Scatophobia- Fear of fecal matter

Feces is considered by most people as yucky, messy, dirty and stinky but we have to realize that his is a natural waste product of our digestive system. It is made up or foods that we cannot anymore absorb. Fecal material is something that all of us do not like to touch or smell but there are some people who have extreme, irrational and persistent fear of feces and this fear is called scatophobia or coprophobia.

This fear might have been brought about by a bad experience in the past such as when as a child, one was not allowed to go to the bathroom by a mean teacher and was unable to hold pooping in his underwear inside the classroom and was subject to ridicule all throughout his school life. One might have also accidently stepped on dog poop while walking in the park and getting one’s favorite shoes all messy and dirty.

Another reason for this fear is the knowledge that fecal material is laden with germs and bacteria thus this phobia could also be linked to bacteriophobia or fear of germs and bacteria.

People with this fear would avoid going to public toilets or going to parks where they think they might step on animal poop. They will put deodorizers in their bathrooms to mask the smell of feces and would do everything to disinfect after defecation.

This fear needs medical attention because we have to eliminate our waste at least once a day or once every couple of days. It is impossible for us not to poop thus psychotherapy and medications is needed for most patients with this fear.