Home » Ask the Therapist » Disgusted When Touching Others

Disgusted When Touching Others

Asked by on with 1 answer:

I feel disgusted when I touch other people or when other people touch me.

This all started at age 15 when I would feel “dirty” whenever I shook someone‚Äôs hand, I would immediately use hand sanitizer to clean my hand. At a later age this has now developed into a state where I feel like I need a hot shower if I even bump into anyone, it has made my social life non-existent. So based on this I have two questions:

1) What am I suffering from?
2) What can I do to get rid of it?

It has gotten to a point that I wont even leave my apartment in fear someone will accidentally touch me. (From Sweden)

Disgusted When Touching Others

Answered by on -


Thank you for your important question. I certainly couldn’t make accurate diagnosis — yet I can’t say your behavior sounds compulsive. The fact that it is so intense and pervasive suggests you may want a consult with the psychiatrist. He or she can ask more in-depth questions to narrow down the symptoms and offer a diagnosis.

I appreciate the courage it takes to acknowledge this and seek help.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Disgusted When Touching Others

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Disgusted When Touching Others. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 20, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.