ERIC

17 years old male- end of tether!

My son is 17 years old and I feel a complete failure.

On and off encopresis all his life. Toilet trained fine- just doesn't seem bothered. Hides underwear, he even discusses the situation with me as I try to be supportive, however my husband just feels he's lazy. The anxiety in me is huge so goodness knows how my son feels. I cannot have this affecting his adult life so I have today referred to CAMHS myself and am going to the GP again.

Over the years we have done toilet sitting regimes, laxative regimes, paediatricians appointments in multiple who say there's nothing wrong.

Has anyone else battled with this so late in life? I really don't need my son to isolate himself- life is too precious.

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Hello KM121,

You are not a complete failure and neither is he! This is something that is happening to him, whether it's physically based or psychologically based - this is not who he is or you are okay?

Right first things first, my daughter is twelve and has battled severe constipation virtually since birth, in recent years while the constipation has been well managed it has become apparent that she suffers from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Earlier this year she began to suffer from overflow despite regular bowel movements and as a results has had several UTI's. we did a disimpaction about 2 months ago and so far have had great results!

The first thing I would recommend for you and your boy is to watch the video by 'the Poo Nurses' link on this site. I wish I had seen it 11 years ago. I feel it empowered my daughter. She finally had some answers as to what was going on in her body and she could use the right language to speak to her medical team about what was going on.

Secondly, your son may not be hiding his washing as he doesn't care, more likely he feels powerless about his situation and if he doesn't have to talk about it he finds it easier to cope.

Thirdly, this site is full of stories from people who have spent years looking for answers and reasons as to why this happens for their child, often doctors tell them there is no problem. You may never get an answer but keep reading. This site is an amazing resource.

Lastly, I wish for you and you boy, a precious life not matter what happens.

The Laundrymaid xx

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