New guy needs some adivce please

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potholes
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:00 pm

New guy needs some adivce please

Post by potholes » Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:13 pm

Hi there,

My name is Oliver and I have been suffering from paruresis for around six years. I have had no success overcoming this condition, although it is particularly difficult for me as I had to adandon all my friends a long time ago. I have the most serious type of paruresis, and it is starting to become unbearable. Well, it's been unbearable for many years, but I am now entering post-graduate study at university, and it is really becoming an issue.

I won't bore you with my tale because you will all be well aware of the hardships that face those with this debilitating condition. However, I would like to know if there are any support groups in Brisbane, because I need help from people who understand the condition. I can't afford to go to a proper psychologist, and the Uni. clinic is run by post-grads who will no doubt have no idea how to treat paruresis (if they even know what it is to begin with).

Anyway, any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,

Oliver

JohnW
Site Admin
Posts: 84
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:42 pm

Re: New guy needs some adivce please

Post by JohnW » Thu Apr 09, 2009 12:51 am

Oliver,
Firstly let me encourage you by stating that paruresis can be overcome, but it does take determination, commitment, courage, patience, and common sense. And probably a sense of humour won't go astray.
Have you read "Shy Bladder Syndrome", by Steven Soifer and others? This should be a starting point, for understanding of the condition and of recovery programmes.

Paruresis can be overcome on your own (I know that, and so does Russell Gibbs, the psychologist with a practice in Wauchope, N.S.W. We both achieved recovery that way, some years ago). However, it can take less time than it took us, if you are able to seek recovery along with others.

The only tried and true approach for eventual recovery is via Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. The behaviour part means setting up a programme of graduated exposure, whereby you practice regularly in challenging situations. You start with little challenge, and gradually move up to situations of greater challenge. The trick is to move up the scale so slowly that you are having more successes than failures (we prefer to call them "misfires"). This can be done on your own, but it is far better to do it along with others, if possible. The cognitive part is to confront the wrong thinking that is involved when we suffer undue anxiety in toilet situations.

Paruresis seems to be caused by the failure of the "internal sphincter" at the exit point of the bladder to release when we would like it to. This sphincter is not under concious control. The key to its right behaviour seems to be relaxation: if we are in a state of anxiety, then it refuses to open. Paruresis becomes self-perpetuating, as it generates the anxiety which causes the non-performance. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, consistently applied, leads to less anxiety, and to eventual success.

JohnW

potholes
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:00 pm

Re: New guy needs some adivce please

Post by potholes » Thu Apr 09, 2009 8:36 pm

Thanks for your words of wisdom John.

I have done a lot of reading on paruresis during the six years I've had it, but I have not yet read the book you mentioned. This is mainly due to the fact that for most of the last 6 years I have been a student, and therefore could not afford to purchase it. I do have some savings right now, so I will definitely order the book ASAP.

I'm glad that I can try to overcome paruresis on my own, because I now have no friends who can help me. The University of Queensland does offer Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, so I will actually attend the appointment I made a couple of days ago. I didn't realise that the desensitisation process for paruresis was classed as CBT, so I wasn't sure my appointment would be beneficial.

I will be a regular on this site from now on, so I really appreciate your posts. I'll order the paruresis book today, and begin my journey to recovery as soon as I can.

Thanks again, John.

Oliver

JohnW
Site Admin
Posts: 84
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 9:42 pm

Re: New guy needs some adivce please

Post by JohnW » Sat Apr 18, 2009 5:43 pm

Oliver,
I have sent you a PM (Private Message). Did you read it?
JohnW

Darren
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:21 pm

Re: New guy needs some adivce please

Post by Darren » Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:08 pm

Hi Oliver,

I am originally from Brisbane but currently reside in Sydney and I can agree with JohnW that ordering the book is the way to go.

My understanding is that graduated exposure and CBT are two different treatments (although closely related) for overcoming paruresis. Graduated exposure is the physical act of going into public bathrooms and attempting to urinate in increasingly more challenging situations. CBT is based around your thinking about the problem. One of the biggest barriers to overcoming the problem can be thoughts like "I am the only one with this problem", "I am less of a man for having this issue", "what would people think if they found out?" etc That's where CBT would help you change the way you view this issue.

Graduated exposure is something you can get started with right now. Maybe just start with going to your local mall once per week and using the cubicle in one of those bigger bathrooms (where it might be busy but you will feel pretty unnoticed). Just start wherever you feel comfortable with and then over time give yourself more increasingly difficult challenges such as peeing with the door open, using urinals with dividers etc Another important aspect is to measure your "urgency" on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being you are about to burst! It is recommended you practice with a minimum urgency level of around 7 so that you are sufficiently needing to urinate. This means you will need to keep a bottle of water handy to keep your urgency up there.

I personally started out (4 years ago) doing this and started to show immediate improvement within the first 6 months, just by practicing once or twice per week at the gym or mall. I am now at a stage where I can use trough urinals quite regularly, but still think that I have a little way to go before full recovery. Don't let the 4 years put you off, because the first 12 months will give you the most freedom and the burden of carrying this problem around will start to fade away.

Good luck.

dagard
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:22 pm

Re: New guy needs some adivce please

Post by dagard » Tue Jun 02, 2009 8:37 pm

Good on you for trying the forum.
I suffered from SBS for many years before finding reference to it on the internet 4 years ago. This, in itself, was frustrating as I work with computers,,,,,

The biggest break for me was finding out that i was not alone, once I read the above mentioned book I realised that something that had dogged me for years, affected my quality of life for years, was all in my head and my body.

So, from me, 1) Understand the facts, learn and understand what is going on (it actually makes sense). 2) start to practice the relaxation techniques (slow breathing works best for me) you need to slow your nervous system down before you go in a public loo. 3) find some people to work with (a small group, 1 or 2, meeting every week worked for me). don't give up its your life.

I'm recovering now, but still finding little things challenge me. However I'm also doing things that I once though imposable.

Good luck,,,,

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