Here’s a question for you: Are you Pee Shy? Do you have Shy Bladder Syndrome? Some people do, and don’t even know it!
Like my Sister for example. She has problems urinating in a bathroom if someone’s in the next stall. This came up in casual conversation because she said her husband got mad at her for taking so long in the bathroom. So I instinctively asked her “Are you Pee Shy?” (she doesn’t know about me), and her reply was “I don’t know… I guess!“
She had never associated the actual phrase “Pee Shy” with the slight issues she had going to the bathroom. She just knew that going to the bathroom was harder under certain circumstances.
Same with me!
I had always had a fear of bathrooms and peeing in public, but I never gave it much thought. I just knew that it was something that I was nervous and shy about. But since I’ve been like this my whole life and didn’t know any different, I just figured that was me. That’s how I am!
It was natural for me to NOT pee in the restrooms. They scared me.
Until I got older and realized that my fears were getting worse did it dawn on me that there must be something more to this condition.
What is going on with me?
What is Shy Bladder?
What causes it?
I really wanted to learn how deep the problem went. I also wanted to discover how it all began. I researched the subject. I bought books on Paruresis and finally saw that YES I did have Shy Bladder Syndrome. I am Pee Shy! And, that I’m NOT alone!
Many others feared going to the bathroom just like me. I learned that this fear is a fear of NOT being able to go, which is totally different than what I originally was thinking. I was thinking it was a fear of the actual bathroom itself. But it’s just that someone else may hear or see me going to the bathroom, and knowing that keeps me from peeing whether it happens or not. It’s all perceived! It’s all in my mind. I’ve learned from some early trauma to be ashamed of urinating in front of other people.
And I learned that there are ways to recover (I’m working on that). But there is hope!
So again I’ll ask you “Do you have a Shy Bladder?“
How can you tell?
Here are some symptoms that may give it away. Keep in mind, I’m no Doctor, and these symptoms are MY symptoms so they will vary more or less from person to person.
Pee Shy Symptoms
- You get anxious about an event or public function when you know that you’ll be away from the house for hours on end.
- You start thinking in advance about whether you’ll have to pee once you’re out, or if you’ll be able to hold it.
- You dehydrate yourself before the event. You drink very little so you won’t feel the urge to go.
- Just thinking about using the bathrooms makes your heart race.
- You fear crowded restrooms. Too many people are watching you, judging you, hearing you, seeing that you can’t pee.
- You fear standing at a urinal with other guys, shoulder to shoulder. It locks you up and keeps your bladder from emptying.
- The quieter the bathroom is, the more heightened the fear of being over heard is. Plus, you feel embarrassed just hearing other people pee as well.
- You dread walking into the bathroom with everyone watching. They know where you are going, and what you’re about to do. It’s gross!
- You hate looking people directly in the eye as you enter the restroom. They can read your fear. They can recognize you “That’s the guy that couldn’t pee!“.
- You hate having to pee in a stall and having everyone see that your feet are facing the wrong direction. “Awww He must be Pee Shy!“
- You hate standing there for minutes upon minutes and still not go. Your bladder screams, your anxiety builds, the time ticks slowly by and you still can’t pee!
- You try distracting yourself to get the stream going. Counting, Multiplication, Humming… Anything to keep your mind off the fact that your Bladder is Shy and no coaxing, forcing, or praying will accomplish the deed.
- If there’s a line of guys waiting for the urinals with arms crossed and feet thumping… You’ll never be able to go! PERIOD!
- If the stall door doesn’t latch right, or it there’s too much gap (visible area) above or below the door, you can’t go!
- If the bathroom is too dirty, icky, stinky, plugged, broken, over-flowing… You can’t urinate!
- If people are talking, chatting, laughing, making sounds, it will make you even more anxious and paranoid and keep you from voiding.
- You hate having to push on stall doors to see if they’re occupied “Oops, Sorry!“.
- If the person in the next stall keeps moving their feet, it will keep you frozen in your tracks. You can’t stop staring at that foot!
