Understanding Flatuphobia – The Fear of Farting
Breaking wind, passing gas, floating an air biscuit, cutting the cheese, butt burp, that was a mouse, rectal turbulence, or the medical term flatulence, this bodily function generally causes embarrassment or humor. But for some, it is the source of a deep, excessive fear.
Ever been in a situation where someone farted, and you got blamed for it? Does your mind go blank at the mere mention of farting?
Do you flee when you hear a fart? Does the slightest odor bring fear that you may be blamed? Does the thought of such a situation make you tremble?
You may have flatuphobia, a fear of farting. Flatuphobia is on the irrational fears list, and it affects many people. It can escalate to the point where an individual cuts off social contact to avoid any such incidents. It can significantly restrict a person’s activities and cause anxiety and depression.
Is flatuphobia a phobia of Fear or Disgust?
But there are solutions available to help you overcome this fear. You can explore self-help methods, share your troubles with a loved one, and if all else fails, seek professional help.
The main component of flatuphobia is the dread of passing gas, whether it comes from you or the person standing next to you.
You fear the sound that is produced, the smell that is expelled, but most of all, fingers being pointed at you.
Flatuphobia comes from the Latin word flatus, which means blowing. In other words, blowing refers to passing gas.
Of course, all people and animals flatulate; it’s your body’s way of releasing toxins or trapped air. But over time, society has come to view farting as a disgusting and unpleasant act.
Because of this, some people have developed a phobia related to farting and social interaction.
Some Flatuphobia Causes
To understand the root cause, you must first reflect on your previous interactions and experiences.
You may have been in a situation where you were with a couple of friends and someone randomly farted, causing everyone to make faces and vacate the area. That person must have felt embarrassed.
Perhaps that convinced you that you would never want to experience a similar situation. Or maybe you were the one who farted and vowed to never again be in that predicament.
Upbringing might be another possible cause. You may have been raised by a family member who had flatuphobia.
It could also be hereditary, with your parents or grandparents having passed down these anxiety-related traits to you.
Symptoms of Flatuphobia
People who experience flatuphobia symptoms frequently avoid being around things or situations that may trigger them. They may make an effort to suppress their thoughts about the source of their fear.
Flatuphobia can be very limiting. Others need not be physically present to trigger the fear reaction. The brain can trigger this phobia simply by imagining such a situation.
People react differently with different phobias, so symptoms vary. However, from a broad perspective, flatuphobia belongs to the group of anxiety disorders. It manifests itself in the form of physical and psychological symptoms.
- Running out of breath
- Rapid heartbeat
- Hot flashes or chills
- Pain or tightness in the chest muscles
- Choking sensations
- Shivers or sweating
- Dread of letting go of control
- Feeling alienated
- Fear of passing out and dying
- Confusion and attention issues
- Dread of injury or disease
- Shame, guilt, and self-blame
- Mood swings, anger, and impatience
Depending on the severity of the phobia, individuals may experience some or many of these symptoms.
How Do You Deal with Flatuphobia?
Like all phobias, flatuphobia is irrational. However, if this phobia is affecting your daily activities, you might first try self-help methods. If those don’t work, seek professional therapy. There is no particular flatuphobia treatment, but there are general treatments available that work for most phobias.
To get over your phobia of farting, begin by taking good care of yourself. Make lifestyle changes, dietary modifications, add regular exercise, and improve your sleep patterns. Less flatulence, less fear.
A recommended alternative is to expose yourself to the very thing you fear. It’s a tough option, but the exposure will reduce the fart anxiety over time.
Join self-help groups where you will find people with similar issues. You will be able to share your fears without worry of being judged.
Alternatively, join online chat communities like Quora or Reddit where you can share your troubles. You’ll receive feedback and advice on how to take control of the situation from a larger community. You may even be able to help other people.
Implementing relaxation techniques like meditation and deep breathing and using positive affirmations also helps a great deal.
Consider reaching out to your therapist for help if you feel that this phobia is becoming too much for you to handle. Treatment options include talking therapies and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Talking therapies can include visiting your psychologist, psychotherapist, or counselor. The goal of talk therapy is to help individuals identify the causes of their emotional or physical distress.
In the case of flatuphobia, the intensity of your fear can range from mild to severe, causing depression and anxiety. Talking therapy can help you identify the events and circumstances that have caused and continue to contribute to your fear of farting.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy also aids in understanding the negative thought patterns that are causing the extreme fear. This treatment gives you the tools you need to confront your fear of farting and overcome it with a more realistic and positive thought process.
Learning to Cope with Flatuphobia
Treating flatuphobia using the techniques mentioned above may not eliminate the phobia altogether. However, they can help reduce the intensity of the fear and allow you to return to your daily activities.
The next time you go out, you might fart, but you might just end up chuckling at yourself and getting over it. Everyone farts, and it’s absolutely natural, so relax and let it go!