Ablutophobia . It is defined as a persistent, abnormal and unwarranted fear of bathing .


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  • 1 Etymology
  • 2 Ablutophobia
  • 3 Cause
  • 4 Manifestation
  • 5 Treatment
  • 6 consequences
  • 7 Sources


The word ablutophobia comes from the Latin Ablutere which means “to wash.”


Ablutophobia is defined as a persistent, abnormal and unjustified emotion of fear facing the situation of washing, bathing or cleaning. Until a few years ago it used to be thought that it was a clear symptom linked to adolescence .

Like so many other phobias , it is a fear that appears in the face of certain situations we face. This fear or fear begins to be detrimental to our life when it limits us to do what we want.

It is located within the phobias known as a ” specific and situational phobia “. It is worth mentioning that it tends to be more common in children and women compared to men. Almost naturally many children do not like to bathe, which is why it is often not diagnosed in children, unless the fears persist for more than 6 months.


As with other types of phobias, the causes of ablutophobia are generally related to a traumatic event that developed in the past tense. This event could have happened directly to the person suffering from the phobia, or to a relative or close person, it could even have been related to a television program or movie.. It is important to identify the moment, since many times the person cannot consciously remember the moment in which the phobia was caused. It should be noted that the phobia could also have developed from the fears that other people experience, it could have been the father or a close relative who suffered from the same fear, and then the person’s reactions were internalized during childhood .

Another possible cause is related to a bad habit during childhood , many children try to avoid bath time , often out of fear, and it is possible that childhood attitudes have been transported into adult life. Complications related to ablutophobia are related to the demands of modern life, which is focused on hygiene and cleanliness , if the person does not take a shower daily, it can have an impure smell and can lead to rejection by most of society , which creates problems at work, at schooland in personal relationships, over time the person may feel isolated and another phobia such as agoraphobia or social phobia may develop .


This phobia can manifest itself in many different ways, ranging from persistent fear of showering and / or bathing, as well as everything related to cleaning, including washing.


The treatment for ablutophobia is similar to that of specific phobias, that is, it is faced through cognitive-behavioral therapy techniques , where the person is led to examine their fear and replace negative internal dialogue with more positive messages , all aimed at overcoming fear.


The most immediate and visible consequence of this phobia is personal hygiene, which in addition to being uncomfortable and causing rejection by the people around the person who suffers from it, can compromise physical health .


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