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Bacillophobia – Fear of microbes

Bacillophobia is one of the more common types of phobia and is also often called as Bacteriophobia or Microphobia. This is the irrational fear of germs and microbes and may be caused by one getting sick. Currently there is no proven direct cause that can cause a person to be obsessed with cleanliness or being afraid of germs. But this fear can be associated with a person who is obsessive or sometimes may be associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder and may be seen as a person washing his or her hands 10-20 times before eating, wiping everything clean and spraying everything in the house with disinfectant. Most of them have family members who have gotten sick with a severe infection and they try to avoid this as much as they can.

Some may have had obsessive-compulsive mothers who passed on the trait to their children. Symptoms include being obsessively clean, constantly keeping a distance from others, refraining from shaking hands or even covering one’s mouth when talking.

Treatment involves overcoming one’s fear of germs or bacteria by implementing either counseling/behavioral therapy or self-help methods. Cognitive behavioral therapy involves simple exercises to slowly overcome your phobia. For example, shaking hands with a stranger and fight the urge to wash hands. Self-help methods involves mapping out one’s fear so as to better understand and identify the cause of the phobia.