Paruresis Stories

How can I support a friend or relative living with paruresis?

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Do you have a family member or a friend who has confided in you that they have a social anxiety around using public toilets, often known as shy bladder syndrome or paruresis? If you have, your friend or family member probably really values your friendship as it's not an easy thing to admit to, and they may have agonised long and hard before decidin...
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New resources for women

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The notion of public toilet "performance anxiety" is a familiar one to many men, with up to 4 million in the UK saying that they experience shy bladder (paruresis) to some degree. But do women experience shy bladder too? Yes, they do, and we know that it can cause pain, anxiety, restricted lives and depression. But as no figures exist for women, we...
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Supporting young people to attend UKPT Workshops

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We welcome people of all ages to our Workshops. Participants frequently range from teenagers (including those under 18) to people in their seventies and beyond. Our youngest participants sometimes come to UKPT through parents, guardians or other adults seeking support on behalf of someone they care about. We asked two parents of participants to sha...
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New YouTube videos explain what paruresis is and how to overcome it

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 The UKPT is delighted to endorse a new series of videos which explain what paruresis is and describe what can be done to overcome it. The videos, which can be found on the link below, have been put together by Martin Burridge. Martin is a trained counsellor with experience of working with anxieties and phobias who now works in the space indus...
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Paruresis: back to reality

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For some paruresis sufferers lockdown has brought unexpected relief from the persistent worry about where they might find the next toilet they feel safe to use when out and about. Spending most of our time at home, without visitors, means that peeing has become a less-stressful activity, to be carried out with the same lack of concern enjoyed by th...
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Women experience paruresis too

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In a new video for our YouTube channel, UKPT Workshop Leader and Trustee Ann speaks frankly about her own experience of paruresis (shy bladder) and challenges the myth that this is a condition which only affects men. Having attended workshops – and now running them – Ann's attitude to the condition has changed dramatically and she says "it doesn't ...
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Meet a UKPT Workshop Leader

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Experience tells us that people often hesitate before booking onto UKPT Workshop. Sometimes weeks, months or even years will go by between finding out about the UKPT and attending a Workshop. We are always happy that people do come along when the time is right for them. The feedback we receive after Workshops often mentions the friendly, welcoming ...
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T's Story

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Having looked at the forums and known about the UKPT workshops for around five years, I finally built up the courage to attend a beginners workshop last week.So many people seem to say this of the workshops that it seems like a bit of cliche, however, it is true. I do wish I had done this earlier.I have suffered from AP for nearly 20 years. I have ...
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Bernard's Story

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Living With Avoidance Paruresis Avoidance Paruresis is the medical term for a condition known as shy bladder. This condition effects a persons ability to urinate while out socialising in public places or in many instances in the persons own home while others are present.I have lived with this condition since childhood but only recently discovered t...
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Alison's story

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I am a 65-year old woman, and I have suffered from the condition I now know is called paruresis for most of my life. It started when I was 17. At primary school I trained myself not to use the loos all day because they were disgusting and I couldn't stand the smell. It wasn't a big problem, however. I could use the smelly loos if I had to. At secon...
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Recent comment in this post
Guest — Janette Abbott
I have read Alison's story and find most of her experiences are very similar to my own. I was scared of the high cisterns and 'si... Read More
Sunday, 03 June 2018 11:13
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Steve's story

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I reckon my road to AP started at the age of around 10. I remember during a school medical the old witch of a School Nurse pulled my underpants down to do a few checks and pokes, and I started to get an erection. She gave such a look of derision to my mother who was also present – that I remember thinking 'well if you don't like it, then don't fidd...
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Jack's story

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Now that I think back, I am aware that I first had a problem using public loos around the age of 10 or 11. I don't remember anything before this. I did have an unpleasant incident when I was about 8 but I don't know if this started it or not. I went to high school for six years and peed about twice in that time. I left the house at 8 in the morning...
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Alex's story

