All About Mysophobia, the Fear of Germs, and How to Overcome it with Psychological Therapy & Counselling
What is Mysophobia?
It is a common phobia often promoted in the media through adverts about anti-bacterial clening products.
There may be a number of reasons why you developed Mysophobia, for example:
- You may have developed the phobia as a result of the media messages published during the Coronavirus pandemic.
- You might have picked-up the fear of Germs from a parent who suffered from it.
- Pre-existent OCD about germs.
The fear of germs is also closely related to Emetophobia, the fear of vomiting.
Although phobias are often described as ‘disorders’, there is no valid scientific evidence that Mysophobia is the result of any kind of biological fault or chemical imbalance as proposed in the biomedical models of mental illness.
On the contrary, Mysophobia is much more likely to be the result of your own, subjective evaluation (what you think your experiences mean) of what happened to you and is therefore better described as a psychosocial symptom.
Mysophobia Symptoms & Behaviours
All phobias, including Mysophobia, create feelings of anxiety because phobic objects or situations are always perceived as a threat.
Consequently, the symptoms of Mysophobia are both specific and generic and may include:
- Being obsessive about cleanliness.
- Worrying about the risk of infection from other people.
- An elevated heart rate.
- A sense of dread about what might happen.
- Worrying that you might pass out.
- Feeling dizzy or disoriented.
- Having heart palpitations.
- Having a dry or sticky mouth.
- Hot sweats.
- Feeling Stressed.
- Difficulty breathing easily.
- Feelings of panic.
Moreover, you may have all, some or even different symptoms to these listed here and this is due to the subjective nature of Mysophobia.
Furthermore, you should also be aware that many of these somatic symptoms (symptoms felt in the body) listed above WILL subside over time and rarely last for more than 20 to 30 minutes.
What Causes Mysophobia?
it is likely that your Mysophobia is the result of either traumatic experiences or adverse situations that you experienced at some point in your life.
You may, for example, have become really worried about germs and infections as a result of the UK government’s campaigns designed to produce fear in the population (in an attempt to alter people’s normal social behaviours) about Covid.
What’s more, because the Fear of Germs has never been linked to any biological factors, the most likely explanation for your Mysophobia is the way that you understood and made sense of your earlier experiences.
Is your phobia making you anxious or are you creating the anxiety?
It might be hard to accept, but it’s almost certain that the anxiety you experience when you encounter your phobic object or situation is being unwittingly created by YOU and NOT the thing you fear.
Find out more about the subjective vs objective nature of phobias here.
Counselling and Therapy for Mysophobia
We can offer you a number of different types of therapy and counselling for your Mysophobia the Fear of Germs.
Choosing the most suitable therapy depends on a number of different considerations including factors such as:
- How long you have had your phobia.
- Your personal preferences.
- How your phobia is affecting you today.
You can read more about the different types of therapy for Mysophobia on the following links:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Mysophobia
- Counselling for Mysophobia
- Pluralistic Therapy for the Fear of Germs
Although all forms of psychotherapy use slightly different approaches, the one thing they all have in common is the relationship that is formed between the client and therapist.
Furthermore, research also suggests that the therapy relationship may be the most important factor in achieving a good therapy outcome.
Could Reality Therapy Be Right For You?
Reality Therapy is an approach which argues that your Mysophobia, the fear of germs, is a product of the way that you think internally and not the result of any kind of external influence.
It also argues that any past experiences which you may believe are the cause of your phobia, are no longer influential because those situations are no longer happening and therefore do not exist.
By teaching you how to take responsibility for the way that you feel, Reality Therapy can help you to stop creating the anxiety and stress associated with your phobic trigger as well as significantly improve the sense of control you have over the trajectory of your life going forward.
Arrange your FREE initial consultation here.
During this consultation we will discuss your particular phobia and the different types of mental health counselling we offer without you having to commit to any counselling going forward.
The consultation lasts around 50 minutes and is a great opportunity to meet with either Paul or Joan and decide if you would like to proceed with any support.
Applied Psychology Solutions
If you’d like to learn how to overcome Mysophobia but dislike the idea of having “therapy”, then why not learn how to change the way you make sense of your experiences with the CORE Programme.
If you believe that your problems are the result of what has happened to you and not because there is something wrong with you, then this is the solution you’ve been looking for.
Not Ready to Commit to Therapy Quite Yet?
Then why not see if you can solve your fear of germs using our comprehensive, Online Self-Help CBT course.
Written especially for people who prefer not to engage with a therapist before doing everything they can to overcome their problems.
Mirroring our in-house course of CBT, it contains everything that you need to know to tackle mental health challenges for only £149.
We offer counselling for mysophobia problems for people living in:
- West Midlands
- South Staffordshire
You can also access our services around the World using online therapy with Paul.