Introduction - Loudoun County Public Schools

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					                                                                                             Encopresis    1


                                           Study of Encopresis

                                             Stephen M. Celio

                                         Broad Run High School

I pledge that I have neither given nor received any aid on this paper. _________________________________
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Diagnostic Criteria

(This should be directly from DSM-IV, and can be letter-bulleted or written in paragraph form.)

According to DSM-IV, the diagnostic features of Encopresis are as follows:

   A. Repeated passage of feces into inappropriate places (e.g., clothing or floor) whether

          voluntary or involuntary.

   B. At least one such event a month for at least three months.

   C. Chronological age is at least 4 years (or equivalent developmental level).

   D. The behavior is not due excessively to the direct physiological effects of a substance
      (e.g.. laxatives) or a general medical condition except through a mechanism involving

Rates of Incidence

(Also from DSM-IV, should be short)

          It is estimated that approximately 1% of 5-year-olds- have Encopresis and the disorder is

more common among males than among females. The disorder is exceedingly rare among



(Basically describes a person who has the disorder in non-clinical terms)

          Encompresis is characterized by defecation in places other than the toilet. Some sufferers

soil their pants, while as others pull them down and defecate in other places. This may be either

voluntary or involuntary, although the voluntary type is more common. Despite the fact that it is

voluntary, it is not necessarily controllable. For example, defecating in people’s coat pockets as

a joke does not qualify as an incident. This also must be an ongoing issue.
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Historical and Current Treatment Options

(What is done for people with this disorder, and how did it used to be treated, if notably


        While Encopresis may not seem like a serious disorder to the uninitiated, it can cause

serious trauma for the sufferer and those around them. It is very difficult to carry on normal

functions when there is the constant concern that you may feel impelled to pull down your pants

and defecate. Likewise, the possibility of finding feces in inappropriate places is disconcerting

for those that interact with sufferers. While many young sufferers grow out of this disorder,

others address it through use of products to contain the feces, such as Depends adult diapers.

Severe, ongoing cases are treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Case Study

(This can be made up, but needs to include genesis of the disorder, diagnosis, course, and


        Mike Fitz was a thirty-two year old when he was first diagnosed with Encopresis. His

life partner, Dean, noted several times that there was feces on the floor of their bathroom or

bedroom, and that it seemed different from the usual stools of their pet poodle, Sherman. One

night, over a dinner of quiche, he noted a strange smell emanating from Mike’s vicinity. Upon

closer inspection, he discovered that Mike had soiled himself. After much discussion Mike

finally confessed that he had been passing feces into inappropriate places for several months.

        Dean was able to convince Mike to seek professional help. After consultation with a

psychotherapist, Mike discerned that this issue, along with other problems with his personal

identity, may have stemmed from the harsh potty training techniques used by his father, who,

beginning when Mike was 14 months old, would stick Mike’s nose in his soiled diapers. During
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the course of the evaluation Mike began to wear Depends adult diapers, which enabled him to

fulfill his work duties as a part-time teacher. After seven months of intensive cognitive-

behavioral therapy he managed to gain control of his sphincter and ceased to suffer from this

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American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.