- You get scared when your friends swing into a rest stop and everyone, but you, uses the bathroom “You don’t have to go?“
- You dread ‘nights out’ where there are tons and tons of people, food, drinks, and packed bathrooms. Some Celebration!
- You can’t pee in public, no matter what you do!
- You cut the evening short just so you can get home and pee in the safety of your own bathroom.
- You don’t take road trips or vacations because of the hectic traveling, the time it takes, and that there are no Paruretic Friendly Bathrooms to pee in anywhere (single bathroom with a lock on the door)
- The thought of having to give a urine sample for a drug test or medical exam terrifies you!
- You try to pee very quietly on the side of the toilet bowl so that no one will hear!
- You can’t go to the bathroom if Janitors are in there cleaning, moping, washing up…
- You know 100% that once you leave the house, you won’t be able to pee again until you finally get back home.
- If your friends go to the bathroom with you, and are waiting for you… You won’t be able to!
- You make yourself uncomfortable because you hold in your pee for hours. It can ruin an evening and makes you mad at yourself.
- You do everything you can to keep yourself from thinking about your bladder. You try to distract your mind!
- You continuously eye the bathroom door, trying to determine a safe time to attempt to go. Can you or can’t you use the john?
- You fear walking into new bathrooms, because you only have seconds to take everything in and veer towards the stalls!
- Bathroom with no stalls, only urinals are SHEER PANIC!
- Shifting in your seat at the table, smiling, laughing, acting like you’re fine when your bladder is about to explode.
- As soon as someone brings up a play, movie or sporting event, you instantly think of how you’re going to get through the night without peeing in those packed bathrooms.
- Peeing in a Trough is never going to happen!
- Having to enter a stall that someone else just exits… and they see you face to face!
- Closing your eyes while you’re trying to go. Pleading with your mind and body to release. PLEASE PEE!!! Begging, on the verge of crying…
- When the bathroom door bangs open starling you and stopping any small stream you had going.
- Standing there and waiting for everyone else in the bathroom to finish up and leave so you can try to go.
- The long walk to the bathroom feels like the walk of shame. Your head is down. You avoid eye contact and feel persecuted!
- The humiliation you feel because everyone in the bathroom must know that you’re pee shy and can’t go in the urinals like a real man does “What a Wimp!“
- The horrible feeling of giving up and not being able to go and knowing that you’ll have to hold it for another 3 hours until you get home!
- The fact that you’re doing harm to your body by not going, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
- Having to be sneaky about using the bathroom, so your friends and family aren’t alerted that you’re going (and want to go with you).
- Guys pushing on the stall doors behind you, trying to get in while you’re attempting to pee totally locks you up.
- Bathrooms with no outside bathroom door make you panic because there is no privacy and anyone could enter at any time and HEAR you!
- People that are in nearby stalls that are too quiet (like you), and you’re both listening and waiting in silence for the other person to finish and leave!
- Taking that last piss before you step out of the house, knowing it’s your last for a very, very long time!
- Airport Bathrooms, Airplane Bathrooms, Gaps in the accordion door… the rocking of the plane, the people waiting in the isle way, the claustrophobia, the trapped feeling you feel as you sit in your tight seat thinking about going… the long trip, the bustle of things, how rushed you feel, your anxiety just sky rockets! Everything about traveling and flying reeks havoc on your Paruresis. It’s a nightmare for anybody who is Pee Shy! Many simply avoid it!
So there you have it. I could go on and on, but I think you get the gist of it.
Anything and everything associated with peeing, bathrooms, the public, and “What are they thinking about me?” is all about what Paruresis is.
Does it ring a bell?
Can you relate?
There are different levels of Shy Bladder Syndrome, just like any Social Phobia. I believe I have a mild case, but often, it feels much, much worse.
Anytime I’m petrified about going and sit frozen in my seat, not even attempting to go, is BAD! I feel like a total failure!
I would suggest you make yourself a Bathroom Exposure Ranking list and see how you rate.
Do you have Paruresis?
I’m guessing that if you’re reading this post, you do.
Join the Club!
You’re NOT alone!