“Just turn on the faucet (tap if you’re in the UK) and the sound of water will make you want to pee” … yeah right … I’m sure everyone with a shy bladder will thank you for that one! Whilst this may be an “old wives tale” there is another method of treatment associated with water and this method has a name … the shy bladder water cure. But what is it and does it work?
Various water “cures” have long been associated with paruresis. The simple masking of sounds by turning on a faucet when urinating is a common self help solution. But all us paruretics out there searching for a serious solution that works may have come across the idea that shy bladder can be cured by drinking lots and lots of water. I’ll call this the water cure from now on.
The idea behind one theory is that dehydration is partly to blame and that dehydration is in part down to the modern trends of drinking coffee, alcohol, soda drinks. Whilst a change in drinking habits may help overall health it seems pretty unlikely that, when it comes to shy bladder syndrome, any positive effects will be witnessed.
Water Water Everywhere!
We all know the benefits of drinking enough water to keep us properly hydrated and t o replace the fluids we’re losing. There’s a golden rule … the 8 x 8 rule. That is that we should drink an 8oz (250ml) glass 8 times per day. That’s around 2 litres per day as an ideal target.
On the other hand, you may not be aware that too much water can be incredibly dangerous. Overhydration can result in something called water intoxication. This is when your bodies salts and electrolytes become too diluted. It can also result in a reduction in sodium levels – a condition called hyponatremia.
So, if you’re considering trying out the shy bladder water cure just be careful and sensible about it … don’t keep filling up if nothing’s coming out!
The Shy Bladder Water Cure
It could be logically suggested that the more you need to pee the faster you will start a flow. Therefore a paruretic will find it easier to pee in difficult situations if they are full to bursting with water.
On the face of it you can’t argue with the logic however paruresis doesn’t always follow logic. Instances have been reported where sufferers have “prepared” for being in a difficult situation by filling themselves up with water. The thinking behind this is that if they’re desperate they’ll be able to go. However, on reaching the bathroom they have felt an increase in pressure to pee which has had the opposite effect. This, in turn, caused them to tense up even more than usual and not be able to go hence making the situation worse.
Also, don’t forget that drinking more means that you’ll need to use the bathroom more often than usual. Make sure you’re prepared for that too. You don’t want to be in a situation that you’re desperate to go but can’t! That’s not going to do you any good whatsoever and can be both painful and dangerous.
Drinking lots of water can be good is if you’ve put together an overall strategy to combat a shy bladder and are looking to test and practice it.
In this case drinking water will provide additional opportunities to do just that. It will also give you plenty of chances to visit the bathroom and practice your graduated exposure therapy. This is a technique that works be lessening the effects of shy bladder symptoms to the eventual point where there are no effects and paruresis is cured. It will also help you to practice other popular treatments such as cognitive behavior therapy, nlp and hypnotherapy for shy bladder. All of these treatments focus on reprogramming the mind to automatically respond in a more logical manner. It can also support the breath hold technique along with other mind relaxation techniques.
In other words we don’t endorse relying solely on the shy bladder water treatment to treat your paruresis. It’s not a good stand alone treatment. We do, however, think that used sensibly and in moderation it can support other treatments by making it easier to practice more effectively, efficiently and regularly. It can be really beneficial used in this way and this will help you get over your anxieties quicker.
The golden rule when drinking more water. When it comes to going for a pee have a back up plan that reduces the mental pressure when it’s time to take a leak.
My Own Treatment
I learnt about the theory of the water cure but I never practiced it myself. I preferred the more “traditional” self-help treatment options: