Do you know what I hate? I hate it when it just doesn't happen. You go, you stand or sit, you hold it, you stroke it, you shake it, you curse it, you think about waterfalls, rain or whatever but it just doesn't happen! It's very embarrassing when someone is standing on either or both sides of you, or anywhere near you, whether they're really there or just in my imagination.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, this type of social anxiety disorder is known as paruresis, or pee shy, shy kidney, bashful or shy bladder syndrome, or dysuria. It's a type of social anxiety disorder, that can affect both men and women, in which the sufferer finds it difficult or impossible to urinate in the (real or imaginary) presence of others, such as in a public restroom. It also applies Also, for people who have difficulty under the stress of time pressure, when being observed, when others are close by and might hear them, or when traveling on moving vehicles such as trains or planes.
Many people experience isolated transient manifestations of urinary difficulty in particularly undesirable situations, and this is sometimes described as stage fright. However, that is to be distinguished from paruresis.
Paruresis goes beyond simple shyness, embarrassment or desire for privacy in that it is much more severe and may cause unnecessary inconvenience, because the inability to urinate, although psychological in origin, is physical in its effect, and not under the control of the sufferer. 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. Others cannot urinate even in their own home if someone else can be heard to be there.
Actual treatments for the condition include:
- cognitive behavior therapy,
- training with biofeedback,
- anti-anxiety medications,
- using a catheter, although this is alleviating the symptoms rather than effecting a cure, and
- reducing the level of privacy at which the condition triggers by indulging in graduated exposure therapy. This last can be achieved by sufferers working together at organised events known as workshops.
If you're a pee shy sufferer then the following organisations may be of interest as they are dedicated to helping men and women for whom urinating in the presence or vicinity of other people, is difficult or impossible, and dealing with the problems this brings about:
- International Paruresis Association
- European Paruresis Association
- UK Paruresis Trust
- Paruresis Association of Australia
These associations aim to break the silence about Paruresis, and provide a Forum for advice and discussion as well as support. Their websites provide a resource for people who suffer from this debilitating condition.
Last but by no means least, you might find Freedom from Paruresis and Panic, a personal account of, Max, a 43 year-old panic disorder and bashful bladder syndrome sufferer, helpful.
The hate, sent in by Colin, Kent