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  #1  
Old 12-09-2009, 09:33 PM
Diamonds02 Diamonds02 is offline
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Why is poop smearing a sign of mental disturbance?

Or a sign of severe child abuse?

I've also heard that scatophilia (sexually aroused by poop) is also associated w/ mental distubances.

I hear this quite often, but never heard a good explanation of it.

I mean, it is a very gross behavior to smear your feces in random places, but why would it be associated with mental disturbances?
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  #2  
Old 12-09-2009, 09:36 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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Because it is a big red sign proclaiming you don't give a shit about our society's system of social conditioning. From birth you are told only to defecate in one place - a toilet - and that feces anywhere else is absolutely forbidden. This is drilled into you when you are a tiny kid. To put shit anywhere but a toilet is a gigantic violation of that conditioning, which generally marks someone as mentally unhinged.
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  #3  
Old 12-09-2009, 09:39 PM
hajario hajario is online now
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A friend of mine used to work in a psychiatric institution. When something like that would happen, they would joke, "the patient in room 504 is painting with Autumn colors."
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  #4  
Old 12-09-2009, 09:47 PM
Freudian Slit Freudian Slit is offline
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Why do mentally unbalanced people do it, anyway? What is the thought process going on? I mean, it's not like most people secretly like poop and the only thing preventing them from using it is societal conditioning...is there? Then again, little kids don't seem to mind playing in it. I never got that. Even if I were a baby I'd still think it smelled horrible.
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  #5  
Old 12-09-2009, 09:55 PM
Diamonds02 Diamonds02 is offline
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I can I understand why. To gross someone out...to do it as a prank...to get back at someone. I just don't understand why it takes a mentally unbalanced person to commit such acts.
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  #6  
Old 12-09-2009, 09:57 PM
Pyper Pyper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freudian Slit View Post
Why do mentally unbalanced people do it, anyway? What is the thought process going on? I mean, it's not like most people secretly like poop and the only thing preventing them from using it is societal conditioning...is there? Then again, little kids don't seem to mind playing in it. I never got that. Even if I were a baby I'd still think it smelled horrible.
I think in many cases it's attention-seeking. If you have a complete disregard for social norms (as pointed out by Argent Towers) and you really want to get a BIG reaction out of someone, smearing feces is one way to get that reaction. I doubt that in most cases the smearer finds the activity enjoyable.
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  #7  
Old 12-09-2009, 09:57 PM
Diamonds02 Diamonds02 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argent Towers View Post
Because it is a big red sign proclaiming you don't give a shit about our society's system of social conditioning. From birth you are told only to defecate in one place - a toilet - and that feces anywhere else is absolutely forbidden. This is drilled into you when you are a tiny kid. To put shit anywhere but a toilet is a gigantic violation of that conditioning, which generally marks someone as mentally unhinged.
Really? That reason alone? I guess I'm not fully understanding the concept of mental illness.
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  #8  
Old 12-09-2009, 10:16 PM
madmonk28 madmonk28 is offline
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I don't think that a single act is seen as definite proof of mental illness, but (as Argent says above), somone breaks a big taboo it is a red flag.
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  #9  
Old 12-09-2009, 10:22 PM
Ponch8 Ponch8 is online now
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(WAG) People have evolved to hate the smell of poop, because anything contaminated with it is a good source of various diseases. Perhaps the smearing is a sign that the person is too far gone to even realize how nasty poop is.
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  #10  
Old 12-09-2009, 11:09 PM
Two Many Cats Two Many Cats is offline
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Actually, except for paint with a roller brush, smearing anything on the wall or any other inappropriate surface is a big sign of mental disturbance. Butter, shoe polish, onion dip, whatever. If somebody squashes a bug on a table, that's one thing. If someone spits on the smashed bug and smears it around, I think I would have reservations about that person's mental state.

Feces gets a more visceral reaction, but really, any substance rings an alarm bell.
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  #11  
Old 12-10-2009, 08:13 AM
Small Hen Small Hen is offline
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My sister, who teaches the severly retarded and mentally unstable, has a boy in her class who shat himself yesterday because he wanted a pencil sharpener, or something, and she wouldn't give it to him. You have to admitt, that (lack of) thought process doesn't really hold up as a shining example of good mental health.
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  #12  
Old 12-10-2009, 08:18 AM
tdn tdn is offline
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Exactly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diamonds02 View Post
I mean, it is a very gross behavior to smear your feces in random places, but why would it be associated with mental disturbances?
Would you associate it with mental health?
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  #13  
Old 12-10-2009, 09:16 AM
Serenata67 Serenata67 is offline
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Originally Posted by tdn View Post
Exactly.



Would you associate it with mental health?
No, but just because it's not associated with mental health, it doesn't de facto get associated with its opposite. That's a logical fallacy (false dichotomy fallacy). Perhaps you should step off of the jump to conclusions mat.

