being a germaphobe can be an ocd symptom

Many people openly admit to being germaphobes. Although not an actual medical term, most people agree that a germaphobe is someone who is preoccupied or even obsessed with cleanliness, germs, and infectious diseases. While being a germaphobe does not necessarily mean that you have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), an obsession with sanitation, cleanliness, and germs along with compulsive behavior around washing or disinfection may signal a deeper problem.

Worries about contamination by germs and/or catching infectious diseases are common in our society. You need to look no further than the presence of hand sanitizer dispensers in public spaces or the barrage of advertisements for antibacterial products to realize that our society is, to some extent, preoccupied with germs.

That said, on a day-to-day basis, most people do not spend more than a few moments, if that, worrying about their hands being contaminated after touching the doorknob in an office building, pressing a button in an elevator or tying a loose shoelace after being in a public restroom. For most, if thoughts of contamination cross the mind, a common sense approach of washing or sanitizing their hands for a few moments sets the mind at ease and they get on with their day.