Paruresis, the fear of urinating in public, is oficially classified as a type of phobia. It is also known by various other names including bashful or shy bladder syndrome. It’s a little talked about phobia but is actually surprisingly common.
Quite smply, a person suffering from this phobia will find it very difficult or even impossible to pass urine when other people are present. In other words, it is a fear that prevents a person from urinating in the absence of privacy – some or complete depending on the severity of the condition.
For some this is limited to difficulty in urinating when there are persons actually present or in close proximity, to others this extends to a difficulty when there is a chance of others entering their space.
Paruresis is a form of social anxiety and therefore it goes beyond just embarrassment and shyness – it can affect quality of life in many ways. Whilst perhaps more common in men (due mainly to the lack of privacy in many public bathrooms) it also affects women too – although the symptoms may diifer slightly. Typically, the phobia is triggered by some sort of event in earlier life which grows and develops over time.
There is some evidence to the effect that paruresis may be hereditary. Some paruretics find it difficult to point to a specific incident that triggered the condition in them. However, some others attribute it to a traumatic experience that they went through before or during adolescence. The traumatic experience may range from embarrassment caused by a parent, harassment in public toilets, teasing by siblings or classmates to sexual abuse.
A person suffering from paruresis will generally be shy and sensitive and fearful of other people judging or criticizing him/her. The severity of the phobia can range from mild or moderate to severe. Some of the common signs and symptoms are as follows:
Read more about Paruresis or shy bladder syndrome and learn how to make yourself pee.
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If your shy bladder is holding you back then take a look at one of our recommended, self-help treatment programs that are all guaranteed, proven and effective.