Encopresis is the soiling of underpants by individuals who are past the age of toilet training. The DSM-5 defines encopresis as the “repeated passage of feces into inappropriate places (e.g. clothing, floor), whether involuntary or intentional (APA, 2013, p. 357).”
- To be diagnosed with encopresis an individual must experience the event at least one time a month for a minimum of three months.
- The individual must be at least four years old or the developmental equivalent
- No other physiological effects may be contributing to the medical condition (i.e. medications, medical conditions)
Other symptoms of encopresis may include abdominal pain, lack of appetite, avoidance of bowel movements, emotional turmoil, social withdrawal, or bladder infections
The individual may or may not also experience constipation. Children with encopresis may feel shame or guilt and may avoid social situations. For some, encopresis is a result of trauma or emotional dysregulation. Encopresis is seen in boys more than girls. Children with ADHD, Autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, or depression are at increased risks of experiencing encopresis. Encopresis can be treated with EMDR therapy, neurofeedback therapy, and/or positive reinforcement and patience.
Contact Serin Center to get more information on how we can help.
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). doi:10.1176/appi.books.9780890425596
What We Don’t Treat
We are not an emergency clinic. We are an outpatient provider so we do not have inpatient facilities. We are not a hospital and do not provide detox services for addictions. We do not treat schizophrenia or brain disorders related to advancing age such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. We are not contracted with any court system and do not provide court ordered services related to child custody or other matters.