Germ Phobia Treatments: Helping You Overcome Your Fear
Phobias tend to be unreasonable or excessive compared to standard fears. This obsession may be from either a traumatic childhood event or a chemical imbalance. Germ phobia may be mild to severe, from just a general paranoia of germs to looking for them and fearing them constantly in every place, eventually not wanting to leave the house.
Germ phobia, in part stems from the excessive need to be 100% certain about our safety. However, the person needs to accept that uncertainty is part of life. A person needs to review how this fear of germs interferes with the things that the individual wants to accomplish in life, relationships, and arrive to a reasonable deal.
Where does germaphobia stem from?
Germs exist everywhere and for the most part they even help our immune system. Germaphobia is an exaggerated fear of contamination by germs, usually it is associated with OCD. As such, fear of contamination is characterized by intrusive thoughts of contamination and catastrophic consequences such as illness or death. These anxiety provoking thoughts about germ contamination lead to excessive measures to get rid of this anxiety by compulsive washing, disinfecting or avoidance.
Some germaphobia examples are entering medical offices or coming in contact, even if remote, with bodily secretions such as saliva, sweat, faeces, sperm or urine. Someone that has germaphobia may avoid social situations such as use of public bathrooms, medical procedures, being intimate with a spouse, eating in restaurants, staying in hotels and traveling by airplanes.
Germaphobia tends to be a subtype of OCD and like other OCD subtypes (checkers, repeaters, pure obsessionals, etc) it is thought to be a neurobehavioral disorder caused by multiple factors. One cause appears to be neurochemical. The imbalance in the brain of neurochemical substances such as serotonin might be involved; another cause might be a communication problem between different brain areas (e.g. frontal cortex and deeper structures of the brain and the amygdala).
Finally, another important cause is a behavioural and learning component, lying most importantly in the relationship between the distress caused by thoughts of danger relating to germs and the decrease of anxiety by excessive washing or use of disinfectants such as alcohol and soaps. The repetitive habit of getting rid of the anxiety by avoidance or washing becomes inherently associated with relief and never allows the person to realize that life would go on without the ritual of avoidance or washing.
The emotional and psychological symptoms of germaphobia include:
The behavioural symptoms of germaphobia include:
While these repeated actions might reduce the risk of contamination, they can be all-consuming, making it difficult to focus on anything else.
The physical symptoms of germaphobia are similar to those of other anxiety disorders and can occur during both thoughts of germs and situations that involve germs.They include:
Children who have a fear of germs can also experience the symptoms listed above. Depending on their age, they may experience additional symptoms, such as:
It makes sense to take precautions to avoid common illnesses, such as colds and the flu.
In fact, it’s a good idea to take certain steps to lower your risk of contracting a contagious illness and potentially passing it on to others: E.g. Getting a seasonal flu shot and washing your hands on a regular basis.
Concern for germs becomes unhealthy when the amount of distress it causes outweighs the distress it prevents. There is only so much you can do to avoid germs.
Signs that your fear of germs is harmful to you and that you may need help.
In all cases seek help from a doctor or therapist. Luckily, like any phobia, there are treatments.
Serotonin, a brain neurotransmitter, is responsible for mood, anxiety and depression. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s) are medications that block the re-absorption of serotonin. When the reuptake of serotonin is inhibited, there is a reduction in anxiety, depression and an overall improvement in mood. SSRI’s do take several weeks before they are completely effective or before results are noticed by the person taking the medication.
SHAW Services and the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Update
By now you may have read and heard enough about the virus via the media, work or other avenues and some of you may have questions or concerns of how this affects your regular treatment regime. So here are a few points regarding SHAW services and what is happening in clinic.
Great news! Business as usual
There are no changes to hours or services offered.
The fact that I am the only therapist means that your chance of contracting COVID-19 in clinic is minimal. The clinic has and will continue to maintain rigid hygiene standards. As always I request clients do not attend clinic when unwell, so as long as you are not infected by the virus, have not travelled overseas recently and quarantined for 14 days, then feel free to come and get a Massage, Reflexology or Reiki.
Reduce Stress & Anxiety caused by COVID-19 with Reiki
If you are stressed and anxious about COVID-19 and its impact on your life and family members, then I highly recommend you book in for a Reiki to relax your mind and calm your nerves. Stress reduces your immune system and with the virus around and winter coming, you will want your immunity in top shape. For further information on Reiki go to the Services tab on the SHAW website.
Reflexology – The Natural Immune Booster
One way to reduce the effects of any flu or virus is to boost your immune system. Boost your immune system the natural way; through Reflexology. Both relaxing and soothing, Reflexology stimulates your Endocrine system, enhancing your immune system and assist reduce flu-like symptoms. For further information on Reflexology go to the Services tab on the SHAW website.
I would like to take this opportunity and thank you for your business and for entrusting me with your health during 2019.
The clinic will close at 12pm on Monday December 23rd and re-open on Monday January 13th 2020 at 2pm.
I wish you and your family a safe, joyous and healthy festive season and look forward to being of service to you in 2020.
Please be advised that after several years of using Twitter as a Social Media platform, it has been decided that it no longer suits our business model and is now deactivated
Thank you for those who followed us at #spectrumHW during these past years.
You can still find us on Facebook, LinkedIn and of course online.
Reducing Elbow Tendinopathy and Related Conditions using a Vertical Mouse
Still using your old outdated and potentially harmful horizontal, flat mouse? If you spend hours at a computer and don’t have a vertical mouse, the likelihood of getting Carpel Tunnel and Elbow Tendinopathy is greatly increased; that’s if you don’t already have those conditions.
While the old ergonomically outdated horizontal mouse still dominates the market, the vertical mouse is becoming a common sight on computer desks at home and in the workplace and needs to become the norm.
Rather than the traditional horizontal position, the vertical mouse body and buttons sit at an angle, keeping your wrist and forearm in a more natural and neutral position, reducing rotation and strain of the forearm muscles.
The vertical mouse position varies according to manufacturer, however studies with regard to the design of the computer mouse by Professor Han Ming Chen of National Taiwan University and Professor Snijders of Erasamus University Medical Centre demonstrate that the truly neutral hand position of an ergonomic mouse is not vertical but slanted at around 60°.
If you suffer from elbow, wrist or finger pain for whatever reason and spend time at a computer, than purchase a vertical mouse today. Increasing mouse height and angling of the mouse can improve wrist posture without negatively affecting performance.
Things to look for when buying your vertical mouse
• Angle of the mouse: 50°- 90°
• Left hand & Right hand
• Features – wired or wireless
• Hand size
• Brands: As mentioned there are multiple brands, though Logitech is most often sold in Australia.
• Cost: A vertical mouse can be costly; fortunately you can buy the reputable OJ. Burrows Ergonomic Vertical Wireless Mouse for $29.00 at Officeworks.
• When selecting your vertical mouse, if you can, try before you buy!
For further information search the web. Look at the following sites for starters: