I am a mother of an 11 year old daughter who was diagnosed with encopresis when she was entering kindergarden. She still has it to this day, and she never lets me and her father stop hearing, "It's been six years!". It's driving the whole family crazy. She'd be out way more then allowed during school, and D.S.S was even called on me for her absences. During a bad spell, she calls them "flareups" She'll curl up and hug her knees and scream about how her stomach hurts. She tries, and tries and tries and never can have a bowel movement. We've tried MANY medicines, such as: Miralax, Senna (Liquid), Senna (Tablets), Fiber gummies, Fiberlax, Amatiza (A medicine she was too afraid to take many of, due to how short of a time they'd been approved for minors.), Exlax chocolate squares, SO many fiber suppliments, and many types of dulcolax. She's been through 3 disimpactions, and many enemeas. We know we cannot go back to the hospital due to the many many times we've been over the last 6 years. During enemeas, she'll bawl her eyes out, and will be screaming so much that I simply can't do it.

Her father isn't very supportive to her, but he isn't to me either. My daughter will come to me crying saying, "Daddy called me useless." or, "Daddy said I'm gonna grow up to be miserable and he said a bad word about me." He's hit her many times before, but out of disciplin. He'd never just hit her. She's gained lots of anxiety about how people look at her, cause of how much she has to stay from school. As I'm writing this, it was her first day of the second week, and I had to keep her out.

I'm unable to stand this anymore, and I can't stand seeing her suffer. After her third proceedure, she kept up with miralax and water and she'd have bowel movements after school every day. By the second week of summer, it stopped. She was drinking water and taking miralax, but she wouldn't have bowel movements. I'm out of ideas, and I really need help. Things like psychotherapy, rewards, and medications + plans never work. She's very willing to get better, but she's scared and nervous about the options we have. I can't stand seeing my daughter like this anymore. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  • 1
    Hello and welcome to Parenting.SE. I understand that you are struggling and this is a very unfortunate situation. Unfortunately this question isn't really worded as a question but more attempting to open up a discussion. This site deals with questions and answers unlike a forum. If you could reword your post to ask a very specific question, you will probably receive better feedback but as it stands, this post doesn't really fit this site. Sep 6, 2017 at 1:11
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    What does your daughter's pediatric gastroenterologist say?
    – MAA
    Sep 6, 2017 at 1:57
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    "A medicine she was too afraid to take many of, due to how short of a time they'd been approved for minors." Is "she" in this sentence your daughter? Or is it her doctor?
    – ceejayoz
    Sep 6, 2017 at 4:09
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    (semi)-unrelated: Stop the spanking now. It's not helping. Sorry to hear about your issue. You should try to edit your question further to be more specific about the problems (missed school, anti-social behaviour or whatever) and things you've tried. Although you've included all these things, your question appears to also have several sentences of fluff
    – Tas
    Sep 6, 2017 at 5:41
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    11 years old is too old for spanking. Second find other doctors to help, and keep going until someone can help.
    – user29389
    Sep 6, 2017 at 11:58

1 Answer 1


I think the second to last sentence in your second paragraph is the key point here:

She's gained lots of anxiety about how people look at her, cause of how much she has to stay from school.

While you say you have tried psychotherapy, I'm curious as to whether you've just tried one and stopped, or looked around for a therapist who can truly help your daughter with her anxiety. At this point, given all the medical interventions you've undertaken focusing on her GI tract without success, I would be more inclined to think this is a psychological issue that is delving into a physiological reaction.

Therapy is a two way street--you need to find someone who can help your daughter, but who your daughter can learn from and feel comfortable with. It sounds like she's being hit from all sides with anxiety-triggering events, from interactions with her father and stressors at school, and all of this is overwhelming her.

Here are a couple steps I would recommend you take:

  1. Look into a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist. As a sufferer of anxiety attacks and panic attacks since I was about your daughter's age, it wasn't until I found a CBT practitioner who I felt comfortable with and who listened to me that I was able to get a handle on my anxiety and function without medication a majority of the time. You may need to try multiple therapists before you find one that clicks for your daughter (and I emphasize your daughter, you're not the one with the crippling anxiety!), but when you find one you'll know.
  2. If the medication isn't working, and your doctor is OK with this course of action, don't use it. At this point it sounds like it's just adding to her anxiety ("I have to take this medication or else I'll be sick but I hate the medicine..."), and if it's not working, it's not like it's going to make things worse.
  3. Look into home schooling, or an alternative schooling method for your daughter until she is in more control of herself and this condition. This should remove one of the stressors in her life, and hopefully give her a chance to get back on her feet.

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