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How To Overcome Shy Bladder


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Fear of social situations has a way of manifesting in various ways for different people. One such condition many people go through is shy bladder syndrome or paruresis. 

While other people my age faced difficulties speaking in public or talking on the phone, I had a shy bladder throughout my teen years. I couldn't pee in a public toilet if someone was in the next stall or washing their hands in the sink.

Needless to say, it deeply affected my daily life to the extent that I would avoid drinking fluids throughout high school. Just thinking about traveling, camping, or even sleeping over at a friend's place gave me anxiety.

But in a span of few months, I managed to overcome shy bladder, and here is how I did it:

#1 Practice Relaxation Techniques

Although degrees of anxiety and social fear may vary in intensity, practicing relaxing techniques will provide some benefit to everyone. For starters, practice this on your own if you are not ready to contact a counselor. I practice deep breathing, meditation, and yoga, which are excellent ways to reduce overall stress and bring you to a relaxed state of mind. 

Many people in my support group like to relax with art, paints, music, and pets. Begin with something that comforts and soothes you and follow it as a daily practice.

#2 Cognitive Behavioral Therapy 

It's not easy to get over a fear which we have held for years. This is especially true if there is a history of bullying or embarrassing memories involved. Visit a counselor to understand yourself better with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT helped me unravel the impact of my shy bladder on my behavior, actions, and thoughts.

#3 Graduated Exposure Therapy

One of the most effective ways to reduce the stress revolving around peeing is graduated exposure therapy. In my case, my close friend was assigned to be my pee partner. I started by peeing at home with my friend standing right outside the door. 

The next level of difficulty was to pee in a friend's home. In a few months, I could finally use public toilets with strangers in the next stall. The gradual progression of the least stressful to most helped me overcome this issue.

#4 Reach Out To Support Groups

Another practice that helped me immensely was joining an online support group. Simply knowing that you are not alone in your struggle is relieving and healing. When I heard lovely people from my support group verbalize the exact issues I feared, I felt validated and understood. 

Have you ever had to overcome shy bladder? What steps helped you through it? 

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I never had an issue with going pee but I can't go number two in a public setting. I couldn't even go in my own house growing up if I knew family was close by. I would run the water or have to wait. I guess this is a similar problem but from what I have heard and read, it is far more common. 

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