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What is Parusesis?

You may inadvertently damage the property of others if you urinate in public. This can lead to criminal charges or a civil case being filed against you. Property damage is considered an automatic consequence of urinating in public in some cities, according to city ordinance laws. But do you know what a paruresis is? 

Paruresis, an anxiety disorder that causes you to be unable to pee in the presence of other people, affects 7% of men. It is also called Shy Bladder Syndrome.

What is Shy Bladder Syndrome?

The vast majority of people go about their daily lives without much thought or concern for bodily functions such as urinating. Urination is a source of great concern and inconvenience for approximately 21 million Americans, or roughly 7% of the general population. They have paruresis, which is also known as shy bladder syndrome, pee shyness, or bashful bladder. The term paruresis comes from the Latin for abnormal urination.

Paruresis is a type of social anxiety disorder that can affect both men and women. When confronted with the need to urinate in public or in the presence of others, the paruretic experiences significant anxiety about being judged by others. The fear is usually focused on what others would think if the paruretic were unable to initiate the flow of urine.

It is unknown what causes paruresis. The majority of paruresis claim that their condition began in late childhood or adolescence. They frequently attribute the onset of the disorder to an event in which they felt compelled to urinate in front of others.

The stress and anxiety caused by the pressure to perform led to the need to urinate. If they were unable to urinate, they might have been mocked by others. That trauma, combined with the fear of not being able to urinate in the future, was the source of the problem.

The severity of paruresis varies from person to person, as it does with all mental health issues. Some paruresis is mildly irritated by the inability to urinate in specific settings, such as sports arena restrooms with long lines of impatient fans waiting for the urinal.

Others suffer significant impairment when confronted with the need to urinate in the majority of situations. These people may become housebound if they need to urinate and do not have a safe bathroom nearby. People who are subjected to urine testing for employment are also adversely affected. Others may avoid long-haul flights out of fear of having to endure the agonizing experience of being unable to urinate. (Source: National Social Anxiety Center

How Common is Paruresis? 

According to healthcare providers, the number of people affected by this disorder is unknown. However, it is pretty standard. According to some studies, up to 25% of people in the United States have some form of paruresis. It affects both men and women of all ages, including children. (Source: The Cleveland Clinic

How is Parusesis Diagnosed? 

After reviewing your symptoms, your healthcare provider should be able to diagnose paruresis. If you can use the bathroom at home but have trouble peeing when you’re away from your toilet, your doctor may suspect paruresis. Your healthcare provider may refer you to a psychologist or urologist to diagnose paruresis, a healthcare provider specializing in the urinary tract. (Source: The Cleveland Clinic)

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