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How can I cope with emotional issues if I have fecal incontinence?

Anthony L. Komaroff, MD
Internal Medicine
Gaining control over fecal incontinence (unintended passage of stool) is a psychological as well as physical challenge. The emotional repercussions can be very difficult to handle. You may find it helpful to remind yourself that this is a very common medical condition. Many other people, like you, are coping with the same condition, as the result of surgery, childbirth, or medical illness.

If you have lived with the problem for a long time before seeking help, it may take time and professional support for you to address your painful feelings and regain confidence in your ability to fully participate in normal activities and relationships.

Help is available from health professionals, therapists, and support groups. You can benefit greatly from the advice and experiences of others with the same problem, whether contacted informally or through a support group. Most important, remember that yours is a medical condition, not a personal weakness.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.