My Perspective On Paruresis

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Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 3:35 pm

My Perspective On Paruresis

Post by pee&easy » Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:11 pm

I have suffered with Paruresis now since the age of about five. My earliest memories of the condition are when as a family we would travel up north to visit relatives and I'd be busting to go. Dad would pull over so I could squirt behind some bushes or something, but I'd be in a tizz about it and unable to go. Anyways, over the years it's been a severe sort of issue for me and halted many normal social plans and engagements, effectively limiting my existence in ways not natural. It's kind of funny to me as I am not a fearful person in other aspects of life - I'm not even sure why I became paruretic in the first place, but I guess that's not important now.

I have finally worked up the courage to tackle the issue and have begun graduated exposure with a couple of others at a local shopping centre. I'm surprised I've stuck at it over the past few weeks but I have noticed a change in attitude within myself that has helped me make the effort. I have decided that basically, I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I don't worry now about success or failure, but instead persist no matter what the result. I guess turning 30 and acknowledging my paralysis at the hands of this condition has kicked me in the butt a bit and that's good, because now I am determined to persist until I am recovered and able to lead a normal life again. I remind myself that there's no hurry, and that I can take as long as it takes to get better at whizzing in public. Since I've been out and practicing, it's also hit home that urinating in public is no big deal, it's just habitual for me to fear it and perceive it as something scary and intimidating.

As far as success goes, I can go now with no one around in quieter bathrooms but still can't with others present, and in some of the busier facilities around even with no one in there (habitual fears of someone coming in). This is now my next goal. I would be happy with a few drops around others, then build from there. I realize it's a gradual process, and no amount of impatience, hurry or anxiety is going to help me. So I am content to keep plugging away in the knowledge that eventually I will achieve greater successes. Whether it happens this year or five years from now no longer concerns me. I am patient, persistent, and in it for the long haul. I consider turning up for practice as a victory in itself. I don't beat myself up for failure to go. I am happy to be practicing and doing my best. Whatever happens after that is fine by me.

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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 12:18 pm

Re: My Perspective On Paruresis

Post by rossco309 » Sun Aug 16, 2009 6:28 pm


yours is a very encouraging post to read. You seem to be doing all the right things to start to overcome this social anxiety disorder. You have only had AP for 25 years, I had it for 45 years before starting down the recovery road, but am now very much improved.

Once you start down the recovery road you are always moving forward, sometimes there may be a step or two back, but then you will find you will move forward once again. Practicing with other AP sufferers helps you, and them, as you have others there that know what you are going through. Remember when you have a misfire (unable to start), don't look upon this as failure but as part of the recovery exposure practice. Share this with the others with you. Even just walking into a public toilet is a big step forward, learning to let your fears rise and fall, learning just to wait awhile, learning what it is to really have a full bladder before starting your practice sessions. ( I had gotten into the pattern through the years of normally emptying out far too early to avoid getting caught out, and so had effectively reduced my bladder size)

Realise that you have 25 years of false thinking to undo, and re-learn the right thought patterns when entering a public toilet to pee. Ie. I’m here to pee, to empty my bladder, everyone else doesn’t care about me, they are here just to do the same thing. Concentrate on these thoughts…and on emptying your bladder !!!

Keep up that graduated exposure practice, one step at a time. Don’t rush through it, and I’m sure you will continue to improve.

Ross. (Sydney AP Support Group)

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