The history of germ theory | Big Picture
But there is a group of tiny invaders that can make our bodies sick — they're called germs. Some kids may think that germs are bugs or cooties or other gross . Germaphobia, a pathological fear of germs, bacteria, contamination and infection Is there any relationship to obsessive-compulsive disorder?. Experts say germs may be good for us. to different kinds of germs early in life can keep them from developing illnesses like asthma, allergies.
It took nearly 3 decades to formally acknowledge that infection with Helicobacter pylori is the strongest known risk factor for gastric cancer, which is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide.
She poses the question: Role of Inflammation Gathering data from researchers, the author suggests that the naive immune system may attack healthy brain tissue instead of the invading pathogen.
She links this to mental illness by pointing out that people with schizophrenia seem to suffer profound but indirect damage from inflammation created by their own immune system. This is when one develops hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, and hyper-suicidal tendencies.
To that end, Ms. And she acknowledges that acceptance of microbe-driven mental illness will be hard and slow. Worth the Read One challenge for a writer taking on a controversial and relatively new scientific theory is gathering enough solid information to fill a book with interesting and provocative content. For the most part, Ms. Washington lives up to the task, but there are times when she veers off course into historical field trips that, while entertaining and thoughtful, can feel like filler.
What Are Germs?
To her credit, due to her skillful and energetic writing, even those occasional forays are worth the read. One challenge for a writer taking on a controversial and relatively new scientific theory is gathering enough solid information to fill a book with interesting and provocative content. Washington lives up to the task…. Correlating HIV with mental illness seems a bit of a stretch, but she makes a persuasive case. Hence, prevalence rates for germaphobia specifically may be lower than those for contaminations fears and decontamination compulsions in OCD.
How does germaphobia manifest itself? Germaphobes will typically have washing and cleaning compulsions, and will avoid potential contaminants. Decontamination compulsions can consume the life of affected individuals. Persistent washing can result in red, dry, cracked or irritated skin, discomfort, wrinkles and even skin lesions which are then prone to bleeding and infection. Given germs can make us ill, is there a logical basis for the condition?
The human immune system is therefore resilient against germs.
A Hard Look at the Connection Between Germs and Mental Illness - The ASCO Post
That said, there are reasonable steps we need to take to maintain good health personally and as a community. While there are clearly times and places when we need to be more attuned to maintaining healthy practices with respect to infection such as when handling food, in a hospital, or during specific outbreaks such as flu seasonit is a balancing act.
We should not be alarmed or overly fearful, nor should we go overboard with preventative and reactive measures.
Has it increased in prevalence in recent years? Once these outbreaks subside, so does the reporting of germaphobia. Are there common causes that can trigger it? A range of genetic and psychological factors, as well as life experiences, influence its onset. A predisposition to be sensitive to threat increases the chances of developing germaphobia. Do you think the promotion of antibacterial products can exacerbate incidence of germaphobia? There are instances where antibacterial products are required such as in hospitals and food management and where their reasonable use can be advantageous.
For instance, the increased prevalence of allergies and asthma has been linked to widespread use of antibacterial products by parents.