Firstly it’s imperative for me to stress that this isn’t a phobia of pooping more than it is a phobia of using public rest-rooms for either bowel or bladder relief. As someone who personally suffers from this, I know how frustrating it can be to not be able to fulfill such a simple desire when you really need to. The issue we are referring to is know as either shy bladder syndrome or shy bowel syndrome and it effects a lot more people than we realize. Too little research has been done about this syndrome or anxiety for us to really know exactly what causes it – but many recommend therapy as a good form of treatment or as a means of coming to grips with the issue. While you may feel comfortable using your own toilet or that of a close friend or family members, the idea of a public lavatory or urinal is simply too much to bare. This may be because you feel shy about making noises or smells while you’re in their or simply don’t like the idea of public toilets (maybe other people, germs, sights and smells cause you anxiety too). At my office, the men spend a lot of time in the public restrooms while the women spend less than a minute. If they spend more than a minute, people will start to wonder, but when the guys leave the restroom, everyone has to hold their breath for a good 10 minutes.
Either way, the worst thing that may result from this phobia is excess abdominal pain caused by ‘holding it in too long’ which can have serious health ramifications or letting it go when you don’t want to. I’ve found that you can manage pretty well (given that you don’t eat to much or drink too much coffee over the course of the day you can generally avoid the issue. In those times where it’s simply unavoidable, I would recommend using a toilet that is as clean and as quiet as possible to make it less stressful for yourself. I’d also recommend using a newspaper or your phone while you’re on the loo to help take you attention away from your surroundings or to create a psychological barrier between you and the rest of the bathroom. This may help you feel more centered and could ease the process along more smoothly. Otherwise, I would simply recommend using the loo before you leave the home and eating light so as to avoid the problem as often as possible.
I wonder if people with a poop phobia are able to change their own child’s diapers. I guess not according to the original definition. I don’t have children yet, so I’m not sure how I’m going to handle it. According to the definition of poop phobia, a person would be afraid to change their child’s diaper in public, but is that the case. Everyone poops, so there’s no reason to be ashamed of it.
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