Daily Health

Health for Happiness

Avoidant Paruresis


Paruresis, also known as shy bladder syndrome, is an anxiety disorder that makes someone unable to urinate in the presence of other people. The condition is also called shy bladder or bashful bladders, and mostly happens when someone visits a public urinal. Those who have this condition are unable to urinate in any place if there are other people because they feel like all attention is on them. Its a very common problem with men, but many women experience similar issues.


A person with paruresis typically has a sensitive, shy, conscientious personality and is fearful of being judged or criticized by others. Paruresis can be mild, moderate or severe. Sign and symptoms of severe paruresis can include :

  • Need for complete privacy when going to the toilet
  • Fear of other people hearing the urine hit the toilet water
  • Fear of other people smelling the urine
  • Negative self-talk while trying to urinate
  • Inability to urinate in public toilets or at other people’s homes
  • Inability to urinate at home when guests are present
  • Inability to urinate at home of someone is waiting outside the toilet
  • Feeling anxious about needing to go to the toilet
  • Restricting drinks to reduce the need for urination
  • Avoiding travel and social events

The Cures for Shy Bladder are :

  • Relaxation techniques – to learn a range of strategies to help reduce anxiety
  • Psychotherapy – a type of counselling that helps you deal with the here and now, and teaches problem solving
  • Cognitive behavior therapy – changing the way you think and behave
  • Graduate exposure therapy –  a step-by-step program that involves deliberately trying to urinate in increasingly more difficult places


Leave a Reply