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I vaguely remember the first time I ever had a problem peeing which was when I was about eleven or twelve years old. I have this memory of me standing in front of the toilet and trying to pee but nothing was happening! I told my father, who took me to see his doctor. His doctor diagnosed that the end of my foreskin was closing up and prescribed som...
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Al's story

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 As a child and young adult, I "suffered" greatly from paruresis, believing I was the only one in the world with this affliction. I felt intense shame, even self-loathing because of it and went to great lengths to conceal the problem. I'm sure you all know what this is like! However, about 20 years ago, I discovered that it is actually a very ...
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Going to hospital – a successful example of telling the medics

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From a letter received by the UKPT. A fortnight ago, I was found to have a partially detached retina and told immediate surgery was necessary. I explained to the consultant that this would present enormous problems re the use of hospital toilets and gave him some UKPT literature. He took it very seriously indeed and I was admitted to a room in the ...
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It's getting better all the time

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Posted by Baz on 6/6/2002 As is the very healthy tradition on this website, people give feedback on their progress to offer encouragement and information to other sufferers. And so it's my turn. Here's a list of what's helped me to get to where I'm at now: breaking the silence barrier There's already a post exclusively about this so no need to redo...
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A case study of successful treatment

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psychological treatment for bashfull bladder* Baruch Elitzur, Ph.D. Psychiatric Clinic, Ichilov Hospital, Tel Aviv Medical Center Translated by Judith Barrett, M.A. Judy Barrett, IPA staffer, has translated this article (in the Jewish Journal Harefuah) from the original Hebrew, and we have permission from the author to post it. abstract "Bashful bl...
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Positive thinking

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 Posted by mike uk on 27/8/2001 N = negative thoughts P = positive thoughts read very slowly and pause at the end of each sentence As you read this post you are surrounded be a swarm of Ns. The Ns are fairly large but are now shrinking slightly, smaller, smaller…gone. They are now slowly replaced with vibrant, colourful small Ps – rich positiv...
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Opposite thinking – Carl Robbins

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 Do you remember when George on Seinfeld discovered that "doing the opposite" helped him be successful beyond his wildest dreams? Well, as it turned out he may have actually been onto something. Marsha Linehan, PhD, an excellent clinician and researcher, has developed a cognitive-behavioural skill that would make Mr. Constanza proud. Much of h...
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Bladder training – may be very helpful

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 Not a very exciting title, but yet there is truth here worth paying attention to. Having paruresis can lead to a habit-forming dread of a full bladder. To avoid, we urinate before leaving the house and we urinate more often during the day to avoid ever placing ourselves in a difficult situation. The bladder is called the detrusor muscle and c...
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Breaking the silence barrier

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My counsellor asked me a few weeks back to state the outcome I was looking for regarding my toilet phobia. I told him that I wanted to be able to urinate freely in any and every situation. Then he asked me if I would be prepared to settle for anything less; for example, would being able to urinate in a cubicle in any situation improve the quality o...
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The Road to SUCCESS…Ian's story

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March 2003 Just thought I would share my story so far…and the steps I have taken to beat my AP. I have suffered for almost 20 odd years, but it has really gotten to me in the last 2, hence my finding the board etc. I could use stalls most of the time but not under pressure and maybe urinals if no one came in. In the last two years I have tried hypn...
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Chris' story

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May 2005 Yes, I did go to the Beginners' Workshop in May (and thank you for all the supportive and encouraging messages in that regard) and I'm really glad I did so - a great thank you to Andrew for organising it. I went feeling pretty negative about myself and the prospects of the workshop helping me. However, over the course of the weekend, it co...
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Mark's Story - learning to be normal

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I've had paruresis for so long that I can't even remember how it started. I have a vague memory of standing in line with some cub scouts when I was about seven and being under some kind of time pressure, which is followed by memories of standing in front of the school trough-urinal and not being able to do anything – much to my own bemusement. From...
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