Bashful bladder syndrome is a serious issue. About 7% of the population in the USA (17 million people) suffers from it. Most people never hear of it, and those who do for the first time often think that it is kind of funny – but it's not. It's embarrassing and can really get in the way of living a normal life. So what can you do to overcome it?
First of all, realize that paruresis can get more than just annoying. For some people, it's just a slight discomfort when urinating in a public restroom – but it can get worse.
Also note that there are sometimes physical reasons for being unable to urinate – mainly an enlarged prostate or a narrow urethra. If these are the case with you, these issues should be addressed first.
There are even people who are afraid that someone might hear the sound of them peeing when they are in their own house, and it becomes almost obsessive in nature.
One possible thing to do is of course to use psychotherapy. A therapist can help you to look at the issue from different angles and might have the mental tools to help you better deal with your feelings of shame or anxiety.
However, psychotherapy is also very time-consuming and often expensive. Plus, it's not always effective. Sometimes therapists just talk things through with their clients in a thousand ways and they never actually achieve the outcome that their patients came to them with in the first place. They may be a good confidante, and having to talk about this might feel good from an emotional point of view – but at some point the purpose of therapy really should be to lead to a solution and help the patient overachieve bashful bladder syndrome.
Hypnosis for paruresis can be very effective because it goes directly to your subconscious mind. Instead of having to think and talk about things a thousand ways and a thousand days, you can just use the power of your subconscious mind to help you overcome shy bladder syndrome.
But even with hypnosis you should have realistic expectations. Do not think that listening to a paruresis hypnosis session once will somehow make your symptoms disappear – it's powerful, but it's not magic. You will need to listen to it in a disciplined manner repeated over the course of several weeks in order to really see results.
But the good news is – even though it does take work, it is possible to manage and overhaul bashful bladder syndrome.
Some people like to use anti-anxiety medication, but many experts agree that this is not a good idea. These drugs often can have severe side-effects and affect your psyche in more than just one way. Plus, in some cases it can be difficult when you try to stop taking the medication, and symptoms may return even worse than they were before.