Q:

How do you combat a shy bladder?

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Quick Answer

Treatment options for shy bladder syndrome, also known as paruresis, include psychotherapy, cognitive behavior therapy and graduated exposure therapy, according to the Better Health Channel. People may also benefit from joining a paruresis support group and learning coping strategies that help to minimize the stress and anxiety that is brought about by the phobia. Shy bladder qualifies as a psychological condition; as such, treatments are often administered by licensed professionals.

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Full Answer

According to BHC, paruresis is quite common and manifests most frequently among school children. It is a social phobia that makes it difficult for a person to urinate while in the presence of others. If not addressed, the phobia can linger into a person's adult years. Some people with the most severe cases are unable to urinate anywhere outside of the privacy of their own homes, which can cause them to stay indoors, even at the expense of their jobs and social lives.

The phobia is usually rooted in a fear of judgment from others and is common among people with introverted and shy personalities, says MDHealth. Although paruresis is caused by tight urinary sphincter muscles, it is not classified as a physical condition because the sphincter actually clenches as a result of a person's anxiety and overactive nervous system. This reaction creates more panic in the person because of the urge to urinate without being able to do so.

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