Shy bladder syndrome, also known as paruresis, is not necessarily a medical problem. In fact, it’s more commonly considered an anxiety disorder, with a hypersensitive fight or flight reflex interfering with the mechanics of urination.

Affected individuals can struggle to urinate in a public toilet or in any situation when someone might be listening. This can have various repercussions — from simple embarrassment to avoiding long outings or trips, even forgoing career opportunities or missing family events. The condition may be connected to childhood trauma or just a genetic predisposition to anxiety. But whatever its origins or triggers, counselling may be what you need to help you get to the bottom of the problem.

The experienced therapists at Bayside Psychotherapy have extensive experience dealing with bladder emptying difficulties and paruresis, along with other effects of anxiety. With training in a wide range of therapy methodologies, our practitioners can tailor a course of treatment to your particular needs.

We also recommend you download our targeted self-hypnosis recording for shy bladder to complement your counselling.

Give us a call on (03) 9557 9113 or use our contact form to find out more about how we can help you overcome your difficulties with urination. 

Let’s work together to stop your bladder issues from limiting your life.

What are the implications of paruresis?

Being afraid to use a public toilet can have a significant impact on your quality of life. Although some paruresis sufferers can use a public toilet if there’s no one else around, others feel like they can only relieve themselves at home. In this case, the practical outcome of the anxiety is akin to agoraphobia, or the fear of public or open places.

Some people hold their urine as long as they can, waiting until they can find some privacy. This habit can lead to urinary tract infections, or even incontinence — having an ‘accident’ rather than resort to using a public bathroom. Extreme cases can also result in kidney problems or even a ruptured bladder, a life threatening injury. Other sufferers may restrict their fluid intake, which is never a good idea. Organising daily movements around access to toilets that you can tolerate is another possibility. Although that technique may be less high risk physically, it’s likely to have a flow on effect for your mental health and your social life.

How much time and energy would it save if you could be comfortable using which ever pubic toilet is to hand? The social awkwardness and embarrassment that can result from shy bladder are also quite likely to make the problem worse, since they contribute to general anxiety. Counselling, psychotherapy and hypnotherapy treatment are often used to untangle the tangle of release fears and anxieties to help sufferers take back control.

Shy Bladder Syndrome

How does Bayside Psychotherapy approach treatment for anxiety disorders?

Our counsellors take the time to learn about your and your situation. This enables us to tailor treatment methods or combine several approaches to come up with a plan to work best for you. Depending on your preferences, your practitioner may draw on Buddhist Mindfulness Therapy, dream work, NLP, hypnotherapy or other counselling techniques. All your treatment — whether face to face or remotely via a secure online platform — will be conducted in a safe, supportive and non-judgemental environment.

How soon will I feel improvement?

The causes and severity of your paruresis will be unique to you, so the duration of your treatment will also depend on your own circumstances and response to treatment. Some people take just a few weeks, while others will need regular treatment over a long period to address more underlying issues. Your counsellor will assess your progress regularly to make sure your treatment is having the desired effect, and consult with you about when to start spacing out sessions in view of concluding them.

Think about how much easier your life would be without having to take your shy bladder into consideration every day.

Book your confidential appointment online or call us on (03) 9557 9113 to set up a meeting either in our Highett offices or via a secure online connection.

You can find our targeted self-hypnosis MP3 recording for shy bladder here.

Note: Whilst we will do our best to assist you, we rely upon your commitment to and participation in the treatment process to optimise results. Although some of our therapists work with people presenting with this condition, no guarantees of any outcomes can be made.

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