Jesse, a high school senior who’s been homeschooled since the sixth grade says, like his mom, Jeanine, he has a huge fear of germs, and especially of contracting a stomach bug.

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“It’s difficult to live with this – I’m very isolated.” He says he doesn’t go outside if he doesn’t have to and stays in touch with his friends via telephone.

Jesse says like his mother, he has routines to keep himself from getting sick, like washing his hands and cleaning surfaces with disinfectant sprays and wipes. Jesse says he knows it’s his mom who really suffers, however. “When she gets stressed, the whole family gets stressed – it’s like a chain reaction.”

Jesse says he wonders whether his anxiety is “a genetic thing – or if it’s a learned behavior from being around it so long.” He says he knows he needs help. “My life would be so much nicer if I could just get rid of this.”

Is there help for Jesse and his family to overcome their anxiety about germs?

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