Is society to blame for a fear of germs and dirt?

Discussion in 'Fear of Germs / Dirt' started by Admin, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member

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    Every day seems to bring a different warning about infections and the dangers of germs and dirt which many people believe has contributed to the growing number of people suffering from a phobia of germs and dirt. Sometimes this is mistakenly characterised as OCD but in reality it is a genuine fear of germs and dirt with perhaps an element of OCD.

    Do you think the mass media and society today is partly to blame for the ever-increasing number of phobias? Do the scaremongering headlines tip some potential phobia sufferers over the edge into a full-blown phobia?
     
  2. GH0STP03T

    GH0STP03T Member

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    Mass media hysteria preys upon people's emotions to make them fearful of almost anything. I definitely agree that 'headlines tip some potential phobia sufferers over the edge' - all to sell papers or to get people to buy into a new product. It's completely wrong.
     
  3. Jade

    Jade Member

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    I think that knowledge of illnesses caused by germs plays a part in the phobia of dirt and germs. We are forever hearing stories on the news about the outcomes of germs and the complications they can cause such as MRSA in hospitals etc.
    If we look back to history-19th century to be specific when we first started gaining a basic knowledge of the existence of germs and the effects of them it made us more aware. This started to cause a public occupation with germs which borderlined on paranoia,many people were terribly afraid and some took extreme steps to avoid contact with germs and bacteria.

    I think this is still applicable today.
     
  4. Mark

    Mark Active Member

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    I watched a programme last week about antibiotics which suggested more and more germs and bacteria are becoming immune to the strongest antibiotics on the market. While many would suggest germs and bacteria are growing and developing, personally I think it is more to do with an obsession with cleanliness that is leading us into a very difficult situation. The fact remains that germs and dirt occur in our everyday life, whether we like it or not, but normally we are able to develop our immune system to fight these.

    Has over use of antibiotics put us in this position?
     
  5. GH0STP03T

    GH0STP03T Member

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    I definitely believe that our unhealthy aversion towards dirt has lead us down a road that will make it even harder for future generations. The very thought of letting children play in mud (for example) would send shivers down the spines of some people, out of the fear of them contracting germs and bacteria. Our immune systems are there for a reason, to fight these harmful bacteria and to develop over time.
     
  6. Jade

    Jade Member

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    I think it could be Mark. We can sometimes take tablets for the slightest of problems. Think of how many people will pop some paracetamol for a mild headache. I know this differs from antibiotics but it’s a good example to how our body starts to adapt to what we are putting into it. If you take paracetamol or aspirin regularly for mild pains you find that you start to become desensitized to the effects, so when you do find yourself in a lot of pain and reach for these they don’t work as well as they should. It’s actually quite a worrying problem when you apply this to antibiotics. If we are getting ourselves down to the doctors for antibiotics for a heavy cold or flu instead of letting our body fight the germs if a more serious illness arose then perhaps are body shouldn’t take to the antibiotics as well as it should because it has become so used to the treatment the effect isn't as great.
     
  7. Jade

    Jade Member

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    I think the accurate point you have just made is quite depressing really and it really does embody what the children of today and of the feature will become. Children are already choosing to sit on their technology instead of going out and playing, getting a little dirty and using their imagination to think up of a game rather than playing it on some tablet or laptop. In regards to the immune system children especially are used to being exposed to germs and illnesses it’s all part of childhood and halting this by being over cautious and protective over germs can’t be good and may result in a weakened immune system when the child grows up.
    Think of chicken pox and how they are so much more dangerous if you develop them as an adult because you didn’t have them as a child.
     
  8. Jade

    Jade Member

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    I may have got a little side tracked in my last post so would like to add something. For people who do suffer from fear of germs I think what we have been discussing in these posts should be considered. We do need germs and exposures to them may do more good than harm. Think of life saving injections. The TB jab for example is made from a weakened concentrate of a bacteria closely related to Tuberculosis. Keeping yourself and your environment clean is of course important but going to extreme measures to keep yourself away from germs can be detrimental in the long run.
     

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