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Really Embarrassing Phobia Watch

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    I've decided to post this anonymously because I don't want people in the forums to not take me seriously. *

    Ever since I was little, I've had issues with going to the toilet. I would hide whenever I needed to defecate and put off defecating for hours, which caused me a lot of pain. As I got older, I wasn't bothered so much by it and I was able to live my life normally. Anyway, in later years I found it increasingly difficult to comfortably go anywhere that was shared (a public restroom, bathrooms of relatives and friends, school toilets etc.) and I started to break out in a cold sweat whenever I needed to go, so much so that I purposely avoided making plans because the first question I'd ask myself would be "What if I need to sh-t?" I lost college friends that way; they would have sleepovers and drink whilst I stayed at home where I was "safe". Even in a two year relationship, I can count on one hand the number of times I went to the toilet at my then-boyfriend's house. I've had panic attacks, hysterical crying fits and I avoid going out if I can, so that I avoid defecating. I like privacy and the second I pluck up the courage to sit down, I start to think "Everyone knows what you're doing."/"I hope you don't clog it."/"People can probably hear or smell it."

    Fast forward to now, I'm seeing someone who is lovely and I know they wouldn't care if I was to use their bathroom to defecate but it still doesn't give me peace of mind. I put off seeing this person when I can, in case I need to use the toilet. I care for this person a lot and he's a very good, kind person who I enjoy spending time with. I don't want our bond to suffer because of this, but I just can't get past the toilet side of it. He has invited me somewhere nice for the night (I've made excuses each time he has asked because it's a distance away from home) and I'm not worried about anything other than using the "facilities", I can't sleep comfortably because I am consumed with worry. Part of me even considered calling things off just to avoid being put in a situation like that.

    I honestly don't know what to do.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I've decided to post this anonymously because I don't want people in the forums to not take me seriously. *

    Ever since I was little, I've had issues with going to the toilet. I would hide whenever I needed to defecate and put off defecating for hours, which caused me a lot of pain. As I got older, I wasn't bothered so much by it and I was able to live my life normally. Anyway, in later years I found it increasingly difficult to comfortably go anywhere that was shared (a public restroom, bathrooms of relatives and friends, school toilets etc.) and I started to break out in a cold sweat whenever I needed to go, so much so that I purposely avoided making plans because the first question I'd ask myself would be "What if I need to sh-t?" I lost college friends that way; they would have sleepovers and drink whilst I stayed at home where I was "safe". Even in a two year relationship, I can count on one hand the number of times I went to the toilet at my then-boyfriend's house. I've had panic attacks, hysterical crying fits and I avoid going out if I can, so that I avoid defecating. I like privacy and the second I pluck up the courage to sit down, I start to think "Everyone knows what you're doing."/"I hope you don't clog it."/"People can probably hear or smell it."

    Fast forward to now, I'm seeing someone who is lovely and I know they wouldn't care if I was to use their bathroom to defecate but it still doesn't give me peace of mind. I put off seeing this person when I can, in case I need to use the toilet. I care for this person a lot and he's a very good, kind person who I enjoy spending time with. I don't want our bond to suffer because of this, but I just can't get past the toilet side of it. He has invited me somewhere nice for the night (I've made excuses each time he has asked because it's a distance away from home) and I'm not worried about anything other than using the "facilities", I can't sleep comfortably because I am consumed with worry. Part of me even considered calling things off just to avoid being put in a situation like that.

    I honestly don't know what to do.
    This is such a shame :hugs: It's clearly having a big effect on your life, and stopping you do things that you would otherwise enjoy.

    Have you ever spoken to a health professional about this, such as your GP or another health worker? I think CBT could benefit you. As I'm sure you know, CBT on the NHS is quite a wait, but could you possibly afford to go privately?

    There's no point anyone telling you that it's silly, or you just need to get over it, etc etc. You yourself know it's irrational - but that's not the problem. That's why I think CBT could work for you - a way to talk about and analyse your feelings and approach to the situation and start to develop an alternative way of thinking about things to allow you to move forward.
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    I have a phobia of lawnmowers/lawn trimmers and every thing like that. Won't catch me near one ever.
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    Talk to your GP and try to get a referral to a psychologist. This is - without a doubt - a deeply-rooted psychological problem which (as you note) you need to 'get to the bottom of' for the sake of your personal (and potentially, in the future, professional) life. You could also be putting yourself at risk of physical harm.

    All of this is solvable, but not by 16-year-olds on the Internet: by a qualified, professional psychologist. They would be able to help you to understand what's going on in your brain, and help you to 'break down the barriers' that are causing you problems.

