How do I get over my germaphobia?

I'm always washing my hands after I touch anything outside my room. And if someone or something comes into contact with my clothes, I have to change them before I get anywhere near my bed.


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Most Helpful Girl

  • I used to be like you, it took me constantly getting sick to change. If you're never in contact with germs, every little thing will get to you because you've ruined your immunity. I still think about it but I try to force it away.

    You just have to force yourself. It's like when somebody is scared of the dark, the only way to get over it is by facing it. It's very similar. Try to force yourself to wash hands less. Once or twice a week, force yourself to stay in the clothes that have come into contact with somebody else. You have to face it to beat it. It's the only way. Just like any other fear, it's mostly in the mind and can only be beaten with your mind.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • I've had a mild germaphobia as teenager and the way I got rid of it was too face my fear. First it didn't get noticed so much but as I became more obsessive, friends and family members started ridiculing me for it. Obviously I knew it was silly what I was doing and I felt ashamed of it. I decided that the only way out of this would be to suck it up and ignore my feelings (and instead listen to rational thinking). Cuz the scientific truth is that germs are everywhere and it is silly to be afraid of them. Even on your own body, there are billions of bacteria living. In fact, most of our bodies are comprised of bacteria, not flesh and bones! Also, some of the things I believed to be particularly germ-ridden are probably not so dirty as I had to admit to myself. For example I always felt very uncomfortable about touching the trash can in the kitchen... cuz, y'know, it's trash. But then when I thought about it more, it suddenly didn't make sense anymore. Say there was a plastic bag or some sort of carton lying in the trash - why would it suddenly become more germ-infected than it already was in the fridge or cupboard, where I didn't mind to touch it? Suddenly a lot of these things appeared even more silly to me. So what I did was to simply FORCE myself to cut it out. First, I stopped constantly washing my hands. For example I would force myself to touch the handle of the trash can and then touch my food without washing my hands in between. First this felt very repulsive but with every time I did it, the urge to wash my hands became weaker... until one time I just didn't give a damn anymore. Then I also moved on to touching things I always tried to avoid touching before.
    The whole thing was a tough process and it lasted maybe 1-2 years but I'm really glad I did it.
    Of course you can also talk to a psychologist and go to this special type of therapy but I can promise you: in this case it's wasted money. Cuz the method that I just told you will also be the same method that your psychologist will use on you. They use the forced interaction method with pretty much all phobias. For example people who are pathologically scared of spiders have to slowly get accustomed to them. First they would just try to remain in the same room as the spider and at the very end of the process, they might even let a big spider crawl over their hand. I know it's a tough way to solve it but it's the only way to solve it. If you want to get over your fears, you first need to face them.

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What Girls Said 3

  • Um.

    Have you seen the show The OCD project? They do exercises to help with stuff like that.

    If not, go to your doctor if you think you have OCD. They can refer you to a psychologist for therapy.

    :\

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  • Just challenge your self to be a dirtier person and try thinking less about it and try to delay washing your hands and procrastinate when you think about washing and clraning your self

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  • So glad to hear I'm not the only one who's dealt with this problem. A few years I was exactly like you are, I think I finally managed to get over it by forcing myself not to wash my hands after touching things I felt were "germy" and same goes with the clothes. Everyday after I got home from school I changed my clothes immediately , I felt they were filthy. So finally, It killed me at first, I made myself stop doing those things, and when nothing bad happened, (I didn't get sick) it made it a little easier each day to get over my extreme fear of germs.

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What Guys Said 1

  • watch aviator.

    howard hughes and you can relate.

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