What is ablutophobia?
- Jennifer Baxt, LMFT, LMHC
What is ablutophobia? With so many different phobias out there, it will come as little surprise that there is a phobia that refers to people who are afraid to bathe, or wash. It might seem strange, but ablutophobia is a real phobia that people do suffer from. Symptoms that can occur in people suffering this type of phobia are not too unlike those suffered from individuals who suffer from other types of phobias. Common symptoms include breathlessness, anxiety, nervousness, and dizziness. There are others that people can exhibit, but these ones are the more probable ones for this phobia.
What causes ablutophobia? While it can occasionally come about from no apparent cause at first, more often than not ablutophobia is usually caused by a traumatic experience the person had when they were younger. In some cases, the person may even have forgotten about the experience, resulting in their inability to tell the therapist or their counselor why they might be afraid to bathe or wash themselves. It is just a fear they have had for just about as long as they can remember. Sometimes, the therapist will use hypnosis, or some other method, to try and find out what it was that triggered the phobia. Once they have determined the cause, the therapist can then work with the patient to overcome the phobia.
How is ablutophobia cured? Perhaps cured isnt the right term. There are treatments available for people suffering from this psychological issue who have decided to seek out help. If someone believes they might be suffering ablutophobia, there are online therapists available to answer questions about the condition and who can maybe even give some advice that can be of use. Telephone therapy is also available, but consulting a counselor or therapist in person is probably the best thing to do if the patient wants to get a proper diagnosis and the right treatment. Like many other phobias, this condition is treatable, either through medicinal therapy or a medicine-free therapy. It depends on how serious the phobia is. For some individuals, it just might be something that can cause a light anxiety the person might occasionally experience, for others it can cause such a fear in them that they cant even consider entering the shower.
Ablutophobia is nothing to be ashamed of. In most cases, it is caused by an earlier incident that happened to the person and a therapist can help the patient deal with the issue. Usually, dealing with the issue can help the patient deal with their phobia resulting in them not being a victim to it anymore. In more serious cases, even though the issue might be addressed and dealt with, the patient may need subsequent therapy in order to get over their fear of the bathing or washing themselves. Not getting treatment for this phobia can affect a persons personal life in that it might drive friends away, or even make it more difficult to have more personal and intimate relationships. Consulting a therapist and getting the right treatment for it means working to get a better life for the person suffering ablutophobia.