ablutophobia meaning, symptoms & treatment

Who would not like to have a leisurely bath everyday to freshen up e both the mind and  body. The feel of the fresh cold water sure is a respite for all of us .But unfortunately there are some people who have fear of Bathing.

Ablutophobia is a persistent abnormal and unwarranted   fear of cleaning washing or bathing.  To be more precise this is a phobia of the process by which one becomes clean. It is an intense fear which is seen more in females and children rather than men. Though relatively uncommon it is a serious phobia.

What possibly could be the causative factors for Ablutophobia?
1.Like all phobias any past traumatic event can linked to the act of bathing or washing and   instill this fear in the mind .It is developed by the unconscious mind as a protective mechanism.

2.It can also develop by seeing someone else experience trauma while bathing.

3.An incident that started off small and grew over a period of time. Like if in childhood a person did not recognize the importance of bathing it carries on in adulthood too.

4.Seeing some unpleasant scene in a movie related to bathing can also lead to this phobia.

Symptoms of people with Ablutophobia:
People with this phobia experience a variety of symptoms when in a situation where bathing or cleaning arises.

1.They may feel nauseous ,sweaty , fearful ,dizzy.

2.Experience panics attacks, which can include shortness of breath, high blood pressure, and a rapid heart rate.

3. Feelings of shame are also not uncommon, since many cultures place a heavy value on cleanliness, and refusing to bathe can make someone the target of mockery or teasing, which can increase the severity of the phobia.

4.Inability to think clearly  along with a with a fear of dying.

5.Feeling of indifference from reality.
These symptoms might lead to some severe consequences if the person suffers frequently.

Once a person has been diagnosed as being suffering from Ablutophobia with the help of a medical expert it becomes imperative to start the treatment for the same.

1.The self help NLP or Neuro Linguistic Programming is beneficial in treating this phobia .This helps you to feel more confident and stress free.

2.Educating the person about the pros of bathing versus the cons of not bathing too can have a certain degree of effect on the mental make up.

3.Cognitive Behavioral Technique is also a way of treating this phobia. You will probably be encouraged to examine your fear and replace your negative self-talk with more appropriate messages.
Small homework assignments like taking small baby steps to bathing are very helpful. Like step by step starting by asking the person to start by opening the shower and sitting in the bathroom with it running to get accustomed to it. It also helps the person acknowledge the fact that the running water is not causing him any harm.

4. Systemic Desensitization: In this the patient cleans or bathes under the supervision of a therapist who helps him cope with the emotions.

5.MODELING: In modeling, patients in the presence of a phobic stimulus observe other "models" (e.g. other patients) that have learned to respond through relaxation instead of fear. The patient is encouraged to emulate the successful approaches of others.

6. EXPOSURE TREATMENT,  too has been considered a very effective method whereby the patient is "flooded" or immersed in a fear reflex until the unjustified fear faded away.

7.Hypnotherapy and Talk Therapy too have been beneficial.

8.If a person is extremely anxious then medications are prescribed.

Ablutophobia is highly treatable with the help of a Therapist.

So next time if you come across a friend who has been keeping untidy, smells bad and avoids taking bath for several days, do not label him as a lazy and a dirty person. He or she may need your help. They could be suffering from Ablutophobia.

A stitch in time saves nine .So going by this I hope my article will be beneficial to the readers in recognizing their fear of bathing and persuade them to get help enabling them to enjoy what they missed so far in their lives; A good relaxing shower to cool the nerves.

Authors Brief Bio: Dr.Neelu Khanna is a practicing Dentist and an ex Major of the Indian Armed Forces .She is a national levels Orator with skills of writing poetry. Witty and cheerful she  practices simple living and high thinking.
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