Curing Shy Bladder Syndrome With Graduated Exposure Therapy

There are two broad approaches to curing shy bladder syndrome.

One is to attack it at an emotional or subconscious level and look at the root fears that cause a paralysis whenever you try to urinate.

This works well for many but for some it is too wishy washy. Luckily there is a second option that avoids the psycho mumbo jumbo - graduated exposure therapy.

This works in the opposite way to which you developed your shy bladder syndrome or paruresis. Initially you had a fear of urinating in public and this ear prevented you from urinating when you tried. When the fear came true it served to reinforce the original phobia and became a self fulfilling prophecy that got worse over time.

Graduated exposure works by slowly but surely stepping up the level of public interaction when you go to the toilet. At each step you get more confident, reassuring yourself that you can piss in public, and by actually doing it you create a positive cyclical self fulfilling prophecy.

Reflect on Where You Are At Right Now

Knowing where to begin with graduated exposure therapy depends on how severe your shy bladder syndrome is right now. Perhaps you can urinate in a stall but not at the pissoir. Perhaps you cannot urinate outside of your home at all. Either way reflect on where you are at and think about small steps you could take to increase your interaction.

The Pee Buddy

When you are talking about graduated exposure there are also two ways you can approach it. The first is to go solo, the second is to recruit a pee buddy. The pee buddy is a trusted friend or relative who you can confide in about your shy bladder. You then use them to create artificial stress for you as you adjust to urinating in their presence.

I think the pee buddy works best but if you feel uncomfortable asking someone then you can still find success alone.

Shy Bladder Syndrome Stages of Difficulty

I'm going to start right at the most intense stages of paruresis and work my way to the more mild stages in this graduated list. For each stage I will give suggestions on ways to gradually expose yourself. Follow along to where your current situation is and see how you can step up the difficulty.

Can only urinate at home when no one else is there

  • Play a radio in the toilet to simulate distraction.
  • Take a doll with you and place it on the window sill so it is watching you urinate.
  • Leave the door ajar or open.
  • Use your pee buddy if you have one.

Can only urinate at home but can do so if others are there

  • Gradually start leaving the door ajar.
  • Urinate right into the water so as to make as loud a noise as possible.
  • Go to a deserted forest and learn to urinate there.
  • Wear an adult diaper and urinate in a public place.

Can urinate in a public toilet but only in a stall

  • Leave the door ajar.
  • Urinate into the middle of the bowl to make a loud noise.
  • Work your way up to not closing the door at all.

Can urinate at the urinal but not all the time

  • Find a public toilet to practice in.
  • Aim for one that has individual urinals with small dividers.
  • From there work your way up to individual urinals no dividers.
  • Then work your way up to the trough.

Stand There But Don't Go

The key mental issue to overcome with graduated exposure therapy is overcoming the fear of not urinating. One excellent activity is to walk up to the urinal knowing you are not going to urinate. Just stand there with your junk out, wait for a minute and then put it away and walk out.

Eventually you will get used to standing at a urinal holding your dick and not pissing. There will be no fear of failure because you didn't fail as you never intended to urinate in the first place. This will help.

Finding An Appropriate Practice Area

When I was going through graduated exposure therapy I scoped out all the toilets at the local malls. I found ones with troughs, ones with individual urinals and ones with dividers.

I used to be able to go in a stall all right but I could only use the urinal if no one was there.

I built up to the point where I could go in the stall with an open door so I found a mall that had individual urinals with dividers. I would make trips to that mall and would keep going until I could go with no fuss at the urinal. At first it took me a while but soon enough I could go if there was one other person in the room at at the other end of the urinal.

Eventually I was able to go even in a crowded restroom with people either side of me. That's when I stepped it up to another shopping mall that didn't have dividers.

I'm sure you get the idea. How you approach exposure therapy will depend on how serious your shy bladder syndrome is right not. But take away the attitude that you should challenge yourself to take the first tiny step. It will be awkward and a little bit painful but you will learn a lot about yourself and will be that much closer to overcoming the debilitating shy bladder syndrome.

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