Handwashing Compulsion

Handwashing compulsion is experienced the uncontrollable desire to wash one’s hands due to the anxiety about, or fear of, dirt and germs. This is one of the most common symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Those with this condition often repeatedly wash their hands until they get raw or even bleed. They may also follow a strict and time-consuming procedure in washing their hands such as washing the fingers individually for 60 seconds each and repeating the same process three times. Understandably, people with handwashing compulsion significantly avoid shaking others’ hands, holding door knobs, or using public utilities.

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