Ever seen a person who keeps washing her hand over and over again every time he or she touches something that she deems dirty? These personalities are obsessive-compulsive ones and persons who are afraid of germs or dirt are known as Spermatophobia, Spermophobia or Mysophobic. This is in close relation to another phobia known as Automysophobia.
People with this phobia may develop some extreme aversions to anything they perceive as being unclean.
People may feel very unpleasant whenever they are dirty because they feel a sense of discomfort. People who feel dirty also may have itching and other related problems. Long ago, being dirty is degrading and prisoners are forced to live in disgusting conditions with little access to soap and water. These prisoners may experience deep depression and anxiety due to feeling filthy all the time.
Also, one of the root causes can be due to the fact that dirt is related with animal behavior.
Fear of being dirty may manifest itself in different ways. Some people will wash their hands frequently, refuse to shake hands or use a lot of antibacterial lotions and cleansers. At its worst, this phobia will provoke a series of rituals that may lead to obsessive-compulsive disorder.
When this phobia interferes with daily life, it can impact career and relationships. Therapy and medication may be necessary to treat Automysophobia. A trained psychotherapist will be able to get at the root of issues related to dirt and germs.