Mental Disorders

Ask Dr. Dombeck
Ask Dr. Dombeck
Psychotherapy and Mental Health Questions

Encopresis

We have custody of my husband's 9 year old daughter. She recently returned for a visit during her summer visitation with her mother. Her mother has been a cocaine user, exhibits bipolar behavior, has low self esteem and numerous personality disorders. Our daughter has told us many disturbing stories, domestic arguments, police coming to the house, etc., Last night we had her and she told us of one of her mother's disorders which has me totally floored. She apparently enjoys defecating in public places, in parking lots, in the car in pizza boxes and coffee cans, in the garage, in our daughter's bathroom and shower (refusing to clean it up - our daughter finally had to), in the living room, wherever she happens to be. Jennifer says she appears to be amused by it and makes no effort get adult diapers or even attempt to get to the bathroom in time. I asked Jennifer how often this occurs and she said, all the time - daily. My husband related the same such experiences with her although not as frequent as our child reports. He also recalls during his police training, in a psychological conference of hearing of this type of disorder. We have also seen this behavior exhibited in the Soprano's HBO series. We are obviously quite concerned and need to find a name to this disorder so we can try to find help for her. Thank you for your help.

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