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Blog - Phobias

NO MORE fear of dirt and uncleanliness with vr

By Daniel Andreev, Chief Product Officer at PsyTech VR
September 30, 2022



Extreme care for cleanliness, constant disinfection of door handles and switches, frequent and prolonged hand washing, exceptional unpacking of products from the store, turning into a real quest - this is an incomplete list of what enters a person's life who has mysophobia.
Maintaining hygiene and taking care of neatness is the norm for a civilized person, but only as long as it does not become a pathological addiction.
Misophobia arises from the fear of pollution or infection and increased attention to cleanliness.

What is mysophobia

What is mysophobia

Scientist William A. Hammond introduced the concept of "mysophobia" in 1879. According to him, this is an obsessive state of painful fear of dirt and uncleanliness, manifested by constant washing of hands. This action gives the person with mysophobia a sense of control over the situation; it calms and brings temporary relief. For such an occupation, he thinks only of the need to have clean hands. Pathological disgust of dirty and, according to patients, dangerous objects and places leads to inadequate precautions.
Fear of germs is another type of phobia - germophobia. Having this type of phobia, even knowledge about the benefits of certain types of microorganisms does not reduce their state of anxiety and anxiety. This variant of the phobic disorder forms a pathological connection between a feeling of insecurity, and loss of control, with the need to protect one's health and life from the impending threat of infection.
A simple scheme for developing mysophobia looks like a chain of interrelated factors. Against the background of stress and the anxiety and anxiety associated with it, there is a desire to find a source in the external environment that brings discomfort and danger. A growing neurosis significantly changes a person's behavior, up to losing work and friends and the final self-isolation from the outside world.

The reasons

The reasons

More often mysophobia develops in adolescence when the hormonal background is unstable. At the same time, the natural sensitivity, suspiciousness, indecision, conscientiousness, pedantry, and emotionality of a teenager become especially aggravated, get hyper-manifestations, and, combined with stress, provoke the occurrence of obsessive-compulsive disorder and its particular forms - the diseases in question.
There is always a reason for the appearance of any phobic disorders.
Manifestations like mysophobia may result from the basic fear of uncertainty when facing unsanitary conditions, sluggish schizophrenia, epilepsy, or traumatic brain injury.
- childhood traumatic circumstances associated with diseases;
- acquired imitative behavior;
- media information about infections with infectious diseases and their spread;
- more comprehensive introduction of hygiene products and obsessive promotion of new and improved cleaning and disinfection products.

Often the cult of a healthy lifestyle is perceived by suggestible and anxious individuals as the need for action to achieve the image of an ideal person imposed by society. Against this background, other phobias may arise, for example, hypochondria - over-concern with one's health.
Have you ever noticed such patterns of behavior in yourself?

  • excessive disgust for dirt, fear of contact with contaminated objects;
  • most activities during the day are associated with washing, cleaning, and disinfecting the body and - - surrounding objects;
  • cleansing rituals that take more than an hour;
  • short-term sedation after rituals and an increase in anxiety after a short time;
  • uncontrollability of the desire for purity, even with a complete understanding of the exaggeration of the fear of pollution;
  • desire to avoid places perceived as containing too many microbes;
  • refusal to exchange personal belongings;
  • avoidance of physical contact with other persons or other people's objects;
  • fear of infection of children;
  • avoidance of large crowds of people;
  • limit contact with animals.

It's time to start living a new life!

It's time to start living a new life!

  1. Are you tired of stress and anxiety in places with high pollution levels and the threat of infection, such as hospitals or public toilets?
  2. Do you experience sweating, tachycardia, weakness, dizziness, an urge to run, do something urgently, or panic attacks?
  3. Are you aware of the destructiveness of your behavior and perceived criticism from the outside as a misunderstanding and rejection of you as a person, which leads to a deterioration in relations with the people around you?

Experience virtual mysophobia training with PsyTech VR in the comfort of your home! Also available for mental health specialists using the VR telemedicine system through the provider's platform.
We create super-realistic VR environments that help transfer you to the authentic situation of facing real-life fear in virtual reality. Have a look at our 3D design of exposure training:
Everything is almost like in life; we recreate real scenes and situations where you can face mysophobia and give you control over VR scenarios to immerse in the phobia. Practicing with virtual reality glasses creates a safe environment for learning, helps users get used to the atmosphere of unsanitary conditions, get comfortable with uncleanliness, and become more confident and stress-resistant in real-life situations.
You can face dirt, trash, pollution, and garbage anywhere in your daily life, but fears and phobias can vanish from your life if you start using special training techniques.

Our team has developed a unique space in virtual reality, which users can access in a VR headset (with Meta Quest), where you find themselves in various virtual locations:
  • in a dirty underpass
  • in a cafe with unsanitary conditions
  • in a toilet that is full of garbage, rats, and cockroaches
  • etc.

As we've already mentioned in previous articles, phobias are built with the "leader of the fear" technic, when the difficulty arises from the first to the last level in VR. This method helps to adapt fluidly and avoid possible heart attacks when facing the most challenging scenarios.
The realism of VR design and the ability to interact with virtual environments helps to immerse the user in the best way so that you won't feel the difference between PsyTech and the natural world!
You can train in VR using self-guiding courses from the comfort of your home


with a specialist - the doctor will have access to your training in real-time and guide you through all the training!
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Daniil Andreev
CPO at PsyTech VR

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