My name is Gary. I have a severe social phobia called Paruresis, also called shy bladder syndrome. There are a lot of people out there with shy bladders, but Paruresis is much more serious, it is the inability to urinate anywhere outside of the home. It severely damages the quality of one’s life. I have lost many jobs dues to not being able to use the restrooms at work. I would have to make up a story about being sick just to go home and use the bathroom.
When it comes to random drug testing for a job, forget it! I cannot go too far from home because as soon as I have to pee, I have to get home as soon as I can. I have spent two years in therapy, but it is a very long process of healing. Some people have gotten better but never 100%. Before I ever started therapy I was in such bad shape that if I was out in public and I even thought about using the restroom I would break out in a sweat.
I have dealt with this for as long as I can remember, but after a couple years of therapy I can at least go into little stores with private bathrooms, which to many may seem like very little progress but for me it is huge. As a teenager, while my friends would go off to concerts, to the movies, the beach, etc… I would stay behind.
I had always felt too ashamed to tell anyone about my issues. I didn’t know what was wrong with me, I just knew that I was not like other people, something was wrong with me. I also had severe social anxiety. Even with some of my best friends, I didn’t speak very often unless it was one on one. Today I have broken down that wall and I can now talk to almost anyone, even in groups.
Although the Paruresis is still very much a thorn in my social life, my hope is that if there is someone reading this who may have the same issues, know that you are not alone, and the is hope. People with Paruresis can improve with what is called gradual exposure therapy. It is a long process but very helpful. I know most people like me are ashamed to talk about it, but talking is the first step in recovering.
Talking about it is the first step. Contact me (Gary) At Gary.Bassler@yahoo.com
**For More Information On this Disorder Please Check Out This Website Paruresis.org (Link Provided By Gary.. Please Thank Him.)**