Ablutophobia is the persistent and abnormal fear of bathing and tends to be more common in children and females, than males. It is a situational specific phobia and comes from the Latin word Ablutere which means “to wash off”.
- Intense fear or anxiety
- Avoidance of bathing or washing
- Panic attacks
- Tantrums if children, clinging and crying
The phobia is normally caused by a negative experience that involved bathing.
Sometimes it can be caused by genetics and is more likely to happen if you have a parent that had it. Sometimes changes in the brain or functioning including age or injury.
Cognitive therapy is usually a treatment which will help the patient by meeting and talking on a regular basis. Thought patterns are explored the patient realizes that the initial fears were not grounded and that they were in no real or imminent danger.
Exposure therapy involves the patient following a series of steps that bring the patient nearer to the fear.
Medication anti-anxiety drugs such as benzodiapines or anti- depressants may be prescribed.
Failing to wash can lead to problems at work or school. This can lead to isolation and develop social phobia. In some cases agoraphobia. The person is more likely to develop body image disorders.
Personal hygiene is a first step towards avoiding illness. Allowing dirt and bacteria to remain on your skin and hair for long periods of time can elevate your risk of both common and rare diseases.
This kind of phobia is nearly impossible to overcome on your own.
Seeking medical help is important x