my son

My son who is 16 has never been able to use public toilets but now it has started to surface at home. He is missing a lot of his final year of school with this problem and i cant seem to get him diagnosed or recognized as a problem from anyone. He has now seen a doctor and pediatrician, urologist and because they physically can not find anything wrong he is taken off their list. I dont know where to turn to next to help him get the help he needs. He was sent to emotional wellbeing where they have medicated him for anxiety which is having no effect. When i mention paresis no ones even heard of it, so who in the medical realm should know and i can turn to to get diagnosis.
Thank god for this site.

#56 by celia

Hello Celia

So glad you have got in touch with us. Because no-one talks about this condition, most medical practitioners have not heard of it. So you need to give them the facts:

1. If you let me have your address, I can arrange for our brochure to be posted to you; you can then show it to others as needed. At the bottom of the webpages you will see our support email address.

2. The UK Paruresis Trust is a registered UK charity; which gives it credibility.

3. A trustee of the charity is a retired clinical psychologist.

4. The home page of our website can be printed: this contains a reference to the research that identified this condition back in the 50s. It also shows that the UKPT had Lottery Funding, again evidence of credibility.

The condition is treated using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, known as CBT. A clinical psychologist will know how to use CBT for an anxiety condition like this, but may not have the experience to deal with more severe cases.

Which brings me to our residential weekend workshops, which use a CBT approach to address the issue. We have been running these since 2003 and have run over 90 workshops, attended by over 500 individuals. The workshop leaders have or have had some degree of paruresis and so have personal experience of what participants are going through. The workshop provides a safe place for the individual to deal with the condition at a pace that suits him or her.

As for your son being 16, we have a Safeguarding Young People and Vulnerable Adults Policy, and procedures for handling a young person. We have done this successfully several times so far, with 16 year olds and a 14 year old.

The website page on workshops show there are two beginners' workshops coming up: Reading on 2-4 Feb, and Manchester on 9-11 March. I suggest the Feb workshop is probably too soon to put arrangements in place, and the March workshop is feasible.

So I hope this helps. Do get back to me on the support email address with any queries etc so that we can move this forward.

Best wishes


Andrew Smith
Chair - UKPT

E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

#58 by andrew

Celia, thank you for this post. I have a son, who is now 24 and he has suffered from this for years. He took a gap year from uni to try desensitisation, which helped to a degree. It’s a long story but I paid for therapy when he was at school and EMDR was recommended, this wasn’t hugely helpful and recently I’ve suggested CBT via PCPT but 6 months waiting list. It’s now getting him down and affecting him psychologically. Is it worth a visit to a GP, a Urologist to rule out bladder problems and personally I don’t think 6-12 weeks of CBT will cut the mustard in the long term. He found one of your workshops invaluable but I so want to help him with this and any advice would be gratefully received
Thank you

#177 by Jane

Hello Jane
A visit to a urologist would be to check for any contractions. However if he can pee freely in what he considers to be a safe situation, but not in some social situations, its unlikely to be a stricture. Only he can tell.
As for workshops; guys find a workshop helpful, but it is common to at worst regress, or at best to stay on a plateau. It can be difficult to organise and persevere with graduated desensitisation on one's own. Those who return for a follow-up workshop make further progress and so get re-motivated.
Would that be a possibility?

#178 by andrew
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