Shy Bladder – Paruresis
Shy bladder or paruresis is a very common client problems and I regularly see clients in my Leeds and Manchester clinics.
Some clients have brief, isolated episodes of this urinary difficulty in situations where other people are in close proximity, such as in motor service station facilities.
Paruresis, is often far more than simple shyness, embarrassment, fear of exposure. Often clients fear of being judged for not being able to urinate. Some may find that they are also unable to urinate while in moving vehicles, or become fixated on the sounds of their urination in quiet restrooms or similar settings.
In severe cases, a person with paruresis can urinate only when alone at home or through the process of catheterization!
Although most sufferers report that they developed the condition in their teenage years, it can occur at any age. Also, because of the differing levels of severity from one person to another, some people’s first experience of the problem is when, for the first time, they “lock up” attempting to produce a sample for a drug test. Many women are unaware that they, too, are subject to paruresis; articles about women and urination emphasize other female urinary dysfunctions, such as urinary incontinence or frequent urination.
Some people cope by deliberately holding in their urine, by refraining from drinking liquids, or locating unoccupied or single-occupancy public bathrooms. I have helped many clients with this and one of the keys to resolving this is to teach the client to become more relaxed in the situations where they previously experienced extreme anxiety
Severe cases of this disorder can have highly restricting effects on a person’s life. Severe sufferers may not be willing to travel far from their home or be able to form intimate relationships. Others cannot urinate even in their own home if someone else can be heard to be there. Fortunately by focussing on changing the unhelpful patters of thinking, which create the feelings, many clients can experience great results in 2 – 3 sessions.