    The above is fairly objective, uncontroversial advice. The following is less so, and whether you wish to follow it depends upon how close you are to your partner: tell them. The psychologist will only see you for an hour or so a week at most; your partner will see you continuously, throughout the week. If you're visiting their house especially, they are well-placed to help you. Again, how much you bring them into this depends on how close you are to one another - do you want them to just be aware of it to avoid going on long trips out with you? Do you want them to help you to work through it? Do you want them to not know at all? All (and more besides) are equally valid options - you need to choose the best course of action for you!

    All the Best!
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    #1

    (Original post by Reality Check)
    This is such a shame :hugs: It's clearly having a big effect on your life, and stopping you do things that you would otherwise enjoy.

    Have you ever spoken to a health professional about this, such as your GP or another health worker? I think CBT could benefit you. As I'm sure you know, CBT on the NHS is quite a wait, but could you possibly afford to go privately?

    There's no point anyone telling you that it's silly, or you just need to get over it, etc etc. You yourself know it's irrational - but that's not the problem. That's why I think CBT could work for you - a way to talk about and analyse your feelings and approach to the situation and start to develop an alternative way of thinking about things to allow you to move forward.
    Thank you, I'm currently already in the mental health system and I'm on medication for a different disorder entirely. However, the problem is that I can understand other people going to the toilet and using it to urinate or defecate, that's okay to me. I just can't justify myself doing it because I feel like the whole world is watching. It's terrifying. I appreciate the help, though. I think I might tell my specialist when I go back, I'm just terrified of someone making me go to the toilet to do it. Though, I appreciate your advice. X
    • #1
    • Thread Starter
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    (Original post by SummerStrawberry)
    Talk to your GP and try to get a referral to a psychologist. This is - without a doubt - a deeply-rooted psychological problem which (as you note) you need to 'get to the bottom of' for the sake of your personal (and potentially, in the future, professional) life. You could also be putting yourself at risk of physical harm.

    All of this is solvable, but not by 16-year-olds on the Internet: by a qualified, professional psychologist. They would be able to help you to understand what's going on in your brain, and help you to 'break down the barriers' that are causing you problems.

    The above is fairly objective, uncontroversial advice. The following is less so, and whether you wish to follow it depends upon how close you are to your partner: tell them. The psychologist will only see you for an hour or so a week at most; your partner will see you continuously, throughout the week. If you're visiting their house especially, they are well-placed to help you. Again, how much you bring them into this depends on how close you are to one another - do you want them to just be aware of it to avoid going on long trips out with you? Do you want them to help you to work through it? Do you want them to not know at all? All (and more besides) are equally valid options - you need to choose the best course of action for you!

    All the Best!
    I completely understand that it could have negative physical effects because on occasion, I have forced myself to "go" before a date. The person I'm seeing knows very little of my phobia, we're still in the dating stages and we talk constantly; he is a kind, warm person who I know would try his best to reassure me but I'm terrified that he will think I'm completely insane. The only thing that makes me nervous is needing to defecate, I'm usually a confident person socially. I will talk to my specialist. Again, thank you for taking the time to help. It's much appreciated. X
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    I was in a similar situation. I would outright refuse to use school toilets, go in shops, etc. and it caused some pretty embarrassing and unmentionable "situations" when I was a kid. I can't say I ever crossed the pain divide, but like you I was plagued with worry about being heard and judged. It's definitely a need for privacy for me as well and even in my own home I'll go to the one where fewest people are around and sometimes will wait into the night if I need to go so that there's nobody around altogether. I'm a firm believer in exposing your strengths and hiding your weaknesses and toileting definitely falls into a human weakness category for me.

    Things aren't so bad for me today and it wasn't until I really started going out with my friends to pubs, clubs, etc. (read: forcing myself to go out) that I started getting over it. After a few drinks, anyone is going to need to go and I had to choose the lesser of the two evils at that point. Did I want everyone in the pub judging and staring at me; the barman kicking me out for thinking I've had too much; my friends thinking I'm a complete lightweight etc. or could I tolerate going among drunks who weren't in any state of mind to care in the first place? It wasn't so bad. The thoughts are still in the back of my mind today, but they're not necessarily stopping me altogether.

    Defecating in public? No, that's probably never happening. I did try on NYE in London after an absolutely disgusting dinner that was turning my gut, but the toilets near Trafalgar Square were... pretty horrific at the best of times in both the amount of people and their general state. I think that's the first time I ever had enough courage to even try in years as well. I did manage to eventually get over things with my now ex girlfriend when we were living together, but there was a pretty difficult adjustment period where I'd wait into the night as mentioned above. I don't remember the tipping point where it became okay to do it in her presence. Thinking about it now, I don't think I ever did truly get over it with her in the flat. I can only recall a couple of times when I was ill.

    For what it's worth, I wouldn't judge, but I also understand the thought process. Having said that though, I don't think many people actually would judge. I know that does nothing to change anything, but it's food for thought.
 
 
 
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