Paruresis Shy Bladder Syndrome In The News

Paruresis Shy Blader Syndrome In The news

A spotlight on Paruresis: Whilst Paruresis or Shy Bladder Syndrome does not perhaps feature in discussion, news and promotion anywhere nearly enough it does get mentioned. In this feature we’re going to keep you up to date with any interesting news items or features that discuss or promote Paruresis in any way, shape or form.

Single-user restrooms

In March 2023 Greater Greater Washington published a very interesting feaure on the various bills across the region to expand restroom facillities and the commonality of single user restrooms across all these initiatives. Whilst by no means the only or top reason for the consideration of single user restrooms, Paruresis IS mentioned:

“between 10 and 20% of the general population need such restrooms because they experience paruresis, a condition in which urination becomes difficult or impossible when other people are around. (It is real: the sphincter muscles contract, which does not allow the bladder to expel urine.) A single-user restroom can be the difference between being able to evacuate, or not”. Read the full feature at

The Real Work: On the Mystery of Mastery by Adam Gopnik

Bestselling American writer and essayist Adam Gopnik has published a new book entitled The Real Work: On the Mystery of Mastery. In one particular chapter of the book, Mr Gopnik talks about his fight with  his struggle shy-bladder syndrome and about how he set off on a cognitive behavioural therapy journey which involved, in the words of the Guardian Book Review “touring the city’s public toilets on his bike with his therapist as he practises peeing in increasingly stressful situations. Thus, he masters an elusive target: his own mind.”

Yet more excellent publicity that helps with gaining mainstream acceptance for Paruresis.

The social anxiety you don’t hear much about

Psychology Today recently published an indepth article by way of introduction to Shy Bladder Syndrome. They titled this; “Inability to Urinate With Others Nearby: Debilitating But Treatable” and list the key points as follows:

  • Paruresis is considered a form of performance anxiety and, thus, is on the social anxiety spectrum.
  • Some sufferers are unable to leave their home for fear of using a public restroom and are as limited as people with agoraphobia.
  • Paruresis is treated mostly with exposure therapy, though some evidence exists that medications enhance the cognitive-behavioral work.

A well researched and structured feature and worthy of a read. Read More >

Shy Bladder Videos

The UK Paruresis Trust (UKPT) have shared a set of seven videos designed to explain how Cognitive Behavioural Therapy techniques can help in the fight against shy bladder syndrome.

The videos themselves were created by Martin Burridge. Martin is a former therapist who used to treat people with paruresis along with other anxiety conditions.

The videos are available on You Tube but have also been shared on the UKPT website >

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Heroes for paruretics

We start off by congratulating the efforts of North Kingstown Town Council who’s officials are being described as “heroes for paruresis plagued people”. This is because of their approved recent renovations to men’s and women’s restrooms at Wickford Waterfront Municipal Parking Lot and town beach which mean that users will be able to go into a partitioned area by next November just before World Toilet Day! Read more >.

A small step but one which will be really appreciated and should be replicated across all areas! Well done North Kingstown Town Council.

Oral drug testing making its way through federal approval process

An interesting development in the US where in July 2022 the Wisconsin Drug Testing Consortium (WDTC) reported “staying attuned” to a proposed rulemaking change that is making its way through The Department of Transportation (DOT) approval process. This is specifically relating to oral drug testing where the proposed changes cover Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs.

Whilst the common issue of cheating on urine tests is at the heart of the proposals it does also take into account  privacy issues and the challenges for thos suffering from shy bladder syndrome.

It seems as though the science involved with oral drug testing has progressed to the point where it is now comparable to urine testing in the detection of drugs and alcohol – this can only be good news for Paruretics … let’s hope that oral drugs testing replaces urine testing across the board! Read More >.

Journal review

In June of 2022 JournalReview of Crawfordsville Indiana responed to a question posed

Dear Doctors: Would you please devote a column to shy bladder syndrome? This embarrassing condition is a significant inconvenience to many men. In severe cases, it’s a life-altering disability. I suspect there are more sufferers out there than one would imagine, but shame keeps them quiet“.

We find it disappointing that anyone suffering from shy bladder syndrome should still feel “shame”! It’s a form of social anxiety and nothing to be ashamed of!

