It is normal for most people to urinate in a bathroom outside the home is uncomfortable.
For others, however, doing so in the office, restaurant, airport, shopping center or stadium is a dramatic situation that causes them much anxiety and affects them physically and emotionally.
These people suffer from a condition called paruresis , better known as “shy bladder syndrome.”
Those who suffer from it are not able to urinate if there are other people nearby.
And even if there is no one, they are blinded by the idea of someone coming.
For these people it is common to take measures to avoid going to the bathroom outside the home.
For example, they avoid drinking liquids before leaving, they try to urinate several times at home even if they do not feel like it, they plan each outing to calculate how long it will take them to return home, they try not to spend more than 20 minutes on the street or they avoid traveling .
For others, it even becomes a problem to receive visitors at home, because they are not able to go to the bathroom while there are people there.
Consequences for daily life
“This condition can affect the work, relationships of the couple and family of the person,” explains psychologist Astrid Perez-Lyons, who has treated patients with paruresis.
“You can control all your activities.”The International Association of Paruresis (IPA) estimates that in the United States hundreds or even thousands of workers have been unjustifiably dismissed because they were not able to urinate during a random drug test.
Although more research is needed on the subject, the IPA estimates that around 7% of the world population suffers from this syndrome.
According to Perez-Lyons, the shy bladder syndrome generates in the person an anxiety when noticing that others may hear or realize that he is urinating.The IPA, in turn, explains that the causes of this syndrome are very varied and depend on each person. From childhood traumas and personality traits to concerns related to sexuality or even physical conditions.
In any case, according to Perez-Lyons, the important thing is to ask for help soon, because with proper treatment the person can overcome the syndrome.
“People should know that help is and is very effective, ” says Perez-Lyons, who mentions as an example some therapies in which the patient receives support in situations in which little by little the fear of urination is lost .
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