it could transfer germs upon them. If so much as a part of it an article of clothing touches the floor, they will wash the whole thing. Some people don't trust washing machines and prefer doing the laundry by hand.
Since germaphobes believe everything on the outside could be dirty, they hate touching any object. That is why they either wear gloves or use a towel as they grab onto different items to protect their skin. A box of wet tissues to wipe the hands with, does the same trick for those who are willing to touch filth.
Germaphobes are wary about their surroundings. They are careful where they step, sit and walk. Going through a muddy alley is unacceptable (they will go around even if it means going a very long distance) and neither is taking a seat without wiping it or placing paper on it.
When dining at a restaurant, the first thing the germaphobes would do is to wipe the utensils before eating. Be sure they will decline to eat or drink what has been served if they spot so much as a fingerprint on the plate or the glass.
Falling ill is the last thing on the mind of the germaphobes. That is why they distance themselves from people who sneeze and cough or simply look away from them. Some go further by taking a shower or a bath after such an encounter.
Inside the House
You can keep your place spotless but there is plenty of filth outdoors. Therefore, upon returning home, a germaphobe will go straight to the bathroom. The microorganisms that were brought from the outside must be washed off before they could affect any area of the residence.
When performing a cleaning session throughout their home, the germaphobes will mop the floor, wash the windows and steam the carpet over and over again, even risking to damage these possessions, just to make sure every surface is germ free. The same goes for dusting the furniture and polishing the rest of the household items.
While using the bathroom, germaphobes would wash the tap of the sink or the shower as they touched it while their hands were dirty. Wiping the specific spot that could be affected by the bacteria that was placed upon it is a must.
Germaphobes never forget that all items used on a daily basis have to be cleaned regularly. These include but are not limited to cell phones, handbags, keys, wallets and so on. This practise is applied as well for doorknobs, light switches and handlebars upon going from one room to another.
As weird as those habits may sound, they have a purpose. Remember that germaphobes are concerned about their well being just like every other citizen. If most of us see cleaning as an annoying chore, for some people it is a way of dealing with personal issues. Don’t judge such individuals and try to show some understanding. We all have our demons to overcome and germaphobes are fighting theirs.