Ablutophobia, the uncontrollable fear of washing: what it is, causes and symptoms

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Elia Tabuenca García
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Have you ever heard of ablutophobia? It is about the uncontrollable fear of washing, let's find out what it is, causes and symptoms

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If taking a bath or shower gives you unexplained distress and strong repulsion, you may be suffering from ablutofobia, or the fear of washing.





Apparently children and women tend to suffer from it more than men, but fortunately it is a very rare phobia. Let's find out what it is, what are the causes and the main symptoms.

Index

Ablutophobia: what it is

 

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Ablutophobia, a term deriving from the Latin "abluere" (wash) and the Greek "φόβος" (fear, panic), indicates the uncontrollable fear of washing, and therefore to shower, bathe or in some cases even wash your hands before meals. It should not be confused with hydrophobia, or the fear of water and liquids in general, which usually manifests itself as a symptom of anger.

Although not very common, ablutophobia is decidedly disabling because it interferes, for obvious reasons, with normal daily activities. In fact, washing regularly is essential for hygiene and avoiding doing it for long periods can compromise relationships with the outside world, inducing people who suffer from it to isolate themselves and manifest depressive problems.

Ablutofobia: cause

 

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It is believed that the causes can often be traced back to traumatic events (for example sexual abuse that took place at the time of the bath) experienced firsthand by the sufferer. However, it can also develop after learning of a tragic or dangerous event that happened to other people while they were washing themselves.



There are those who believe that genetic, environmental factors and individual development experiences can also contribute, highlights MedicalNewsToday.

Ablutophobia: symptoms

 

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The symptoms of ablutophobia, as Healthline explains, can be many, here are some of the main ones:

  • rapid heartbeat
  • breathing difficulties
  • panic attacks
  • dizziness
  • tremors
  • nausea
  • anxiety and distress
  • fear of fainting and losing control

Furthermore, people who suffer from it tend to avoid coming into contact with water, not only at the moment of the actual bath, but also simply for washing their hands.


Anyone suffering from ablutophobia should consult a professional who can recommend the best therapy to deal with the disorder.


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Other unusual phobias:

  • Tripophobia

  • Pediophobia

  • Somniphobia

  • Xanthophobia

  • Kenophobia

  • Koumpounophobia

  • Nomophobia

 

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