Do You Have Shy Bladder?

The medical term for Shy Bladder is paruresis, which refers to an individual finding it difficult to use the toilet when other people are around. As a result, they feel a lot of anxiety and pressure when they have no choice but to use public restrooms. 

Unfortunately, using public restrooms in everyday life is an almost unavoidable thing. In addition, people with paruresis may find it difficult to take random drug tests where urine samples are needed. 

Surprisingly, paruresis is not a rare condition. Almost 20 million Americans of all ages experience symptoms of shy bladder. The good news is that it is highly treatable.

Symptoms of Shy Bladder

Those who suffer from a shy bladder are embarrassed to urinate in front of others. They may “force” themselves to go, to discover that they can’t. As a result, they may change their routines to avoid this embarrassment. Sometimes, this change can be very drastic and detrimental to their daily lives. 

The causes of paruresis include:

  • Environmental factors such as being harassed, teased, or embarrassed by others about using the toilet in the past.
  • Anxiety relating to genetics.
  • A history of medical conditions related to urinating.

Medical professionals consider a shy bladder a social phobia, but it is not actually a mental disorder. However, this does point to a serious mental health issue that requires help and treatment.

How Can You Treat Shy Bladder?

Shy bladder is treated with a combination of counseling and medication. If you have trouble urinating, you should see a doctor to rule out any underlying medical conditions. If you’ve been diagnosed with this condition, you need a treatment strategy tailored to your specific symptoms and root reasons.

Additionally, to alleviate symptoms of the shy bladder, your doctor may give anti-anxiety or bladder-specific medication. Medicine, while sometimes helpful, is not very useful for patients with paruresis. On the other hand, cognitive behavioral therapy has been discovered to be very effective. 

Why Is It Dangerous to Leave Shy Bladder Untreated?

In addition to the obvious psychological effects, having a shy bladder can cause real health problems. Holding in pee for an extended period can cause damage to the pelvic floor muscles needed to urinate, increasing your chance of developing a urinary tract infection. Low fluid intake can also cause stones in the gallbladder, kidneys, and salivary glands.