Background: Paruresis and parcopresis are psychogenic conditions that involve a difficulty or inability to void or defecate, respectively, in a public setting (eg public restroom). Both conditions are associated with significant psychological distress. As a result of shame, embarrassment and stigma, individuals with these conditions may not actively identify behaviours or symptoms or seek treatment in general practitioner (GP) consultations.
Objective: The objective of this article is to provide a summary of the associated psychopathology and comorbidity, and diagnostic challenges associated with paruresis and parcopresis. Treatment recommendations relating to paruresis and parcopresis are also provided.
Discussion: Paruresis and parcopresis can have a significant impact on an individual's psychological health and overall quality of life. GPs play a part in identifying these conditions, defusing feelings of shame and embarrassment, and enabling access to psychological interventions, which are likely to provide significant benefits to individuals living with paruresis and/or parcopresis.