Scatophobia (A complete guide)
In this article, we’ll briefly learn about Scatophobia, what is it and what feeling it emerges.
Then we’ll discuss the symptoms of Scatophobia- both physical and psychological.
Then we’ll learn about the different treatments of Scatophobia.
Scatophobia refers to the fear of fecal matter or feces. It is derived from the Greek word Scato which means Feces and phobia means fear.
It is also known as Coprophobia or Koprophobia.
The sufferers of Scatophobia experiences extreme anxiety, they make extra efforts in order to avoid coming into contact or even seeing feces.
What does having Scatophobia feels like?
A person who has Scatophobia is always under pressure of an unwanted anxiety attack as having a fear of feces is not easy.
Let’s face it, we all have to defecate if we want to survive.
And people with Scatophobia even have the fear of their own feces which is why they even sometimes try to avoid going for defecation.
It leads to increased physical health issues.
SYMPTOMS OF SCATOPHOBIA:
Scatophobia is a form of Phobia which leads to disturbances in everyday life.
And people with Phobia try to avoid the triggering event as must as they can, for instance in the case of Scatophobia, people fear the feces and therefore in order to avoid anxiety they most likely try to avoid the situation in which they have to face it.
They even try to avoid the thought of it as it might also trigger the anxiety.
People with Scatophobia are more likely to experience panic attacks.
These panic attacks can be very distressing and traumatic for the people who suffer from it.
A panic attack can lead to a number of physical symptoms and here are they-
- Rapid breathing
- Choking sensations
- Hot and Cold flashes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain in chest
- Dry mouth
- Confusion and Dizziness
- Increased blood pressure
As we know that panic attacks are more likely to happen to someone suffering from Scatophobia, other disorders that might trigger are Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Depressive Disorder.
OCD is a mental illness that is caused by either overthinking behavior or by compulsive behavior or by both.
Fear of fecal metal can lead to excess cleaning because of fear of contamination which can lead to OCD.
Depression is a mental disorder in which a person develops hopelessness, in this case of Scatophobia, a person can start feeling hopeless about not being able to get out of this fear.
Apart from it, Depression can happen as a comorbidity with OCD.
The following psychological symptoms can be felt in any of the case:
- Aggression, Irritability, and Agitation
- Mood swings
- Anxiety and Fear
- Overthinking Behaviour
- Compulsive Behavior
- Self-blame and guilt
TREATMENT OF SCATOPHOBIA:
People suffering from Scatophobia sometimes don’t even know that they are suffering from a psychological problem and therefore, they don’t even try to seek any treatment.
They just think that they are having this feeling because of the mere disgust of feces that’s it.
But to make sure that it is not just a mere disgust and it’s an actual fear one should ask self the following questions:
- If it is just disgusting then why I try to control my own feces until its uncontrollable?
- Do I get scared or disgusted with the thought, joke or pictures that contain matter of feces?
- If it is just a mere disgust then why am I feeling like I’m going to faint or die because of uneasiness and rapid breathing?
Once you’re clear with the fact that it is not just a mere disgust but an actual fear then you should not delay in seeking professional help immediately.
Psychotherapies might be very effective for the patients of Scatophobia as it helps in letting out the fear.
It helps the patient in recognizing the thought patterns and automatic thoughts and then changing the thoughts as well as changing behavior.
Systematic desensitization therapy is more likely to help patients with Scatophobia as it systematically decreases the fear in one’s mind.
It used the technique of either talking about the triggering factor or showing the triggering factor and slowly and steadily increasing it till the time it increases anxiety.
It takes several sessions but it is helpful for the long term.
Cognitive Behavior Therapy is another psychotherapy that uses the techniques of challenging already set automatic thoughts.
The therapist tries to help the client by helping him in realizing these negative thoughts and then tries to restructure them into more healthy and positive thoughts.
Anti-anxiety medications are usually used to treat Scatophobia as it helps in reducing the symptoms of panic and anxiety.
Other than anxiety medications, medicines for depression are also provided.
However, no medications should be taken without consulting the Psychiatrist and medications in a phobia are considered only for short term solutions.
This article discussed what Scatophobia is. Then it focussed on the different symptoms of Scatophobia- physical and psychological.
Later it highlighted different treatment methods for it, including psychotherapies and medications.
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Are Coprophobia and Scatophobia the same?
Yes, Coprophobia is another name of Scatophobia, both mean fear of feces or fecal matter.