UKPT News and Blog

3 minutes reading time (618 words)

Is paruresis (shy bladder syndrome) curable?


That's the question which everyone who has paruresis wants to know the answer to.

There is certainly no easy option. There is no pill you can take which will make it go away, never to return. But don't let that make you feel despondent. There is plenty you can do to make significant improvements to your shy bladder condition so that it no longer dominates your life. If you put in the effort it's a worthwhile achievement. But, it needs work, organisation, and determination from you.

The treatment that is recommended by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Here at the UK Paruresis Trust (UKPT), we use CBT principles in our workshops, because we know they work.

We also know from experience that meeting with other people who have paruresis and sharing experiences can remove the shame and guilt that make the condition worse.

We know that getting to know the way your bladder works, can make a huge difference. Learning to recognise when you need to pee. But knowing that if you haven't drunk enough, you may not need to pee, even if you feel that you should.

We know that it will help you immensely if you can learn some relaxation techniques to keep your anxiety under control. High anxiety and an empty bladder due to not drinking, means you're unlikely to be able to pee. Low anxiety and a comfortably full bladder makes it much more likely.

The worst thing you can do to scupper your chances of recovery is to avoid the issue. Paruresis is often called Avoidant Paruresis for that reason. The more you avoid toilets, drinking, and socialising, the more ingrained the paruresis will become. Many of us with paruresis develop avoidance behaviours to manage it. But this teaches your brain that a situation is to be feared. You can unlearn that over time to get rid of it.

Be selfish. You are entitled to stay in that cubicle for as long as you need. Make others wait; after all they would make you wait. So, what does it matter if they're mildly inconvenienced?

These changes may present you with big challenges. So, prepare to work at it. Practice your relaxation techniques so that you can induce a sense of calm almost to order. Try to keep your body hydrated with adequate amounts of liquid to try to restore a healthier bladder function. Read up about graduated desensitisation so that you get to understand how to start by "dipping your toe in at the shallow end of the pool instead of jumping in the deep end".

Feedback from the UKPT workshop CBT approach demonstrates how successful this is.

"I will never say cured… but I can't believe how far I've come in five months."

"The workshop process and support is a PROVEN success system that I would recommend to anyone with avoidant paruresis, but you have to stop kidding yourself and REALLY want to get to the level you feel happy at and put the effort in."


You can read more feedback on the forum.

So, is there a cure for paruresis? Not 100 per cent. But think about your current situation – how happy would you be with a 95% improvement? And if the other 5% is manageable, how much difference would that make to your life?

For further information you might find it helpful to visit

Visit the UKPT website for more information. Find out how other people have overcome their paruresis.

In the meantime, click the subscribe icon to follow our blog and be the first to know about new posts. 

Wiser’s Wramblings-I’m Not Shying Away This Time


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Thursday, 30 May 2024

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to

Find the UK Paruresis Trust on Facebook
Follow the UK Paruresis Trust on Twitter/X
Follow the UK Paruresis Trust on YouTube
Follow us on Instagram
Registered with Fundraising Regulator
Community Fund
BMA Patient Information Awards Highly Commended 2019
Trusted Information Creator
Copyright © 2017 United Kingdom Paruresis Trust. All Rights Reserved.
Last review date: January 2023.
Next review date: January 2026.

UK Charity Registration Number 1109541
Privacy and Cookies Policy