Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Shy bladder syndrome

Paruresis (aka Shy bladder syndrome)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Paruresis (pronounced /pærjəˈriːsɪs/), also known as pee shyness, shy kidney, bashful bladder, stage fright, urophobia, shy phallus or shy bladder syndrome, is a type of phobia in which the sufferer is unable to urinate in the (real or imaginary) presence of others, such as in a public restroom. It can affect both males and females. The analogous condition that affects bowel movement is called parcopresis.

Many people have brief, isolated episodes of urinary difficulty in situations where other people are in close proximity. Paruresis, however, goes well 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.

Paruresis can be mild, moderate or severe. In mild cases, paruresis is an occasional event, like a form of subconscious performance anxiety. For example, a man at a public urinal may be surprised to find it difficult to urinate when flanked by other men, perhaps due to a subconscious feeling of vulnerability (i.e., a fear of being defenseless if attacked), or possibly because he is worried that others may see his penis. Once this has happened at least once, the fear may be of being judged for not being able to urinate. Other men may find that they are unable to urinate while in moving vehicles, or are fixated on the sounds of their urination in quiet restrooms or residential settings. In severe cases, a person with paruresis can urinate only when alone at home.[1]

Although most sufferers report that they developed the condition in their teenage years, it can strike 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.

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.

Friday, April 17, 2009