Group helps people overcome defecation shyness

Not shy anymore

Edwardson: Not shy anymore

Kamloops, BC — Until recently, Merlyn Edwardson had been unable to have a bowel movement whenever anyone else was around, be it in a public washroom or his own home. He would rather hold back his urge to defecate than face the prospect of having someone else smell or, worse, hear his bowel movement.

Now, thanks to a special support group called Defecate With Pride (DWP), Edwardson is finally able to “let it loose” with nary a care in the world.

Edwardson is one of countless people who suffer from defecation shyness, which is the inability to pass bowels in the presence of others. He started DWP two years ago, after experiencing an excretory mishap resulting from the prolonged delaying of a bowel movement.

“I was two feet shy of my own house when the accident happened,” said Edwardson. “It was then that I told myself, ‘This is not how I want to live my life.’ Changes had to be made.”

“It’s very self-reassuring to be able to pollute the air with the odor of your fecal matter in the presence of another soul,” said recent signee Amanda Lambert. “You can’t imagine the freedom and the power that this gives us.”

Edwardson said he started DWP after unfruitful efforts to locate resources that deal with defecation shyness.

“It was really frustrating that there’s no help out there for people like us,” said the 47-year-old hospitality industry specialist.

Edwardson estimates that nearly 50% of the world’s population suffers from defecation shyness, but no one ever takes the condition seriously because of its sensitive and taboo nature.

“I created DWP so that people like myself can have a safe haven to talk about our plight,” said Edwardson. “When your bowel movements control your life and self-confidence, it’s time to put a foot down.”

The group, which now boasts a membership of over two hundred people, holds bi-weekly meetings where members share experiences and discuss ways to overcome defecation shyness. Every month, the group holds a “Poop Bonanza” where members get to spontanenously choose a specific public washroom and take turns having bowel movements while other people are present.

“It’s very self-reassuring to be able to pollute the air with the odor of your fecal matter in the presence of another soul,” said recent signee Amanda Lambert. “You can’t imagine the freedom and the power that this gives us.”

Edwardson said the group will be focusing on helping shy poopers in Kamloops, British Columbia for now, but they hope to go coast-to-coast in Canada by the end of the year, and global by 2010.

“There are people out there suffering in silence as I did for too long, and it is my goal to reach out to those people and let them know that they’re not alone,” said Edwardson.

Interested parties can request information and membership details in confidence at the group’s website, http://www.defecatewithpride.org/.

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