The fear of urination in front of others is a fairly common issue that men face. This issue usually manifests in their younger years and subsides as they grow older. But when the issue persists it is also known as paruresis or shy bladder syndrome or bashful bladder.
Paruresis is a genuine medical problem and has both psychological and mental factors to consider. We’ll go into detail about what causes the condition and the ways you can overcome your fear of urinating in front of others.
What Causes Paruresis?
This mental problem is accompanied by a physiological response by the body that physically stops you from urinating. Your body contracts the muscles associated with passing urine in a nervous system response to this fear. The adrenaline produced by this involuntary nervous system function is what causes the contraction of the muscles.
While the condition begins with a mental block, it’s a common misconception that it is only a mental health issue. While the condition has a mental health factor involved in it, it is not solely that.
This response by your nervous system is usually caused by a negative experience using public restrooms or urinating in front of others in the past and it’s that block you need to overcome.
How Can You Treat It?
Treatment usually includes one or two forms of mental health strategies.
The first is cognitive behavioral therapy and the second is graduated exposure therapy.
These treatments are the professional methods that doctors and mental health professionals will help you with, should your condition warrant it. But before resorting to that, here are some ways you can try for yourself.
Planning when you urinate might seem like a strange idea but for some people who suffer with this condition, it’s often one of the best ways to deal with it yourself.
Much like the eccentric Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory has a toilet schedule, perhaps you should consider planning when you go to the toilet.
I’m in no way saying go as far as Cooper and make a schedule for the toilet, but planning ahead is always an option.
Before going out shopping or going to your next event, go to the toilet a few times to empty that annoying bladder (and monitor what and when you drink to help fine tune things)
Listen To Music
Music has a reputation for being a catharsis. For many people across the globe, music helps them when they sit down to study, when they need to relax before sleep or when they are chilling out after a hard day’s work.
Plugging in those earphones while trying to urinate in public may ease the tension you feel.
Certain types of music have been proven to stimulate a variety of brain waves associated with relaxation. Maybe all you need to do is find that one type of music that can do that for you.
As shy bladder syndrome has a physiological response to the situation, perhaps calming your nerves with some music will reverse the effects of the adrenaline for you.
Create Your Exclusion Zone or Buffer when you urinate
This method has been proven to work for people when they use public restrooms and suffer from shy bladder syndrome. Creating your own space creates an area that you can control.
The sense of control over this space can lead to the calming of your nerves.
Some of the mental issues that effect or cause shy bladder syndrome stem from a lack of control over the place or situation – reclaiming this control by creating your own space or a buffer for you to urinate, may be a solution that will work for you.
So if you have the trouble with a fear of urinating in front of people, why not give those methods a try?
Hopefully one of them will work for you.
If all else fails and nothing on this list works then hypnosis is another option using a professionally designed and recorded track like this one.