Agoraphobia, Germophobia, Parcopresis And Paruresis: How To Travel With These Mental Health Issues
Agorophobia is the fear of public places, germophobia is the fear or all things covered in germs or touching something that may have germs, parcopresis is the fear and inability to defecate in a public restroom, and paruresis is the fear and inability to urinate in a public restroom. One of these mental health issues by itself is enough to isolate the sufferer, but more than one or all of these issues can make it nearly impossible for a person to use any toilet but the one he or she has at home. If you are trying to help someone with any of these phobias get out of the house and travel more often, here are a few options on how to travel and use public restrooms when these mental health issues are a problem.
If your friend does not already travel with a case of products to clean, sanitize and disinfect every toilet he or she sees and attempts to use, then it might be a good idea to see how frequently public restrooms are cleaned. Most restaurants and lodging places have a record of exactly when restroom facilities were last cleaned. Checking it might help your friend first alleviate his or her fears before alleviating his or her bowels and/or bladder. As for pit toilets, you may want to avoid them completely, unless you know the exact schedule of septic services provided to the pit toilets along your route.
Another alternative may be renting a portable toilet from a company like Onsite Portable Toilets & Septic which you and your friend can haul behind your vehicle on a trailer. It would look strange, but then your friend could be absolutely certain that the only person using the portable toilet is he or she. You can also make sure that the portable toilet is frequently serviced and cleaned along your route so that any germophobic tendencies and reactions are lessened and your friend is willing to use the portable toilet when the need arises.
- The portable toilet option calms agoraphobes because there is no one else around and it is not as public a place as a store or restaurant restroom.
- The portable toilet option gives people with parcopresis and paruresis plenty of quiet, privacy and a sense of security because no one can walk in on their toileting, hear them going, or hurry them along when there is a long line waiting to use a toilet.
Although these options will not cure your friends' fears because the fears are actually mental health issues, it will help him or her be a little less afraid of being out in public and less afraid of needing to use a restroom.