I Worry I Smell Bad All The Time Anxiety COVID


Even if you account for viruses and your own standard scent perception, all sorts of things can affect both how you smell and how you perceive it. Anxiety can change your sweat in a bad way and can alter your smell perception to make benign odors smell worse. So can paranoia, and the fixated thinking common with conditions like OCD or dysmorphia can be smell-specific, too — there are cases of olfactory reference syndrome (ORS), whereby sufferers are so convinced they stink that they cannot leave their homes, despite having no bad scent at all. On top of that, fatigue (brought on by anything from COVID to malaise to a whole range of chronic illnesses and mental health conditions) can make it harder to wash as often as you once did (even if the change is only minimal). Likewise, not washing as frequently can be a response to trauma or can be tied up in sensory issues. And, of course, we are on the edge of a summer heatwave.



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