Many men have been expected since their earliest days to be brave. People say "big boys don't cry", "man up", "pull yourself together" and "be a man". We've all heard these sayings countless times ¬– perhaps from parents, perhaps from friends or work colleagues. The message is clear: men are expected to be tough, resilient, hiding their emotions behind a manly façade. It seems we have sometimes allowed unrealistic expectations to influence our ideas of how men should be and how they should behave. Is it any wonder then that around 1 in 8 men are reported to be suffering from common mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression?
Paruresis, also known as Shy Bladder Syndrome, or, as many men call it, "performance anxiety", is a social anxiety disorder or social phobia. Currently up to 4 million people in the UK may be living with it. It affects a person's ability to pee when other people are around, even if they are bursting to pee and in pain. If you've never experienced that, just think about it for a moment. You can't pee when you go to the pub in case someone else comes in. You can't pee at work in case someone else is around. You can't go on a plane because you would be unable to pee in an aircraft toilet. And anyway, what would be the point of going on holiday because you never know when you might need the toilet? You can't choose a career which might involve restrictions on when or where you could pee. Small wonder then that many of the men the UK Paruresis Trust (UKPT) comes across are suffering from sometimes severe anxiety and depression, even suicidal thoughts.
But there is a way through. It's not necessarily an easy route. But hundreds of men have attended a UKPT workshop and started to tackle their toilet anxieties and free themselves from the grip of paruresis. Workshop leaders who have also lived with paruresis guide you through the steps to control this fear so that it doesn't control you. Why not visit our website today to learn more about paruresis and attending a workshop? It could change your life. https://www.ukpt.org.uk/paruresis-workshops