What does Mysophobia mean?

Mysophobia is a pathologically induced terror from dirt, germs and uncleanliness in general.

A synonym for the condition is germophobia.

A “mysophobic” person is triggered by dirt on their hands, muck, and any opportunity for contaminants to enter their home, or their private sphere.

People with the condition are compulsively washing their hands, trying to avoid places where they might get contaminated and are extremely wary of getting sick.

“Mysophobia” and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can be misdiagnosed as each other or they could be appearing in a patient hand in hand.


What's the origin of Mysophobia?

The term “mysophobia” was first coined by William A. Hammond in 1879, when an obsessive-compulsive disorder study subject was compulsively washing their hands.

The word is comprised of two Greek terms; mysos which means uncleanliness and –phobia which is the word for fear from something or someone.

Spread & Usage

How did Mysophobia spread?

“Mysophobia” is a condition that is widely prevalent across the globe and plenty of people are diagnosed with it, alongside with OCD.

The term was first defined on Urban Dictionary in 2011.

External resources

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