Paruresis

Posted: June 11, 2012 in Uncategorized

I’m not exactly sure why I’m writing this, I guess it’s a way trying to confront my demons by putting words to them. Since I was child, I’ve suffered from paruresis. In reality, I’ve only actually known the word for about two years, when I finally looked up my condition on the internet. I know it might sound ridiculous, but even the act of doing that was terrifying. Paruresis, sometimes refereed to as shy bladder syndrome, is an inability to urinate in a public place. I think most people would be surprised to learn that this condition affects nearly ten percent of the population. I guess because of the stigma attached to this, real or imagined, it makes people more reluctant to even tell anyone they suffer from it. I guess what it comes down to. like many other phobias, is a terrible fear of being judged by others.

Believe it or not, as I still by no means have overcome it, I’ve made significant progress by even writing about this. Much of this I attribute to finally making the decision to see a clinical psychologist a few years ago. I only went for eight sessions, because it costs a fortune, but I consider myself very lucky that my benefit plan covered most of the cost. Most people aren’t so lucky. I think what it has done most for me, is to help me to be less critical of myself. Although I know I still do it far to frequently, at least now I’m beginning to see how destructive it has been to my life. I’ve now been able to open up a little to those closest to me, and have realized just how much they care to help me.

I think that the biggest thing I’ve learned in this short period of time, is just how many people suffer though similar types of problems. It’s very easy to think we are alone in these fears, and hide them from the world by creating our own little destructive shells. I think if more people could understand these issues, both sufferers and non-sufferers, we could go a long way to solving many of the worlds problems. It’s about time that mental health becomes a greater focus of society, and finally starts to receive the funding and resources that it warrants. If we can begin to improve people’s mental health, the costs would be far outweighed by the benefits, both tangible and intangible.

 

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