Celebrities And Mysophobia

Have you ever watched Monk, the television show? For many of us, the appeal of the show is how odd Mr. Monk behaves. The way he handles things and the way he acts are almost funny, because he seems so aloof. The truth though is the character is suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and one of the subconditions of that is mysophobia.

Mysophobia is a fear of dirt and germs. As you know dirt is very, well… dirty, it has many germs and bacteria and that is one of the reasons people with mysophobia are so afraid of it.

In real life the actor that plays Monk is not a mysophobe, however there are quite a few celebrities that have been reported as suffered from this condition. Some of these might come as a shock, while others are more well-known.

Howie Mandel – Have you seen Deal or No Deal? Howie Mandel is the likable host who talks the contestants through choosing briefcases worth varying dollar amounts, and deciding whether to make a deal with the banker or to keep going. While he is very nice to all of the contestants, you will notice he doesn’t shake any of their hands, preferring the less objectionable (to him) “knuckle bump”. He is also afraid of germs which is a part of being mysophobic.

Cameron Diaz – Some might think Cameron Diaz is mysophobic as well because she has been quoted as spending a lot of time cleaning and avoiding other people’s germs. Part of avoiding other’s germs is avoiding dirt too. By cleaning, people feel like they have some kind of control over their problem. Cameron for instance will also wash her hands many times a day and use her elbow to open doors instead of her hands. She once said “I’m not into other people’s fluids unless I know them really well.” Most people are not into other peoples fluids, however most people have not crossed the line into mysophobia either.

Denise Richards – It has been reported that Denise is so afraid of getting sick she often stays away from anything that can give her germs. She travels carrying a sick bag full of medication, as well as hand sanitizer and sanitizing sprays. She even uses her own blanket on airplanes and an antibacterial nose ointment to keep germs out. The obsession isn’t anything she enjoys either, as she was quoted as saying she is sick of using the hand sanitizer after shaking hands with everyone, but because of her condition she will likely continue to do all of these things. With problems associated with OCD one often has very few options, but treatment can help.

You can imagine how many germs and bacteria celebrities come across in their work because of all of the traveling they do, and how many people they come in contact with. However the practices of these people are more extreme than others because of their fears of germs. Perhaps their profession contributes, or exacerbates the problem; at the same time it makes it harder to avoid the very thing they are afraid of.


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