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How to Know if You Have a Public Restroom Phobia (Paruresis)

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How to Know if You Have a Public Restroom Phobia (Paruresis)

Do you have difficulty urinating in a public restroom or in the presence of other people? If so, you may suffer from a social phobia called avoidant paruresis.

If you have problems urinating in public, you are not alone. According to the International Paruresis Association about 21 million people suffer from avoidant paruresis. Many people have experienced avoidant paruresis to some degree. This problem is often referred to as having a shy-bladder.

However, there is an important distinction between occasionally having to wait a little longer to urinate and having avoidant paruresis.

You may have avoidant paruresis if you have consistent problems urinating around other people. The extent of the problem varies considerably among paruretics. Some paruretics can urinate in a public restroom, but only when they are alone.

Others are completely unable to use a public restroom. This causes a great deal of embarrassment to the paruretic. Often, paruretics find themselves avoiding situations such as concerts and ball games where they may have to use a public bathroom.

It should be noted, however, that avoidant paruresis affects more than just the ability to use public restrooms.

Many paruretics find it difficult to urinate in any environment where there are other people around. Even the noise people are making in another room may be enough to make it impossible to urinate, even in a private bathroom.

Despite the difficulties associated with avoidant paruresis, the problem can be overcome. If you are suffering from avoidant paruresis you need to learn relaxation techniques to relieve your anxiety about urinating in the presence of other people.

The International Paruresis Association offers tips and support for those suffering from avoidance paruresis. If you have this problem, help is readily available. Talk to a professional to conquer this problem and to start living a more comfortable life.



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