Skip to comments.Four million Brits suffer from toilet phobia
Posted on 11/11/2006 4:54:47 AM PST by MadIvan
At least four million Britons suffer from debilitating toilet phobias and most are too embarrassed to seek help, the National Phobics Society (NPS) said.
The NPS, which works with people affected by anxiety disorders, has classified the "secret" problem of toilet phobia as an anxiety condition in its own right and is launching a new campaign to help sufferers.
Toilet phobias range from a mild dislike of public loos to obsessions where sufferers refuse to leave their homes or even undergo potentially life-saving medical examinations.
The NPS said extreme sufferers are often unable to leave their homes, deny themselves fluids which can harm their kidneys, or take drugs to prevent any perceived or real "accidents."
The organisation argues the medical profession needs educating about toilet phobia in order to encourage sufferers to come forward and hopes its new campaign will go some way to tackling the issue.
The NPS believes that the stigma surrounding the phobia means that many people refuse to admit they have a problem.
"It is known as the 'secret' or 'silent' phobia because of its double whammy impact," said Nicky Lidbetter, manager of the NPS, which is launching the Toilet Phobia campaign at the Anxiety Disorders Conference in Manchester on Saturday.
"Few people will talk about having an anxiety disorder in the first place, but for them to admit they have a toilet-related phobia is rare because of the obvious embarrassment and humiliation of being laughed at or not being taken seriously."
"But, no matter how funny we might find it, it's certainly no laughing matter for almost seven per cent of the population who are reported to suffer from this condition."
The NPS has identified a correlation between Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) linked to a fear of contamination, Agoraphobia, Paruresis ("shy bladder" syndrome or fear of urinating in the company of others) and Parcopresis ("bashful bowel" syndrome, or the inability to defecate in public toilets).
They are collectively known as toilet-related phobias.
The problem can have serious implications for employers with absenteeism from work.
Many sufferers will not take a job if a toilet is located off a communal area and they can be observed going in or out, and will even create fictions of going to the photocopier or the staff kitchen rather than be seen going into the toilet, the NPS said.
Clinical psychologist and cognitive behaviour therapist, Professor Paul Salkovskis, said the attitude of society in general towards going to the toilet was part of the problem.
"Around the world we use a lot of humour and euphemism to describe what is a basic human function," he said.
"We say 'I'm going to the bathroom' or 'I'm going to powder my nose' because there is a taboo surrounding using the toilet."
Treatments include cognitive behaviour therapy, which helps people to break the cycle of faulty thinking, and hypnosis, which utilises techniques such as visualisation and guided imagery to bring about relaxation.
This just in:
4 million toilets have brit-ophobia.
Well the new campaign ads should be interesting to see LOL!
Are you his fat wife?
I was wondering how long it would take you to find this one...
The same folks counted 600,000 dead Iraqis and 11 million illegal US immigrants.
My spies are everywhere.
Although they did forget the all-important "courtesy flush".
Almost pinged you myself...
Hey Mr. Ivan, you really lucked out getting a conservative wife, and with such a great sense of humor to boot!
One wonders if Brits see more of him on BBC than Americans do on ABC.
So does snugs but then I would extend it to American ones as well.
In fact at least UK ones are at a reasonable height American ones are so low the first time I used one I nearly fell off it.
Could this have anything to do with the rise in the Muslim population in England? I understand that Muslims have some weird toilet habits too.
Thats cruel at least I pick them up and put them outside but I agree with bit about the muslims terrorists though
I was in France when I was a wee tyke, and of all the things there are to remember about France, I recall the public toilets the most. I remember asking my mom how people put up with that. Aside from the NYC subway, which is one giant toilet, public facilities in the US are pretty good.
When see something within the NAPL or KPL mandates (or just interesting), please do - I need all the intel I can get.
Compared with what some of our commisioning engineers had to put up in the sticks in the early days that would be luxury.
Always wondered why there were so few Brits on the Oregon Trail..
Often times "toilet phobia" is augmented by "oral phobia" which can lead to "silent phobia" but not necessarily contained to "silent phobia".
Some have been stricken with "dog do phobia" which is the avoidance of dog do because of their other phobia's impact on them and also some have been stricken with "bear phobia" because well, we all know what bears do in the woods, and in some extreme cases some have been stricken with "plumber phobia" which is the avoidance of having plumbing repaired, however the most prevalent off shot phobia is the phobia many acquire for the numbers 1 and 2.
We need some serious government investment in this phenomena before it destroys civilization as we know it.
Reminds me of Wembley Stadium and the underground station before and after the FA Cup Final
I am not good with public loos but the receptionist at work is even worse there are some events she will not go to because of it.
***At least four million Britons suffer from debilitating toilet phobias and most are too embarrassed to seek help,***
Let me guess... These are the only toilets left that still face Mecca.
This is an example of over pampering and national health care failures. When you have the federal government funding national health care, you can generate more funds by finding more "phobias" or problems.
As to over pampering, I see it in my niece and nephew. Their mother (college educated teacher, with a masters in special needs) sees everything her kids complain about as a potential catastrophe. She has trained them to believe many things (like they can't drink their milk cold, or the can't walk on the grass barefoot, etc.). Although, when the kids are left at our house for a few days, they either do it or do with out, but no pampering to reinforce their growing phobia's. Inside of 48 hours, most of their nonsense goes away, but as soon as mom shows back up, the phobias return.
To the people who say they "can't" use a public bathroom or go #2 in a public toilet, your wrong. The right phrase is "you refuse to use" not "can't." There is a big difference.
It is very hard, but today we are being extremely sad and sitting in the same room on different computers!
Do we use our wives to scare the spiders away so it is safe for us, thereby never seeing the dreaded Loo Spiders?
I am way too much of a chicken where spiders are concerned, I scream for help!
Thank you, that's sweet.
Who are you and why are you asking such rude questions?
I don't like going # 2 in a public toilet, as in a retail store or movie theater. Don't like a porta-potty for anything at all.
But as for while at work?
As one of my most beloved coworkers says: Don't sh*t on your time, don't work on *their* time. LOL!
Calling it a toilet is also going for the euphemism. It is a clo and has been since civilization arrived in the eastern Mediterranean.
I can attest to that.
You always KNOW when a truth is invented, when it is "Seven" of this, or "Seventy" of that.
A slow day in the newsroom.
a Google search reveals mostly UK origins, quack Herbal remedy nonsense, and this thing, on a UK equivalent of Geocities, etc.
I have leporiphobia, fear of rabbits/hares, and I am proud of it. Those filthy war criminals.
That's called 'normal.'
If plural, is the singular term phobium?
The only time I worry about a phobia such as this is when I fly..... I am not flying now so.... no prob. ;)
Okay, I'm not very sharp now -time for a nap. Gloomy out not cold, just gloomy.
Don't quote me on this....
I thought about it until women started using their cellphones while sitting on the pot in public restrooms. Sheesh! What is with people? I'm tempted to download a gross fart ringtone and just play it continuously next time I'm seated next to a chatty pee-er. LoL Let them explain THAT one to their call buddy!
SHould be "I NEVER thought about it..."
Or just look at this alligator found in a Mississippi sewer last year:
We are talking about some serious butt munchers here, and I cite as my source the illustrous website toiletology. I rest my case, but not my buns.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.