Flushphobia: Fear of Flushing

You won’t find this in the diagnostic disease categories used by mental health professionals. It is an acquired state that may or may not be offensive to those who are afflicted, but most likely is to those with whom the visit. It is best described by the simple limerick; ‘if it is yellow, let it mellow and if it is brown, flush it down.’

I know it sounds gross. But only to those who have never had to conserve or recycle water. When a 3 minute shower (a tub of water is extravagant) seems like a luxury, to flush or not to flush is a critical question. Water must be sourced, sought for, carried or delivered every day and then pumped and in some homes, carried to a tank to drip by gravity to the kitchen and bathroom. If I leave the faucet open for more than a second without using each drop, the phobia strikes me. Yes, it is strange.

My mom takes note of this when I shower at her home in less than 3 minutes and asks; “Are you really clean?”

My response is; “Clean enough for now!” I apply an extra seven or eight rubs of deodorant.

I have to actually make up my mind, determinedly to force myself to flush while in her home, yellow or brown, it must go down.

I don’t know if I will ever truly recover from my flushophobia. As long as I see in my mind’s eye the thousands of people lining up for water, digging with hands and plastic cups through dry river beds, going down into dirty puddles to wash their faces, drinking and bathing with cattle and sheep, flushing will always come hard for me.

Pardon me if I visit you and seem inappropriate when I use your facilities. Attribute it to my phobia of flushing. After all people don’t people drink same quality of water that I use to pee in?