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Misophobia or Mysophobia- Fear of being contaminated with dirt or germs

Misophobia or Mysophobia- Fear of being contaminated with dirt or germs

When many of us were children, we enjoyed playing outside. This play could have consisted of pretend games like cowboys and Indians or war games or other such pretending pursuits. Alternatively, sport could have played a part in our play. Football or rugby, or some other sport made up by a group of active children. One thing that was almost universal when it came to playing outside was that we would get dirty and that this was part of the fun.

Despite this, we grow up and our fun generally has very little to do with getting dirty. Indeed, most adults do their best to avoid getting themselves dirty, as dirty clothes and people need to be cleaned which can be a hassle at least to some point. However, most of us understand that there are times when we will get dirty and that this is just a natural part of life. For some though, the idea of getting dirty causes a great deal of fear and distress. People who have an intense and pathological fear of being dirty or being contaminated by germs are said to have Misophobia or Mysophobia.

This fear can often be traced back to the very experiences I set out earlier. Perhaps the suffer was punished for getting dirty or their parent had an obsession with cleanliness. Whatever, the cause, the sufferer is now unable to be rational about getting dirty.

Hypnotic regression or systematic desensitisation is a very good way to help clients to overcome this fear and go on to be able to deal with dirt in a healthier manner.

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