Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
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Obsessing Over Germs

Tuesday, 03 Jan 2012 08:14 AM


Question: My wife drives me crazy, constantly cleaning surfaces she claims have germs. She is particularly worried about door knobs, the phones, and faucet handles. I think she’s being paranoid, but she says that disinfecting these surfaces will prevent colds and flu. What do you think?
Dr. Hibberd's Answer:
Your wife may be suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) to behave like this. OCD often centers on themes, such as a fear of getting contaminated by germs.
Your doctor may suggest cognitive behavioral therapy that involves retraining thought patterns and routines so that such compulsive behaviors are no longer necessary. He may also recommend medications that can help control the obsessions and compulsions of OCD.



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