A germophobe is a term used to refer to a person who has germophobia, which is an irrational or extreme fear of germs. Naturally, someone who is a germophobe constantly worries about coming into contact with anything that is contaminated for fear of ending up with an infection or any other form of sickness.
Also known as mysophobia, experts say that germophobia can be associated with obsessive-compulsive disorder or OCD, although it can be seen even in individuals who don’t have the said disorder.
Someone who has a family or personal history of anxiety is at higher risk of ending up a germophobe — he or she may start focusing on germs as a result of anxiety. However, it is possible for a person to develop germophobia even without suffering from anxiety. For instance, it can stem from experiencing a medical condition or traumatic event.
Of course no one really wants to end up sick because of germs, but not all people will go to great lengths just to make sure that they are not coming into contact with any microbe, as in the case of germophobes.
Having germophobia can definitely keep the individual who has it from leading a normal life. It’s not unlikely for him or her to steer clear of places or activities that can potentially increase his or her likelihood of being exposed to germs. And when faced with the idea of coming into contact with germs, anxiety or panic may ensue.
The following are some signs that you may actually be a germophobe:
You Never Leave the House Without Hand Sanitizers and Wipes
Do you inspect your bag a couple of times before stepping foot outside your home to check that you have a bottle of hand sanitizer and a pack of wipes stashed in your bag? Then you may be a germophobe. Heading out is like a battle for you, and you don’t want to get caught unarmed.
Disinfecting Products are All Over the Place
It’s not just when leaving your home that the war against microbes commences, but also while you’re inside of it. It’s plain to see that you are a germophobe if there are disinfecting products everywhere you look — the living room, kitchen, bedroom and most especially bathroom.
Shaking Hands or Giving High Fives is Not Your Thing
You are a germophobe if you refuse to carry out everyday gestures that require you to come into contact with someone else, such as shaking hands or giving high fives. And when forced to do so, you feel like you are going to have a heart attack after and you scramble to fish the hand sanitizer out of your bag.
Using Public Restrooms are a Complete No-No
Would you rather do anything and everything you can to dodge having to perform a number 1 or number 2 outside your home even if there’s a strong urge to do so? Then you are a certified germophobe — you would rather put up with the sheer discomfort than step foot inside a public restroom.
There’s No Way That You Will Share Foods and Drinks With Others
Do you suffer from a panic attack upon seeing people in restaurants or coffee houses sharing foods and beverages? Do you feel like you are having a heart attack as you watch a relative, friend or even your other half reach for some of your fries or take a sip of your soda? It cannot be denied that you are suffering from germophobia!
If your germophobia is keeping you from having a normal and happy life, consider seeing a therapist ASAP.