Shy Bladder Syndrome (Paruresis)

Bashful bladder syndrome (Paruresis) is a form of social anxiety and a physiological condition affecting the urinary system that arises from a psychological event. Individuals with bashful bladder syndrome (BBS) have a fear of urinating in public restrooms. In mild cases of BBS, paruretics can use public facilities under certain circumstances, such as when they are alone in a public restroom. In severe cases, paruretics may only be able to urinate when alone at home. The degree of BBS hesitancy ranges from a momentary delay in starting urination to the total inability to institute a urine stream. Many paruretics describe the need for a personal "comfort threshold" in order to urinate, whether in public facilities or at home. When this comfort threshold is interfered with by a negative circumstance (such as a noise, lack of privacy, other people talking while in the restroom), BBS is triggered and prevents them from urinating. Although people suffering from BBS frequently believe that they are the only one in the world who has this embarrassing dysfunction, paruresis is not uncommon. For more information regarding bashful bladder syndrome, contact the International Paruresis Association.

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