This Article is About
shy bladder syndrome
social anxiety disorder
natural functions
common factors
both genders
cubicle
embarrassment
Women With Shy Bladder Syndrome
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Women With Shy Bladder Syndrome

Shy bladder syndrome or paruresis is a social anxiety disorder that causes the individual to have overwhelming anxiety when faced with having to pee when others are around. This situation is usually only relevant in a public toilet setting. The individual is typically okay and has no problems passing urine at home or in a perceived "safe" place (usually with a locking door).

It is far less common to hear of women with shy bladder syndrome compared to men. It is uncertain exactly why this is the case. A lot of common factors in shy bladder will affect both genders in very similar ways. Some of these factors include:

  • the individual's personality
  • a personal traumatic "triggering" event
  • embarrassment surrounding the disorder

Personality plays a significant role in shy bladder syndrome, as those affected tend to be more socially anxious, hyper-vigilant and tend to worry about scrutiny from others. Secondly, there is always usually some sort of triggering event associated with urination and scrutiny from others in childhood. One off triggering events like these get 'mulled' over in the mind and are significantly painful to the individual that a negative association is formed between urination and the scrutiny of others. Of course, there is tremendous embarrassment surrounding shy bladder. The inability to perform one of the body's most natural functions when anyone else may be around seems ludicrous to those who have never experienced it and therefore this embarrassment so often serves to perpetuate the problem.

Women are of course as significantly affected as men when it comes to severity and impact on their lives. Why then should there be such an apparent discrepancy between numbers of sufferers between the genders? When a woman enters a cubicle she is for the most part away from any visual scrutiny. Men on the other hand, when using a urinal means being on full view of everyone else. This alone maybe a significant factor.

Physical proximity is a very important factor in whether or not the paruretic feels their personal space is being invaded or not. Women are able to create a little space of their own which gives them some degree of personal space. Men, however, if using a urinal often have no alternative but to stand almost shoulder to shoulder with complete strangers.

Possibly one of the most significant factors is the difference between the sexes when it comes to discussing personal problems. Women are usually far more open and more likely to talk about their shy bladder. This alone empowers the individual tremendously affording them the freedom to socialise more with friends that "know" their dilemma. Men, on the other hand, tend to be notoriously bad at discussing personal problems. As shy bladder syndrome feeds off avoidance and secrecy, not being able to share this information, locks the individual into a seemingly unbreakable cycle.

Women with shy bladder syndrome, although affected just as severely as men seem better able to cope with the significant factors that so often maintain the problem. There seems to be a lot to be said for: "a problem shared is a problem halved." So come on fellas: find out as much information as you can, get in touch with your feminine side, take some control back and find somebody you can talk to. It's extremely brave and empowering.


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