Worrying about foreign bacteria should be our immune system’s job, not ours. Bacillophobia, also often called Bacteriophobia or Microbiophobia, is one of the more common types of phobias that can cause a person to be obsessively clean and hold an irrational fear of germs or bacteria. By seeking out treatment methods and maintaining a positive attitude towards overcoming your phobia, you will be able to make the change you want to see in yourself.

Symptoms of Bacillophobia

There are several noticeable symptoms and signs that a person might be struggling with bacillophobia. For example, the person may resist shaking hands, constantly keep a distance from others or even cover their mouth every time they speak. This fear of germs can sometimes be rooted back to other phobias or mental stresses such as:

  • Fear of intimacy
  • Fear of people
  • Fear of social interaction
  • Fear of being unable to control their environment
  • ADHD or ADD may cause a person to become infatuated with small details, such as constantly washing their hands
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (This may also develop if bacillophobia is left untreated)

Causes of Bacillophobia

While there is not yet a proven direct cause that can cause a person to be obsessed with cleanliness or afraid of germs, any of the above phobias may manifest itself in this behavior. In order to eventually overcome bacillophobia, you must be completely open with yourself about what scares you and what external factors may be causing these stresses.

Treatment of Bacillophobia

Overcoming your fear of germs or bacteria is greatly aided by implementing either counseling/behavioral therapy or self-help methods. Self-Help methods will often suggest that you map out your fear of germs, to better understand what exactly is causing the phobia. Does the obsession lie in keeping your body clean to avoid sickness or are you just generally afraid of making physical contact with other people? By thinking these fears through, you will be able to become more familiar with your fears and will then be able to find a way to cope with the situations or overcome them entirely. Cognitive Behavior Therapy is often employed by health professionals and will use simple exercises to slowly overcome your phobia. For example, a person will be asked to shake hands with a stranger and fight the urge to wash their hands immediately.

If the irrational fear of germs and constant pressure to feel clean is holding you back in your everyday situations, it may be time to talk to a health professional to discuss the most successful treatment options. If you are seeking change and are motivated to make a difference in your life, do some early Internet research to learn more about the inner workings of bacillophobia and what you can do to prepare for your treatment.

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