I'm just playing Devil's Advocate tdn. You know I like 'ya. I personally think it is associated with mental illness as opposed to its opposite, but I think we need to establish a more cohesive argument for why. We can't just say "just because it's not black, it's white" when there are the possibility of other colors out there.

Last edited by Serenata67; 12-10-2009 at 09:18 AM..
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  #14  
Old 12-10-2009, 09:25 AM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freudian Slit View Post
Why do mentally unbalanced people do it, anyway? What is the thought process going on? I mean, it's not like most people secretly like poop and the only thing preventing them from using it is societal conditioning...is there? Then again, little kids don't seem to mind playing in it. I never got that. Even if I were a baby I'd still think it smelled horrible.
I read somewhere that smell isn't a good deterrent when you're talking little kids. They'll drink foul-smelling poisons, for instance. I don't know if it's conditioning or what, but at some point we learn what "bad" smells are.
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  #15  
Old 12-10-2009, 09:43 AM
tdn tdn is offline
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Originally Posted by Serenata67 View Post
We can't just say "just because it's not black, it's white" when there are the possibility of other colors out there.
I was just joking about that. Sort of.

I have no idea if poop smearing is an actual indicator mental illness. But as others have suggested, it's a pretty irrational act that could be a strong warning sign.

Interesting PDF.
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  #16  
Old 12-10-2009, 09:54 AM
Swallowed My Cellphone Swallowed My Cellphone is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ponch8 View Post
(WAG) People have evolved to hate the smell of poop, because anything contaminated with it is a good source of various diseases. Perhaps the smearing is a sign that the person is too far gone to even realize how nasty poop is.
I used to work with a guy who was, for awhile, a super intendant of a building in a crazy part of town. Once in awhile, he'd catch a homeless person sleeping in a nook hidden under the stairs of the buliding's basement and he'd have to kick them out of the building. Only once did he call an ambulance because it was a teenager who was wearing garbage bags... full of his own feces.

Most animals are hardwired with the "don't shit where you eat" program. As Ponch said, it has to do with disease aversion . There is a cool, interactive quiz on the BBC website on the Psychology of Disgust. Bottom line: the things that trigger our "Yuck!" response are the things that we tend to relate to disease. While it may be a learned thing, it goes way beyond what is "socially acceptable" and more into primitive "don't touch, it might kill you" territory.

If you suddenly embrace poo, it can be a sign that some of your key learned survival habits have been compromised.

ETA: As for the kid in the story above. When the ambulance and police arrived, they found the kid was essentially feral. My former co-worker was of the opinion that since most of the higher-up mammals do not sleep in their own shit, so the kid's mind was probably toast. (There was a lot of drug use in the area where he was a super, so it was not unusual for there to be genuinely brain damaged people in the neighborhood).

Last edited by Swallowed My Cellphone; 12-10-2009 at 09:58 AM..
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  #17  
Old 12-10-2009, 07:43 PM
Add99 Add99 is offline
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My ex-employee just likes shit. He likes to smear it. He made his brother eat it when they were kids. He shit in his hand while standing in the ocean waves and threw it at a girl and hit her right in the chest. He likes when his girlfriend shits on him. He likes to eat it. He smeared shit all over the inside of the Port-a-let at work. Some folks just LIKE it.

He was an entertaining guy. I miss him. He had lots of great stories about sexual perversions.
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  #18  
Old 12-10-2009, 08:16 PM
Freudian Slit Freudian Slit is offline
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Where'd you work? the Kinsey Institute?
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  #19  
Old 12-10-2009, 08:25 PM
RandMcnally RandMcnally is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Add99 View Post
My ex-employee just likes shit. He likes to smear it. He made his brother eat it when they were kids. He shit in his hand while standing in the ocean waves and threw it at a girl and hit her right in the chest. He likes when his girlfriend shits on him. He likes to eat it. He smeared shit all over the inside of the Port-a-let at work. Some folks just LIKE it.

He was an entertaining guy. I miss him. He had lots of great stories about sexual perversions.
Yeah, that guy's mentally fucked up.
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  #20  
Old 12-10-2009, 08:32 PM
Kozmik Kozmik is offline
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According to Training Day, yes.
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  #21  
Old 12-10-2009, 09:12 PM
Vinyl Turnip Vinyl Turnip is offline
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Originally Posted by Freudian Slit View Post
Where'd you work? the Kinsey Institute?
Message board administrator.
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  #22  
Old 12-10-2009, 09:17 PM
Covered_In_Bees! Covered_In_Bees! is offline
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Originally Posted by Kozmik View Post
According to Training Day, yes.
Hey now that you mention it, Extra Chunky Jiff sounds like it would hit the spot right about now.

If only I could find some jelly...
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