Is Shy Bladder Really A Problem?
Yes, and it may be more common than you think.
Shy bladder (also known as paruresis) affects 7% of the adult population in the United States.
For some people, shy bladder is an occasional annoyance, remedied by something as simple as turning on a faucet. For others, it is a persistent nightmare, making it impossible to urinate with only the threat of someone possibly nearby.
Unfortunately, this condition has been dismissed by urologists, who largely consider it a psychological issue, as well as by psychologists, who largely consider it a phobia with underlying causes (anxiety disorder).
To start, here are three rules you must follow to cure your shy bladder...
Tip #1: Realize That A Cure Exists
Unless you require a catheter to urinate, there is nothing physically preventing you from peeing in public. This is a problem that can be solved.
Your shy bladder might be based on anxiety - unnecessary fear or shame- or it may simply be a conditioned response from childhood that has not been "unlearned."
Either way, this problem can be cured, either with cognitive behavioral therapy or a specialized program based solely on solving your shy bladder.
Tip #2: Make Small Changes Over Time
All legitimate programs to cure shy bladder are based on gradual exposure, meaning that progress is incremental, or over time.
Just like stepping carefully into a cold lake, where you gradually adjust to the temperature, all shy bladder cures work by repetitively becoming more and more comfortable with urinating in public.
How these programs gradually lead you along the way to the cure is how they differ. This is a big difference, and one program's approach might work better for you than another.
So what do we recommend? We have two recommendations, as seen on the top right of our page.
Regardless of which program you choose, it's very important that you follow...
Tip #3: Follow Every Step Of Your Program
It is very crucial that once you've started a program you commit to it.
Just as you get no benefit from seeing a therapist only once, or if you only follow a diet for 3 days, you get no benefit from a program if you only follow a few of the steps.
Commitment is essential. Most people don't realize how much their fear of urinating in public restrooms affects them, and therefore they simply "live with it." Understandably, they aren't willing to make the effort.
The best programs to cure shy bladder are short and effective. They understand the fear and anxiety surrounding this issue, and they help remove this fear.
For example, both systems we recommend have extensive techniques to ease fear and anxiety. Make sure this is a part of your treatment.
If you choose instead to try cognitive behavior therapy with a licensed therapist, make sure that your therapist thoroughly addresses not only your condition but the fear and anxiety surrounding your condition as well. An excellent therapist will do this, but many will not.
We recommend simple, specialized, at-home courses. Therapy and group work can be useful as well. Whatever you do, take action, commit, and you will see results.