I've had this for decades and it has ruined my life and put me into a very financially precarious position, as well. It is so shameful I would not dream of telling my family (nasty people anyway but who must be awfully perplexed about my lonely and failed life: I am quite attractive and smart, I am often told, so it's a big mystery to them I am sure).
I often contemplate suicide because of the extreme loneliness it has thrown me into. You can't very well have a love life if a major bodily function is not possible.
This is a nice site and all, but I find it very depressing. It just seems there is a bunch of people bemoaning their awful situation -- believe me, I'm one of them -- but there is no treatment, no curing this. If it is mental -- and I think we can agree it is -- there must be some way to address it. I've been in psychotherapy, analysis, done CBT, DBT, desentization w/ enemas for decades and w/ very qualified professionals. NOTHING has worked. Has anyone thought of a 12-step group for this...?
Anyway, Baz, I applaud your emotional stamina w/ this site...I visit it from time to time and come out wanting to shoot myself. I feel so very very very despairig always after reading it. This is one phobia that seems to truly ruin lives...