Germaphobia is one of the conditions that heighten restroom anxiety especially when patrons are dining in a popular eating establishment. The following pet peeves are, but not limited to the overall concern patrons have with public restrooms, whether it’s in a department store, movie theater, sports stadium, office building or interstate rest area.
- Foul odor
- Empty toilet paper dispenser
- Empty soap dispenser
- Wads of paper on the floor
- Empty paper towel dispenser
- Overflowing waste baskets
- Filthy toilets and urinals
- Dirty floors and discolored build up on tile grout
If any of these answers sound remotely familiar to you, guess what? You are not alone. One often wonders about the type of hygienic habits many individuals practice at home when they do not respectfully use public bathrooms as we expect them to or have the common courtesy to avoid leaving a repulsive mess afterward. People should not simply assume that someone else is paid to clean up their mess that looks like a crime scene when they are done.
Fear and anxiety resulting in such phobias work on the mind and sends signals where the imagination envisions invisible germ monsters permeating through the air, creeping from the pores, cracks, and crevices in walls, floors, vents, toilets, and door handles. Such anxiety disorders can mimic traits of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or agoraphobia.
Parcopresis is a type of phobia where sufferers fear sitting down on toilets or being confined to the tightly enclosed space of the bathroom stall, with the inability to defecate in public toilets. Paruresis is a disorder affecting individuals who are unable to urinate regardless of how much discomfort they may be in.
Such symptoms can be stressful and crippling, but there are treatments for these disorders such as hypnosis and hypnotherapy. Business establishments have an obligation to provide and maintain clean restroom hygiene which is a direct reflection on their overall customer service ethic.