5 common toilet fears and how to overcome them

There can be little more embarrassing and socially debilitating than having anxiety, fear, or phobia in relation to toilets, bowel, and bladder movements. And, yet, thousands of people continue to struggle, without getting help.


I’ve been told on a number of occasions that a client thinks they are the only one with these conditions. So, I felt it was time to shine a light on these conditions because it may help you to understand some of the terms and the associated fears.

Let’s speak about the loo taboo

Paruresis is the fear of public toilets without any medical cause. Sometimes, it may be referred to as shy bladder or bashful bladder syndrome (BBS).

Parcopresis is the difficulty or inability to use the toilet while around other people; for this reason, many people go out but don’t have anything to eat or drink, for fear of needing the loo. Some people can be so fearful, they will not even go whilst their loved ones are in the same house.

When on holiday, fears can be so entrenched. Some people may not use the toilet for days and days, which has been known to subsequently lead to faecal impaction.

Claustrophobia can cause fear of going to the toilet anywhere except home (and sometimes also at home - causing people to leave the door open). Usually, this is connected to the small cubicle space, no windows, or the fear of being locked in and not being in control.

People that struggle with germaphobia may be obsessed with sanitation and so feel compelled to clean excessively in their daily lives. They often find the prospect of going to a bathroom that they haven't cleaned personally unbearable and, so, will totally avoid going.

Toilet-associated agoraphobia is when the fear of not being able to get to a toilet in time starts to rule and ruin lives, sometimes incapacitating people to the point of not going out at all. 

Why has this happened to me?

Phobias are defined as an extreme or irrational fear of something, however, there is always a reason and a history as to where an anxiety or fear began and developed, whether you are consciously aware of this or not.

As it develops, the subconscious mind creates an alert for the fear and, subsequently, a neural pathway (or shortcut) is created. And so, conditioning takes place - the fear is exaggerated and if left without intervention, it can rule your life.

How can hypnotherapy help?

For a therapist, your condition is understood and accepted as a condition that needs help. In hypnotherapy, we access and speak to the subconscious mind to delete the triggers that have built over the years (that consequently lead to anxiety and panic).

We offer positive hypnotic suggestion and reprogramme the subconscious mind to change and respond in a calm, healthy and natural way, enabling you to take back control of your life.

The first step to make the change is to get in touch. As with all calls, they are treated with confidence and the utmost understanding and respect for your situation.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Stafford, Staffordshire, ST20
Written by Karen Hemmings, Dip.AHT - The Healing Mind
Stafford, Staffordshire, ST20

Karen Hemmings is a Master Hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner, an EFT and Reiki therapist. Through her work at The Healing Mind, she has helped many clients successfully reduce anxiety, phobias, stress, chronic pain and lose weight. Karen believes it’s because she fully understands clients’ needs, values and motivations. She specialises in change.

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