Making Progress - Am I Overthinking Things?


It's been great to find the UKPT, the resources have been really helpful for me, especially the CBT stuff.

I've had Paruresis for as long as I can remember, definitely 30+ years and it has sneakily affected my whole life. I've been working on my GE for some time now with definite progress, but I'm a bit stuck & confused now. I'm at the stage where I'm trying to pee in a urinal with someone in the next one. I'm getting a stream started, but lose it before I feel properly empty and of course as soon as the person leaves I have a nice extra pee!

I know I'm really fortunate to even be at this stage, but I'm a bit stuck and I've had some interesting thoughts. So when I first started my journey to improve my Paruresis the biggest thing for me was that it's all about being anxious about NOT peeing, rather than peeing - it made perfect sense. Now I'm able to start a stream next to someone, I think I'm having anxiety about the actual peeing - it seems things have swapped around. Does this makes sense or am I just over thinking stuff?

Any thoughts appreciated.


#129 by Julian

HI Julian

Delighted you found the website helpful; always good to know that.

What you are experiencing is normal. A psychological experiment in the 50s on unsuspecting members of the public showed that the closer someone stood to that person, the slower that person was to start, and the less they peed. How they determined that, I don't know!. But to my mind it comes down to personal space. Urinals usually place you closer to someone than you would normally be in any other context, other than an over-crowded tube train.

So the first thing is to ensure you are problem-free when there is a gap of one unused urinal.
Then to realise that probably 50% of men avoid standing right next to someone, and will either hang back, or use a cubicle. I have experienced two cases where my neighbour hopped sideways as soon as the urinal on his other side came free.
But if you want to crack that, practice first in toilets that have dividers between urianals: psychologically they delineate a personal space, even if you are closer than you like. Only when problem-free with dividers do you tackle the no divider set-up.

#130 by andrew

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for your quick response and for the reassurance.

My current 'feeling' is that every other bloke is totally happy to pee anywhere next to anyone. So as you say I need to realise, as per your experience and the experiment you mentioned, that it's not the case and wanting some distance is actually pretty normal. I'll start tackling this thinking along with my current 'unhelpful thoughts' that everyone is watching and noticing what I'm doing!

I don't know of any local toilets with dividers, so I'll have to do some scouting to find some, but I will follow your suggested course of action. I probably need to cut myself some slack, I tend to get a bit fixated on things and exactly what should and shouldn't be happening.



#131 by Julian
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