Suffering for 10 years+ help.

Since high school I have had a massive problem with urinating in a public places. I would find myself holding in a pee for sometimes up to 6 hours just to be able to pee at home. The school I went to was rough and often gangs would use the toilets as a place to hang out. In my first year I would try and be done as quick as possible and would have constant fear that a load of people would walk in as I was peeing. Overtime this built up until my second year where I found myself to scared to go to the loo unless I knew there was no chance of anyone coming in. This would mean skipping class so everyone would be in lessons just so I could use the toilets. It then got to the point of me not going to the toilet for the whole school day. This continued and worsened throughout high-school and into college.

I would find myself not able to go to events with my friends without knowing what the toilet situation of the venue was. I'm completely alone with this problem as no one I know has ever related with me about it. It's now been over ten years and I can't take it anymore. I've been to my local doctors time after time and each time I'm told to either wait on a waiting list for up to 6 months or to just do actions like whistle. I feel none of the doctors I have spoken to have taken it seriously and get the feeling of "Man up" when they are talking to me.

This condition is affecting my life so much that I don't go to a-lot of social events with my friends. I have not been able to sustain a relationship for longer than 3 months because I find it too stressful having to go to her house or go out with her to places where I know I won't be able to us the toilet. The worst of it all is that I'm scared it'll affect my main passion and my job, which is music. I'm lucky enough to be in a great position to be about to go on a tour around various countries. My anxiety about it all is through the roof because of the venues and being on the road with this problem.

A couple of years ago I had to hold a pee for close to 8 hours whilst on a flight. I had gotten up to go to the toilet around 6 times during the flight and each time it got worse and worse as I was unable to go.

I'm completely lost with it and feel as if I can't fix it. I've read so much on CBT but unless I pay a large fee (which I can't really afford) than I think I'll just be on a waiting list. I've not committed to the waiting list because I have a hectic schedule due to work and will most likely not even be in the UK come a few months time.

I have spoken with friends but no one gets it. The anxiety has now got to the point where If I try and go to the toilet I'm worrying about them knowing why I'm always going to the loo or checking who's in there or not going to events. Its destroying me and I'm terrified that my mental health will spiral If I don't find a solution.

If anyone has techniques or some sort of strategy for slowing being able to pee in public places or even at a urinal please get back to me.

Thanks, Luke.

#231 by Anonymous

Hi Luke

I’m glad you have found our website forum and so been able to get it all off your chest. As you’d expect, we totally get what you have been and are going through, having been there ourselves. Sadly no-one around you can relate to it; in contrast we find that most guys we come across know someone, at first or second remove, who has paruresis to some extent, or if not can understand where you are coming from. Also there are plenty of guys who are not chronic, but like a bit of privacy and so can find it more difficult to go in challenging situations.

I am very concerned that it is destroying you; we have to help you out of this.

Firstly we strongly encourage you to go to your GP again to say that you get uncontrollable “urinary retention” which on a plane flight can be dangerous to your health.

Up to now they have been dismissive. It should help to say there is a UK charity for this condition, and would they please read the website. One of the trustees is a clinical psychologist as are the Honorary Advisors. That will give the condition validity.

Take along some screen prints of our website. For instance the FAQ explains why you can’t pee.

Then ask to be prescribed ISC which is Intermittent Self-Catheterisation. If the GP queries this, say the charity recommends it for serious cases, and for situations like a plane where there is no option. The GP should prescribe you these catheters, and then a nurse should show you how to use them. People swear by them.

With a catheter, you can empty your bladder in a cubicle very easily; in fact you can’t stop the flow!

Secondly get yourself along to one of our Beginners’ workshop. The workshop will move you a good way forward. Just read some of the postings headed “Feedback” on the forum. The Workshop tab on the website explains what they are, give a list of where and when they are, and enables you to book on one.

You mention not being able to afford a large fee for CBT. Our fee is £120, and then there is a hotel room for two nights on top. If that is a problem, we can sub you to ensure you can attend. That’s what we are here for .

You say you have a hectic schedule soon. This requires you to reframe your view of your life. If a doctor said you had a life-threatening illness and had to go to hospital for treatment, you would cancel everything. This is the same. You are terrified your mental health will suffer: in that case sorting that out must come before anything else including work. No point being a mental wreck musician who can’t play in gigs.

Get back to me either here on this forum or by email to the support address.

Together we can beat it!


#232 by andrew

Hi Andrew.

Thanks you so much for taking the time to get back to me. Everything you have said has reassured me that I definitely need to get this sorted. I have booked an appointment with my local GP and feel a-lot more confident that they will take it more seriously this time. I've been recommended a doctor who specialises with anxiety problems.

Feel like a ISC would be good to have on hand for an emergency on a long haul flight, so I'll definitely look into that. If it's fine to then I'll keep this thread updated with the results of my appointment.

Thank you for the detailed response. Just knowing that I'm not alone and that it's taken seriously has made me feel alot better about it.

Many thanks, Luke.

#233 by Anonymous

Sorry to hear of your situation and I urge you to attend a workshop. I have suffered the same problem as you for 35 years. I went in the first workshop with huge trepidation, however what I found at the beginners workshop was a room full of normal people, all ages and backgrounds. I thought I was a freak and the only one suffering from that. Turns out so many people are suffering in silence. The workshop was amazing safe environment to work on this problem that has had such an effect on my life. It was the start of an amazing journey, where I have met some amazing friends. I’ve just completed my first follow up workshop after the beginners course. Everyone on the course has improved in various stages which have made massive changes to their lives. I personally have not pissed at a urinal since I was 8. After my follow up course I not only started using a urinal I did it with people around and in a busy toilet. So please book on the course now, don’t make excuses, don’t put it off just get booked on. Then as the course approaches don’t make excuses and not turn up. It will change your life forever. Good Luck on your journey.

#234 by Mat

Hi Luke

Just by coincidence, I have come across and article about paruresis on the website of the Royal Australian College of general Practitioners here:

There is also a research paper published in the Autralin Journal of genral practitioners here:

So you could print them off and take them with you next time you go to a medic?



#235 by andrew

Thank you both so much for advice. I will see how my appointment goes with the GP and then decide about the workshop. Thanks for the articles, will take them with me!

Kind Regards

#238 by Anonymous
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