We all have had to suffer a little embarrassment at some time in our lives. Most of us use humour to defuse the situation so any anxiety we feel might die away quickly. It’s especially true with very personal incidents, like Paruaresis – otherwise known by such wittier terms as ‘Shy Bladder Syndrome’, ‘Pee-Phobia’, ‘Toilet Anxiety’ or simply having a case of ‘stage fright’.

Paruresis is considered to be one of the most common types of social phobia. The International Paruresis Association has estimated that about 220 million people suffer from the condition across the world, with 10% of that number alone in the US.

The true number is arguably even higher, but because of its deeply personal nature, many who suffer from Shy Bladder Syndrome are too embarrassed to admit it, and keep it to themselves.

What many do not realize is that it is not actually a physical condition. In fact, the cause is firmly rooted in psychology and hypnotherapy can very successfully treat it.

What Exactly Is Paruresis?

A Paruresis sufferer finds it difficult to urinate when there are other people nearby, such as in a public restroom. It can affect both men and women, but more prevalent amongst men, and can significantly impact on social and professional lives.

As we already mentioned, Shy Bladder Syndrome is not actually a physical condition. The urinary tract is in perfect working order, but its natural mechanism has been interfered with by anxiety. The urinary sphincter, which needs to be relaxed if urine is to flow from the bladder, tightens up in reaction to a stressful situation.

Crucially, the fact the person is unable to urinate only heightens the anxiety, and the whole negative spiral starts off. The result is a full bladder that cannot be emptied, which leads to physical pain.

Symptoms And Causes

In its simplest form, Paruresis causes a sufferer to be unable to pee in a public restroom until they are sure they are alone. But the symptoms can actually vary quite dramatically. Most are quite irrational, and this is the principal reason it has been categorized by mental health professionals as a social phobia

Amongst the most common Paruresis symptoms are:

  • unable to urinate in other people’s homes
  • difficult to urinate when guests are in your home
  • feeling stressed and anxious when you need to go
  • only going when complete privacy is secured
  • avoiding travel and social events wherever possible
  • only urinating when alone at home

Many of these Shy Bladder Syndrome symptoms can be linked to a past traumatic event, generally taking hold in adolescence, when anxiety, puberty and sensitivity to embarrassing events are strongest.

But it can take hold at any time, with injuries to self-confidence, depression and feelings of inadequacy all playing a role. In fact, some of the most common causes are:

  • past emotional, physical or sexual abuse
  • ridicule of developing sexual organs
  • premature toilet training, causing anxiety over urinating
  • criticism and physical punishment
  • teasing in school at school urinals

With any of these situations, a person can develop a strong desire to avoid reliving the original anxious feelings. To do so, they often stay away from public restrooms, and over time, develop an inability to urinate in public. Some will resort to not going out at all, simply to avoid the situation.

How Hypnotherapy Can Help

With the causes of Shy Bladder Syndrome are known to be psychological, hypnotherapy is seen as a highly effective treatment option. The psychological issues might include something as simple as bad memories, as common as unresolved fears, or as grave as traumatic events. These can all become entrenched in the subconscious, so a technique to unlock it and get to the very heart of the issues is needed.

Hypnotherapy deals directly with the subconscious mind to release fears and negative thinking, replacing them with more positive thoughts so as to rebuild self-confidence and develop brighter outlooks. As a result, this treatment enjoys a greater rate of success than the alternatives.

The most common benefits of hypnosis treatment for Shy Bladder Syndrome are:

  • achieving the relaxed state needed to urinate
  • calmness, devoid of fears
  • feeling in control
  • disregarding your surroundings when urinating
  • regaining confidence to go out and use public restrooms
  • learning to work through debilitating old fears and traumas

Through hypnotherapy you can identify the fears and anxieties that have contributed to the condition, and deal with them so you regain control of your life.