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Ablutophobia-fear of bathing

Updated on May 6, 2008

As strange as it may seem, there are actually people in the world that are afraid of bathing, or Ablutophobia. This fear has been linked to mostly women and/or kids. When someone has Ablutophobia, it basically implies that the individual has associated bathing with some type of "Learned response" that brings panic attack symptoms.

There are different incidents that have been linked to bring on Ablutophobia and other phobias.

•· An isolated disturbing incident- where a stressful situation and the effects from it cause a person to panic and shun a situation that would bring about the same stress

•· Disturbing experiences that may have happen to someone else.

•· An incident that started off small and grew over time; Can happen over a time frame. For example, during childhood if the person didn't see the importance of bathing then it's carried on to adulthood

One would think that a person with Ablutophobia would be more inclined to health issues and be embarrassment by their hygiene. Bathing is a necessity. I couldn't imagine all the bacterial, germs and filth that would linger on the body of someone with Ablutophobia.


What would you do?

Would you leave your mate if he/she wouldn't bathe? I was reading an advice column when I came across a letter from a lady that lived with her boyfriend. She talks very positive about him, to begin with. She tells of how they are both in their late 20s and how much they are in love. She goes on to say they have great communication and they have an amazing time together. Everything sounds good except one major factor, he wasn't a regular bather. His bathing schedule consists of only once a month. I was able to visualize this guy as I continued reading the column. She described the sheet on the side of his bed and the headboard, "stained with body oil". She even gave the description of the sheet as looking similar to a "used greasy French fries bag". The letter continues as she states that she has tried to talk to him on several occasions, both in a nice way and in an angry way about this. She asks the advice column, what she should do.

Is there help?

The answer from the columnist was that maybe he is "suffering from ablutophobia". Since I have never heard of this condition, I started researching to find out additional information about it. It's unfortunately a common condition. There is one particular website that gives detailed information about Ablutophobia and the cures for it. Please, if you know anyone that may have this condition please direct them to click here, for additional information. I found this website very helpful in providing cures, assessments and understanding of what brought about the phobia.

Take the test. Could you have a Ablutophobia?


There is an assessment test available on the website to help determine if your condition is Ablutophobia. If you know anyone that has a body odor or doesn't look clean and you don't know how to tell that person, send them to this website.


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      janice, lisa, and sarah 8 years ago

      thanks for this article! for speech and drama, our group had to research this topic about phobias, and it helped a great deal! very interesting articles, we'd like to add! good job! so once again, thanks a lot!

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      Jade 9 years ago

      Thank you so much for posting this article. For years I just thought my aversion to cleaning was something I would grow out of. My personal hygeine is fine, in fact I love taking long showers and baths, but when it comes to picking up after myself, that's an entirely different matter. Its affecting my relationship with my boyfriend of a year and a half, and now I know, based on the test link you gave that I'm severely ablutophobic, and now that I know I can take the proper steps to do something about it. Thanks you soooo much!