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Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Constipation when I am not Home

 tman0312 - Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:34 pm

Hello I am a 21 year old male and I have an issue with constipation when i leave my house. If i go away for a week on a trip or staying over at my girl friends for a few days i will not have a bowel movement during those days. I wont even feel like i have to go, but i know i should. But when i go home, less than 30 seconds of being home i will have to go.
I am constant when i am home and have frequent bowel movements. But I a planing on moving out of my house at the end of this month and going to the beach for a week with my girl friend and I am afraid that I will start to feel sick after a few days at the beach.
I have not tried much so i am open for suggestions

Thank you

 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:52 am

User avatar Hi,
I feel that your experience has got a lot to do with your toilet 'conditioning'.

Right from early childhood, man's activities becomes conditioned to certain stimuli ( such as sights, smells or sounds etc). This was first propounded by the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov and is better known as "Pavlov's classical conditioning".

When classical conditioning occurs, an animal or person initially responds to a naturally occurring stimulus with a natural response (e.g., the food leads to salivation or perhaps entering a familiar toilet leads to an urge to defecate). What basically happens is that one event predicts or brings about another.

At present, two types of conditioning are described.

Classical conditioning: A type of conditioning or learning in which a stimulus that brings about a behavioral response is paired with a neutral stimulus until that neutral stimulus brings about the response by itself.

Operant conditioning: A type of conditioning or learning in which a person or animal learns to perform or not perform a particular behavior based on its positive or negative consequences.
( ... ative.html ).

It seems that your conditioning is so strong that you find it difficult if not impossible to develop an urge to defecate in an unfamiliar toilet (as the familiar sights, sounds and smells that you are so conditioned to, are completely lacking).

You probably may need a bit of a help from a psychologist who may be able to "re-condition" you gradually.
Best wishes!

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