How I overcame Encopresis

Of all the questions I’m asked as an Encopresis survivor, the most popular one is: “How did you overcome Encopresis?”

When I was 15, the family home got renovated by expanding the current bedrooms and installed an ensuite with my bedroom. Although it didn’t stop my Encopresis at the time, I do remember noticing a significantly smaller amount of soiling after the renovation completion. It took a while, and it took longer before I actually noticed myself the soiling had stopped (6 months to year after soiling). No one else noticed or commented it gone, or anything like that. Life went on reguardless.

I can’t pinpoint if it was the combination of Paraffin Oil use at night, drinking more tea (English Breakfast) or minimalising stress. It was a long time ago. As my stools became softer (less huge at least) and more frequent in passing, my body slowly got into a new rhythm. Although for several years going to the toilet once a week became the “norm”, admittedly it was a lot better than not going in 10 days.  Sadly my tummy won’t ever be flat because of Enco and the magacolon I have, no matter how hard I train at the gym, I’m ok with it.

For many families this condition is more complex in how to deal with it, and what are possible triggers of it. What are your experiences with this? If you have any questions or comments feel free to post them below or you can e-mail me:

Have a wonderful week ahead everyone 🙂

12 thoughts on “How I overcame Encopresis

  1. Ann 30/08/2013 / 12:39 pm

    My son has been diagnosed with Encopresis. He is 15yrs old and seems to go through so so times and really bad times. I try to be sensitive to the situation and buy new underwear (don’t make him wash his out as punishment) but I do not see an interest in trying to help himself. I think maybe I have gone overboard on trying to make him feel normal or help cover it up that he doesn’t care if soiled underwear are visible in his room. He doesn’t want anyone other than family to know so I still have a chance. If he has an accident at school…..he gets so nervous. I give him Miralax on a daily basis to help him try to get on a schedule and hopefully not have an accident at school but when I ask if he has tried to go each night before bed……he gets very defensive with me as if I am accusing him of something. I am really worried about his reputation and don’t want him to be know as the “poopy” kid. He would never go back to school.

    Could this be that he is just lazy and doesn’t try or could it be that his view of himself is just that low? How do you get the smell out of his clothes without having to buy new clothes all the time?

    I would really like to speak with you more about this as I feel alone in trying to help him. I am really worried about his future and if he will ever grow out of this.

    • naturegirl015 03/09/2013 / 11:26 pm

      Hi Ann,

      How are things? Thank you for sharing your story. I understand how difficult this must be for you, your son and your family. Keep in mind that if you sound like a broken record by continuously asking about him pooping (or lack thereof), he will get annoyed. He does care very much about the situation (perhaps doesn’t show it as you are hoping he would). Kids will tease and be bullies reguardless of whether they know of his condition or not (I was more bullied for other reasons and only once, especially, about enco related). Don’t forget that your son has a life, personality, love and other interests…never lose sight of that. Don’t let Enco define him! Your son will feel self-conscious of him stinking (even if he’s like me and didn’t get the sense of smell to know what’s happening until already too late), and may be socially shy because of it especially around his peers.

      My mum always soaked my underwear in Napisan (after I had already scrubbed it with soap to get as much poo off as I could), and then put into the washing machine like normal. Stained underwear, honestly, doesn’t upset me (no one sees them anyway). Clean but stained. It’s up to you if you want to throw them out, we never did (I did to hide them but that’s another story).

      Feel free to e-mail me: if you want to share more about your story. You are also welcome to “Like” my Facebook page too:

      There is light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope. You are never alone (especially your son).

    • Barry Feldman 14/03/2014 / 11:41 am

      As a “survivor” of Encopresis from as far back as my memory takes me to the age of 15… I have lived the life of your son and guarantee he will overcome this life altering situation. Without getting too personal… is there emotional or physical or verbal abuse? Is there a hostile unpredictable or voliatile presence at at home? Is there a non-biased professional he can see on a biweekly or weekly basis that he trusts? No need to reply. You can probably see what I dealt with and needed to find someway to gain “control” (unconsciously) in my life. Interestingly enough, my breakthrough happened when our family moved to a new up and coming city nearby. I was 15 and just about 16 when we moved into the new house. Without any forethought I simply literally walked into the new house and when I had the urge to go I just sat down for what seem so natural and just did my biz as if I had never had this guilt causing problem for nearly 16 years. I started the next chapter of my life and never looked back (of course it is always a part of my story). I am currently a well educated school administrator with a beautiful wife and four cool kids…and lots of therapists/role models to thank for getting me here. Tell yourw son “it really does get better… You will be fine!”

  2. Clarisa 30/08/2013 / 2:36 am

    Hi. I have a daughter who is 12 and has encopresis. You have made me feel confident that there is light at the end of the tunnel. when my daughter gets home from school today, I will share your blog with her. Thank you and God bless you!

  3. Sonia 28/05/2013 / 9:26 pm

    that is fascinating. maybe it was relaxing having your own ensuite and privacy and time? I’m so glad for you. Meanwhile, a question, does the megacolon stick around? I thought that with time the bowel would shrink to normal size. I thought I had read 6months (of course, bet it depends on how long a child has had the problem) That’s interesting.

    • naturegirl015 30/05/2013 / 3:18 pm

      Hi Sonia. Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to post your thoughts. You have an excellent question about the Megacolon and I’ll write an entry about my thoughts on that. My tummy isn’t flat now because of how much it has been stretched over the years with Encopresis. However my colon has shrunk allowing me to pass out smaller stools than what I used to (although some are still admittedly big), and the nerves are working properly. I’m not sure if my colon will ever be considered “normal size” but for someone that has spent half a lifetime with Encopresis it would be normal.

      When I fly overseas on the long haul International flights, my bowels can hold huge amounts of urine/stools without actually going (no matter how hard I try), so perhaps it is still around. I’ve never been x-rayed or any medical tests to confirm if my colon is “normal” or not. I hope it answers your question. Let me know your thoughts.

  4. James Parkin 28/05/2013 / 7:46 pm

    Thank you for posting this, Dimity. The frequency of my soiling incidents decreased over a period of time as I got older, until my final accident at the age of 11. Of course, at the time I didn’t know that it would be the last time that I pooed myself, it was only a many months afterwards that I realised that I was finally clear of dirty pants.

    • naturegirl015 28/05/2013 / 8:26 pm

      Thank you James. It’s interesting that people make a big deal of it at the time, and then ignore it (or not comment) when it stops. Fortunately Encopresis does stop, you and I are both living proof.

  5. Harry M VanHoudnos III 27/05/2013 / 12:26 am

    Very interesting. It seems that either over time or reduction of stress, the illness passes. This might help out researchers into this problem.

    • naturegirl015 27/05/2013 / 2:42 pm

      Thank you Harry. For others it might not be as simple as that.

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