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Bashful Bladder: Do You Avoid?
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Bashful Bladder: Do You Avoid?

Bashful bladder comes under many guises: shy bladder syndrome, paruresis, avoidant paruresis and pee shyness to name but a few. The one thing that seems to be common amongst all those who suffer with bashful bladder is avoidance.

Getting rid of waste products from the body is a completely natural and essential function. Due to this, the majority of people take this basic function for granted, not giving it a second thought. It is just something they have to do. As a result of this, the inability to take care of such a natural bodily function shrouds the person in embarrassment and shame.

One way to cope with daily life if you have bashful bladder is to avoid. In order to cope, the paruretic becomes very adept at developing ‘coping strategies’ and avoidance behaviours. Some of these behaviours may include: holding urine in for lengthy periods of time; dehydrating oneself to avoid the need to urinate; seeking out specific public toilets that are known to be quiet; avoiding social events such as parties, nights out, going to the cinema, sports events or travel away from home; choosing jobs or careers greatly influenced by toilet facilities (work from home, environment where single toilets are in use).

In short, the paruretic’s life becomes consumed with his (or her) need to function as normally as possible and to avoid being ‘discovered’. This may often involve multiple excuses for not being able to attend social events or parties; leaving the individual feeling mentally exhausted and feeling outcast and isolated. Additionally, as they often hold the belief that they are the only one’s suffering with this ‘weird’ affliction, they are left feeling all the more ‘abnormal.'

Avoidance and paruresis go hand in hand. Not only does the person physically avoid social situations that most other people would not think about (going shopping, going out for a beer, going to a sporting event etc.), but they also avoid discussing the problem with anyone or seeking help. This social phobia thrives on avoidance and feeds off it, thus helping to maintain the problem

Why do paruretics avoid so much? Simply, it is because of the tremendous embarrassment they feel. Let's face it, urinating is something none of us can avoid and we all need to remove the liquid waste from our bodies each and every day to function properly. This is a perfectly natural process and for reasons still not yet fully understood, a certain group of individuals find themselves at the mercy of shy bladder syndrome and are unable to perform this 'mundane' task. To make matters worse, some are so severely affected that not only can they not urinate when others are around, but they are also unable to pee if they even think that someone may walk into the vicinity where they are attempting to urinate. This is just one of the devastating afflictions that both men and women have to bear with this social phobia.


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