Monday, November 29, 2010

One in Thirty(ish)

Mysophobia, also known as germophobia,  may develop after an individual experiences a traumatic event that links germs or dirt with a negative emotional response. This event can be a first-hand experience or a second-hand experience; mysophobia can also be triggered by a seemingly benign situation such as a scene from a film or television show. The person contracting this disorder may have a pre-existing tendency to worry, and it is likely that anxiety and depression run in the family.  When exposed to germs or dirt, the individual may experience breathlessness, nausea, heart palpitations, or a fear of loss of control. The individual can also feel ill and start shaking if she fears that she is being contaminated. Mysophobic will tend to avoid situations in which they may be exposed to germs.  Mysophobia results in repeated, unreasonable behavior and actions. These can include:
  • excessive washing, for example, repeated hand washing (an action which paradoxically makes the individual more prone to infection)
  • avoiding activities that are deemed unclean by the individual, such as using public bathrooms
  • declaring the desire not to share any personal items, including utensils and toothbrushes as well as food
  • avoiding social situations which include a close group of people or animals
The fear of contamination can become increasingly restrictive for the individual. She may refuse to shake hands, avoid touching doorknobs directly, or use an excessive amount of soap or hand sanitizer.
Mysophobia can have severe social repercussions. Because the individual is terrified of contamination, she will avoid many social situations for fear of coming into contact with germs or dirt. Also, other individuals may not understand the mysophobe's condition, and think of her as paranoid or hostile, leading to alienation and isolation.*

I'm pretty tired.  Not exhausted, but tired.  Today went really well!  I've jumped right into this job, and although I'm still picking up the little things, I am pretty satisfied with how it's all turned out.  I even felt, briefly, like I had gone back in time to when I was working three jobs in downtown Boulder.  I got a couple of sushi rolls from Hapa for dinner, which were glorious, and the hostess was a girl I used to work there with and she gave me a 50% discount!  It was great talking to her again.

My older sister has called home this evening to tell us that somehow, magically, the restraining order her ex-husband had on her has been lifted and he's been text messaging her.  We are trying to anticipate all the possibilities for this happening, so that we can be prepared in case it's some kind of mean trick.  I doubt that it is, but my suggestion was that she get in touch with bother her lawyer and a mediator as soon as possible just to be on the safe side.

I've got work again tomorrow, and I didn't sleep well last night for thinking and preparing for my first day at the desk solo.  I'm going to start getting ready for tomorrow and get to bed before it's too late in the evening.  5am comes pretty fast!

*"Mysophobia." Epigee Resource. Web. 29 Nov. 2010. <>.

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