Good to read a concise response – it raises awareness. Read the feature >.

Latest thinking on paruresis and parcopresis: A new distinct diagnostic entity?

Download a copy of the Australian Journal of General Practice – Vol. 48 No. 4 which documents the latest thinking on paruresis and parcopresis. Download PDF >.


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The embarrassed millions blighted by ‘shy bladder’

In the UK the national newspaper the Daily Mail published a feature highlighting Paruresis and the potential long-term implications. The headline read: It strikes people too anxious to use a loo near anyone else… and can lead to long-term health problems and even kidney failure.

A strong feature with a number of actual examples from real sufferers. It appears that this feature was put together alongside the UKPT. It will certainly support shy bladder awareness. Daily Mail article >

Recognised Surfer Admits To Shy Bladder Syndrome

Ultimate respect to perhaps the most recognised of surfers Kelly Slater who, earlier in 2022, admitted to suffering from Paruresis.

For those of you not into surfing Kelly Slater is probably the world’s most recognized surfer. He has “won 11 titles, starred in movies, presented awards at the Oscars and eviscerated the globe’s richest man Elon Musk”. He is also a social media master, never afraid to share opinion or spar with others.

That’s why it’s absolutely fantastic that he’s not only admitted suffering from Paruresis but has taken the time to explain exactly what the condition is and how it affects people worldwide.

Well done Kelly Slater … inspirational! Read Kelly Slater feature >.

Rail inspector with ‘shy bladder syndrome’ wins £90,000 compensation

In the UK a Poortsmouth based Network Rail employed rail inspector with ‘shy bladder syndrome’, has won £90,000 in compensation and his job back because he was unable to give a urine sample for drug testing because of Paruresis.

Whilst this may not be the kind of news we want to read about the condition it could actually do a lot of good. Being legally recognised like this means that further mitigation could follow and, as a result, organisations involved in the drugs testing of employees are going to HAVE to tke Paruresis seriously and make provisions accordingly.

Great news – read about the court case >.

Paruresis In India

Earlier on in 2022 the Times of India highlighted Paruresis in a feature entitled “Why some people are afraid of using public toilets”.

You’re going to need to subscribe to read the whole article but it”s great to see the condition being talked about in India.


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The U.S. Department of Transportation – oral-fluid drug testing for truckers

Results are in on a plan to allow commercial motor carriers (and others) the option of using oral fluids instead of urine to test for drugs. Based on industry comments, trucking is generally in favor — with some caveats.

Within the feedbak one individual brought up another benefit of oral testing: “It would allow those who suffer from paruresis — or “shy bladder” syndrome — to avoid being terminated from their jobs for not being able to produce a urine sample“.

Good news that Paruresis has been highlighted nationally yet again. Read the feedback to the report >.

Students need more privacy in bathrooms

An article in the Daily Evergreen (the student voice of the Washington State University) by Justin Washington of Tacoma, Washington cited an opinion that for the students who live on campus, it is important for them to have a decent quality of life. Part of that is making sure they have the privacy they need in bathrooms.

He pointed out that “While it is hard to put an exact number to it, there are a lot of people who have an extreme aversion to public bathrooms, often because of hygiene or privacy concerns. Parcopresis, an aversion to defecating in public, and paruresis, an aversion to urinating in public, are terms associated with these anxieties.” You can read the full feature here >.

We say well done for voicing your opinion and thank you.

The psychology behind bathroom habits

It’s something we do every day, but most of us don’t think twice about it. However, there is some curious psychology behind all the choices we make in that room, from which cubicle we choose, to whom we take there with us. The Naked Scientists examine the brain basis behind behind bathroom habits. Read More >.

Meet the men so terrified of peeing in public they turn down jobs and won’t leave their houses

An interview with Andrew Smith, the chairman of the UK Paruresis Trust which he set up to help other blokes with the condition. He has painful firsthand experience of the life-disrupting condition going all the way back to his childhood. Read More >.

Silently facing ‘an ungodly, unmanly thing

Chicago Sun Times discusses shy bladder syndrome: “Hardly anybody who doesn’t have it knows about it,” said David Carbonell, a clinical psychologist in Chicago specializing in anxiety disorders. “This is one of those conditions people have an inordinate amount of shame about.” Read More >.

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