You might not know the term "mysophobia," even if it's something that affects your everyday life. This term describes someone who has a significant fear or germs, which is something that is colloquially known as being a germophobe. While this condition might seem unreasonable to other people, it can be highly disruptive to your life — perhaps even influencing where you go and what you do.
Seeking guidance through a mental health hospital can be instrumental in helping you to gain the upper hand on your mysophobia. Your therapist may advocate using mantras or remembering certain phrases when you start to feel upset about germs. Here are some things that you should try to remember.
Most Surfaces Don't Have Deadly Bacteria
While it's true that you'll find bacteria on door knobs, toilet handles, and gas station pumps, you should try to remember the fact that most surfaces that you encounter daily aren't going to be covered in deadly bacteria. Many germs don't survive outside of the body for long, which means that even if someone has a contagious illness, coughs into his or her hand, and then touches a door knob immediately thereafter, the door knob isn't likely going to make you sick if you touch it several hours later.
Exposure To Germs Is Actually A Good Thing
Wanting to limit your exposure to germs makes sense, but you need to also remember that mild exposure to germs actually can benefit your health. When you're exposed to mild germs throughout the day, your immune system grows stronger. If you were to stay away from any environments in which germs are present and constantly be washing your hands with hand sanitizer, you could actually be preventing the strengthening of your immune system. This could lead to more susceptible to illnesses in the long run.
This Condition Can Take Over Your Life
There are people who suffer from severe forms of mysophobia to the point that their quality of life is very low. Each time that you feel compelled to act in a manner that is a direct result of your mysophobia — for example, obsessively washing your hands with hand sanitizer every time that you touch something outside of your home — try to keep in mind that this behavior can be problematic. If you cannot conquer your mysophobia on your own, there's no shame in admitting that you need help. A mental health professional, especially one who specializes in this type of disorder, is there to help you.Share